Will Wilkinson skrev tidligere i denne uka om Peter Orzag, som har gått fra en toppjobb i Obama-administrasjonen til en godt betalt jobb i Citigroup. Wilkinson låner noen avsnitt fra James Fallows, som kaller dette forholdet mellom bedrifter og myndigheter for strukturell korrupsjon.
Det som er spesielt interessant her er måten Wilkinson presenterer reguleringer som en slags Catch 22: verken høyresiden eller venstresiden kan redde oss fra feilslått politikk:
Progressives laudably seek to oppose injustice by deploying government power as a countervailing force against the imagined opressive and exploitative tendencies of market institutions. Yet it seems that time and again market institutions find ways to use the government's regulatory and insurer-of-last-resort functions as countervailing forces against their competitors and, in the end, against the very public these functions were meant to protect. (...)
The classically liberal answer is to make government less powerful. The monstrous offspring of entangled markets and states can be defeated only by the most thorough possible separation. But public self-protection through market-state divorce can work only if libertarians are right that unfettered markets are not by nature unstable, that they do not lead to opressive concentrations of power, that we would do better without a central bank, and so on. Most of us don't believe that. Until more of us do, we're not going far in that direction. And maybe that's just as well. Maybe it's true that markets hum along smoothly only with relatively active government intervention and it's also true that relatively active government intervention is eventually inevitably co-opted, exacerbating rather than mitigating capitalism's injustices. Perhaps the best we can hope ever to achieve is a fleeting state of grace when fundamentally unstable forces are temporarily held in balance by an evanescent combination of complementary cultural currents. This is increasingly my fear: that there is no principled alternative to muddling through; that every ideologue's op-ed is wrong, except the ones serendipitously right. But muddle we must.Det minner om Amartya Sen: vi må forstå at det ikke nytter å se på samfunnet som en mekanisme som vil fungere perfekt bare vi får på plass det riktige regelverket. Dette er hovedpoenget i The Idea of Justice. Kanskje må vi, som Wilkinson skriver, bare muddle through.