Can we have some evidence

This is from Ross Gittins writing for the NinFax:

But having gone for several decades under-regulating many industries and employers, there’s a high risk we’ll now swing to the opposite extreme of over-regulation.

Really?  “Under-regulating”.

Can someone please point TAFKAS to where under there is under regulation going on.  Is it in financial services, banking, energy, mining, retail, property, transport, airlines, petrol, groceries?  Where is this under regulation?

Unless Gittins defines “under regulation” as the difference between what the level of regulation is and what level of regulation is necessary to put all the businesses in the sector out of business, TAFKAS can’t see it.

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30 Responses to Can we have some evidence

  1. Chris M

    Garage sales and footpath lemonade stands?

  2. Rob MW

    Can someone please point TAFKAS to where under there is under regulation going on.

    Shovels.

    Gittins has 3, one at home, one in his car and one at the office. For a busted-ass economist he sure knows how to dig. His twin brother, Paul Krugman, has number plates on his shovels for Nobel digging.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Can someone please point TAFKAS to where under there is under regulation going on.

    Interesting pharmaceuticals.
    The local dealer may be the last capitalist left in your suburb.

  4. TBH

    UNDER regulated? Is he serious?

  5. Gittins must live under his desk. Clearly he hasn’t been exposed to even the simplest of ‘regulations’ that a normal human being has to endure to accomplish even the most basic of things nowadays.

  6. Pyrmonter

    Gittens is a study. He really seems to think ‘regulation’ is a factor of production or an element which can be measured in quantitative terms, as if it were braking power or the amount of capital contributed. How can anyone who claims to know anything about economics think that way?

    Has anyone ever asked him what a Harberger triangle is? To demonstrate the different impact of a quota and a tariff, in terms a first year would understand?

  7. Pyrmonter

    @ bemused

    He occasionally escapes – he used to attend the NSW EcoSoc lunchtime talks. Haven’t seen him for a while, though my attendance has fallen off too.

  8. tgs

    For a busted-ass economist he sure knows how to dig.

    FYI Gittins is not an economist. His only formal training is a Bachelor of Commerce in which he majored in accounting.

    He worked as accountant for a few years before transitioning into journalism where he remains today. His expertise in “economics” extends solely to rephrasing and quoting the latest media release from Grattan, Australia Institute, RBA, etc

  9. Lilliana

    There is no “under” regulation. There is a lot of poorly designed and poorly enforced regulation, which is hardly surprising as most public servants live in a leftist ideological bubble oblivious to the realities to the outside world.

  10. TBH

    In fairness, though, what he described about simplifying the regulatory framework as one of Hayne’s recommendations is on the money. Make it easy for people to do the right thing and they generally will. The same goes for carve-outs, which I’m generally not in favour of.

  11. Russell

    Under and over (regulation) are such dumbed-down marketing terms for the masses. Surely, efficient and effective are the true perfomance measures. But then two such dimensions describing the important fundamentals are just to complex for joe-average to understand. Another serious nail-in-the-coffin for our modern edutation systems.

  12. Rob MW

    FYI Gittins is not an economist.

    He also identifies as a walking, talking, quacking duck but lets not nit-pick.

    About Ross
    Ross Gittins is the Economics Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and an Economic Columnist for The Age

  13. Lilliana

    Russell #2938284
    “Under and over (regulation) are such dumbed-down marketing terms for the masses. Surely, efficient and effective are the true performance measures.”

    Generally regulation has little to do with performance. It is all about protection and that is what Gittens is probably eluding to. For the all the regulation we have people are not still protected from all the nasty realities of life.

  14. Generally regulation has little to do with performance. It is all about protection and that is what Gittens is probably eluding to. For the all the regulation we have people are not still protected from all the nasty realities of life.

    No it’s not. It’s about busy-ness and looking busy.

    And if it is the role of the Government to de-risk life, then when should we expect all cars, all industry, all mass produced food, all business, all sports to be banned and for bubble wrap suits to be made compulsory (to go with the already compulsory helmets).

  15. tgs

    He also identifies as a walking, talking, quacking duck but lets not nit-pick.

    Precisely my point, he’s a fraud.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    Maybe comrade gittins is saying “you aint seen nuthin yet” if the shorten / di natale gang are elected . Thie gittins any relation to getup ?

  17. What a wonderful coincidence to have the Gittins “under regulation” piece appear with Steve’s piece on capitalism, because both illustrate the authoritarian nature of the anti-capitalist Left.

    Having seen a lot of public servants up close – too close, at times – I can verify that they are mostly ignorant fools operating in a Left wing bubble. They will force you to stop smoking, wear a helmet and steel-capped boots, and pay more and more for rates, taxes, electricity, water and gas, even if you’re on a fixed income.

