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An Economy of Liars

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By Mick - Posted on 20 April 2010

By GERALD P. O'DRISCOLL JR.

APRIL 20, 2010
www.wsj.com

Piling on more rules and statutes will not produce something different than it has in the past. Reliance on affirmative principles of truth-telling in accounting statements and a duty of care would be preferable. Deregulation is not some kind of libertarian mantra but an absolute necessity if we are to exit crony capitalism.

Modern liberals have greatly expanded the list of government functions, but, aside from totalitarian regimes, I know of no modern political movement that has shortened it. While protecting citizens against force, both at home and abroad, is the government's most basic function, protecting them against fraud is closely allied. By the use of force, a thief takes by arms what is not rightfully his; he who commits fraud takes secretly what is not rightfully his. It is the difference between a robber stealing brazenly on the street and a burglar stealing by stealth at night. The result is the same: the loss of property by its owner and the disordering of civil society. And government has failed miserably to perform this basic function.

The idea that multiplying rules and statutes can protect consumers and investors is surely one of the great intellectual failures of the 20th century. Any static rule will be circumvented or manipulated to evade its application. Better than multiplying rules, financial accounting should be governed by the traditional principle that one has an affirmative duty to present the true condition fairly and accurately—not withstanding what any rule might otherwise allow. And financial institutions should have a duty of care to their customers. Lawyers tell me that would get us closer to the common law approach to fraud and bad dealing.

read the rest here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870450890457519243037356675...

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MiddleKnowledge's picture

Mickey,

Thanks for that. Makes me wonder if this is the future of effective medicine in this country:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/watson-g1.1.1.html

Tim Martin

Mick's picture

Tim
I am not so sure this is exactly the model you want. The physician in the Lewrockwell article may be just slightly above the level of a snake oil salesman. I am afraid that if I have to use unfounded medical devices and techniques just to make a living (ie. “thermography” http://www.chirobase.org/06DD/thermography.html) then I think I will leave medicine and become a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Mickey

Mickey E. Denen

Virgil's picture

No Mick, you got it wrong. It's "eh, just put some aloe on it!"

Virgil's picture

It has to be if we want to live free lives...

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