Howard Dean disappoints me

After years of government deregulation of energy markets, telecommunications, the airlines and other major industries, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is proposing a significant reversal: a comprehensive “re-regulation” of U.S. businesses.

And what are the proposed candidates for such a re-regulation?

…utilities, large media companies and any business that offers stock options. Dean did not rule out “re-regulating” the telecommunications industry, too.

He also said a Dean administration would require new workers’ standards, a much broader right to unionize and new “transparency” requirements for corporations that go beyond the recently enacted Sarbanes-Oxley law.

Somehow either Dean or the source article left out mutual funds.

OK, some of these are complex issues, where you might argue that laissez-faire is impossible, and that more regulation could be better than current hybrid structures. But we are not choosing policy today. For the time being, forget the detailed debates, and ponder what this suggests about Dean’s instincts, what kind of campaign he will run, and what kind of voters he will appeal to. Ugh, and the libertarians should have never wondered whether Dean might be a small government guy in disguise.


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