The Myth of the All-Seeing Regulator

From the Tom Woods Letter:

The British version of a website called UnHerd just released some interesting polling data, involving asking members of the public whether they believed this statement: “The world is controlled by a secretive elite.”

Some 33 percent of the British public disagree, and another 30 percent are unsure. But a solid 38 percent believe the statement to be true.

To me, even more important than getting a result like this is persuading the public that the visible elites whom they actually see ruling over them do not have their best interests at heart, even though those elites attempt to portray themselves as their great protectors and benefactors.

The recent history of the United States, for instance, is largely the story of elites creating problems that they later tried to take credit for solving, when in fact those problems resolved themselves on their own.

That portion of the public that cheerleads for the elite has been taught to believe the myth of the omniscient regulator. No matter what goes wrong, enough wise regulators could have stopped it.

The truth is rather more prosaic: regulators are generally time-serving drones, with no more insight than anyone else.

On the verge of the 2008 financial meltdown, for example, there were 115 state and federal agencies whose job it was to oversee the financial sector. We’re supposed to believe that if only we’d had 116, everything would have been fine?

Not to mention: the chief regulator of the banking system is the Federal Reserve System, and its chairman could see no serious problems with the economy leading up to the meltdown.

What’s more, they want us to believe that nonexistent “deregulation” caused this and other problems. Why? Because it therefore follows that on our own we can’t be trusted, and thus we need the wise guidance of the elites as they keep watch over the economy and our lives.

It isn’t just Covid by a long shot. The elites demonize freedom, and demand compliance, in one area after another.

So I strongly recommend you read my free eBook The Deregulation Bogeyman, which kneecaps the whole argument, and inoculates you against the self-serving propaganda:

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