Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Do Welfare State Liberals Also Love Regulation?

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Abstract

This essay takes issue with the idea that liberals are necessarily enamored with either regulation or large government programs. It argues that regulations to protect workers and consumers become necessary in a context where the rules have been written to disadvantage them. Different rules can obviate the need for regulation. In the same vein, programs like Social Security and Medicare are more efficient than private-sector alternatives. For this reason, government provision can be seen as the most efficient way for meeting a widely perceived need.