The Chicago economist Luigi Zingales has written an article on pro-market populism that is timely in light of yesterday’s announcement regarding the administration’s plans for re-regulation. It’s well-worth reading. He talks about the difference between being pro-business and pro-market, and explains why the GOP should be the latter but that unfortunately it’s been the former recently. One key line:
A pro-market party will fight tirelessly against letting firms become so big that they cannot be allowed to fail, since such firms may take risks that ordinary companies would never dream of.
Notice that this line is an explicitly anti-big business line. Zingales is suggesting the kind of reform that is necessary to prevent highly connected firms from ripping of the taxpayers. It’s a reform that Republicans would need some convincing to appreciate, but one that liberals and Democrats should be naturally inclined to like. Unfortunately, it doesn’t at all resemble the reforms that Obama and Barney Frank want.