Beware Hidden Taxes

by Don Boudreaux on June 12, 2009

in Regulation, Seen and Unseen, Taxes

Writing in today's Boston Globe, former OIRA chief Susan Dudley (along with Jeff Rosen) warns — very sensibly — that we should beware of hidden taxes.

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vidyohs June 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Well, I am "ware", now what?

Sacrifice a duck to the Gods and ask for intervention?

Good luck.

Methinks June 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Professors, if you'll allow me to play my favourite song…..

Regulation of an industry CREATES a well organized political group of industry insiders that has every incentive to capture the regulator which then works to create rents for the industry insiders (for the small price of a regulatory compliance hassle) and costs for outsiders – mostly customers and taxpayers in general. Regulators are easily captured because torturing their industry insiders is not in the regulators' interest. The bigger and more successful the industry, the more powerful the regulator and without the industry, the regulator ceases to exist. So, its a mutually beneficial relationship and the regulator has every incentive to serve the insiders and no incentive at all to serve the industry's customers or the public's best interest. The more regulated the industry, the more this is true. "Stronger" financial industry regulation regulation in response to this "unprecedented crisis" is already worsening this effect and customers are getting hosed.

vidyohs June 12, 2009 at 10:55 pm


What you have stated is a fundamental law. You can see it in the operations of unions, the so-called drug war, etc.

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