    Intrinsically authoritarian.

  18. Russell

    Lilliana #2938294
    “Generally regulation has little to do with performance.”
    Maybe I was not clear that I meant the performance measures of the regulations and not the performance of the particular industry. And I was assuming that good regulators always put down a list of THEIR expected performance measures (at least to guide the outcomes of new regulations with respect to some benefit or inflicted suffering on the community/industry). You know like – how much wasted effort will this create for that industry that the community will have to pay for, and how many truly satisfying jobs will be created. Remember, good businesses should demand Quantitative measures not just Qualitative feel-good statements.
    Unfortunately, lollie-pop traffic controllers in side streets come to my mind as the worst form of very effective but very inefficient regulations that have been “enforced” at great cost over the last decade. I reckon most life insurance policies have less actuary evidence for that kind of application precision.
    My point is that these two dimensions need to be balanced for all regulation issues. And Effectiveness should never win by itself.

  19. RobK

    Beautiful regulation should be a minimalist thing.
    Keep it short and simple.

  20. Lilliana

    I think that is in AOC’s grand plan. But you are correct #2938299. Bureaucrats need to be seen as being busy. Lots of busy, but fundamentally useless, work going on.

    The more people are protected from risk the more protection they expect and the more useless they become.

    We have become a society of helpless morons who expect someone – usually the gubbermet, to protect us from our own stupidity. It’s all about rights but no responsibility. I hear this daily “the government should do something about…” -a conga line of outraged victims.

  21. Ross Gittins is well-named.
    He is the quintessential dumb GIT.

  22. Petros

    His mentality is typical of a lot of employees of large organisations/businesses in Australia. Quite ignorant of the over-regulation of so many industries. All they see is their little world. I’m pretty sure he has never started a business in the last 20 years.

  23. Having seen a lot of public servants up close – too close, at times – I can verify that they are mostly ignorant fools operating in a Left wing bubble. They will force you to stop smoking, wear a helmet and steel-capped boots, and pay more and more for rates, taxes, electricity, water and gas, even if you’re on a fixed income.

    It’s not the public servant that do that, but the politicians; Federal, state and local. That’s not to say that there aren’t perfunctory gits in the public service, but I’ve come across many in private industry as well. Ever had warranty claims on a product and faced one of those gits protecting the company bottom line?

  24. 2dogs

    Can someone please point TAFKAS to where under there is under regulation going on?

    Religion.

    Clergy need to liable for their teachings, not just to those taught, but to subsequent third parties.

  25. Richard Bender

    Charging someone a fee for a service and then not providing the service is unambiguously a breach of Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC is responsible for enforcing the Australian Consumer Law. Perhaps instead of going after Woolworths and Coles for providing cheap groceries, perhaps the ACCC could do its job and go after the banks when they do the wrong thing.

    There is no problem of under regulation, just regulators who don’t know what they are doing.

  26. David Brewer

    For the likes of Gittins, under-regulation is where any abuse can be shown to exist.

    And since no amount of regulation would prevent all abuse, he thinks everything is under-regulated.

    Absent from his analysis are the myriad downsides of regulation – direct and indirect cost increases, unintended side-effects, barriers to entry, disadvantages to small businesses, deadweight losses from administration, mission creep of regulators, departure overseas of industries etc. etc.

    Also absent is any conception that an unhampered market is itself a powerful force against abuses, just by weeding out those businesses who by their abuses fail to supply what consumers want.

  27. Petros

    There is probably under-regulation of naturopaths, chiropracters, and other similar quacks. Should the government intervene or just let the fools who go to them suffer? I don’t really care. Are journalists regulated in any way? They seem out of control these days.

  28. As time has passed since the Hilmer report on National Competition Policy (1993), it has become very clear that, as many suspected at the time, it has been an enormous failure.

    We’ve now seen what market concentration in the banking industry has achieved, thanks to the Royal Commission. We’ve seen it in the airline industry, the transport industry and certainly in the supermarket industry. Each of these reflect Hilmer’s view that those organisations should be allowed to use their market power to destroy competition: …competition between a few large firms may provide more economic benefit than competition between a large number of small firms… Or not. It certainly hasn’t turned out that way. Instead we have had the destruction of competition and the deplorable treatment of customers and suppliers. Regulation? Hah.

    The ACCC has been useless. There is a culture there which leads them to a first response of figuring out how to do nothing about the manifest problems which arise. In relation to Hilmer, one question the ACCC has never dared to address is, how is competition enhanced by reducing the number of competitors? Hilmer asserted to the contrary, as above, but his assertion was unsubstantiated.

    Time to start all over again.

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