by Virginia Postrel • Nov 19, 2003 at 8:43 am
In an interview with Jim VandeHei of the WaPost, Howard Dean shows himself to be the thinking man's Cruz Bustamante, calling for a sweeping "re-regulation" of the economy:
The specifics are all rather vague, but the underlying attitude is clear. Dean is running as a guy who wants to control the economy from Washington and who sees business as fundamentally bad. "Any business that offers stock options" covers a lot of companies, including some of the economy's most promising and dynamic.
Regulation tends to be relatively invisible to the general public, in part because it's mind-numbingly technical. That makes it much more difficult to reverse, much easier for interest groups to manipulate, and much more dangerous to the general health of the economy than the taxing and spending that attract attention from pundits.
It will be interesting to see how--or if--self-described "libertarians for Dean" respond to his re-regulation campaign. Are they simply looking for an antiwar candidate, and accepting Dean as the best alternative on their top issue? Are they genuinely upset with Bush's less-than-stellar record on issues like free trade, in which case Dean would be worse and should be no more appealing? Or are they just trying to hang with the cool kids?
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