The “Watchful Eye” Fallacy

“In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama said: ‘Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control.’ To prevent such unfortunate episodes, says Mr. Obama, the market needs to be supervised and regulated by the watchful eye of government. … The fallacy in this view lies in the assumption that government regulators rise above the human limitations that apply to everyone else. It assumes that while the businessman can be shortsighted, the senator will be farsighted, or that while the banker may be inattentive, the deputy undersecretary will not be.”

This is from the outstanding article The “Watchful Eye” Fallacy at FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education.

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