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There should be laws against this sort of stuff. Like you can't work for a company in a related domain for 5 years before and after taking the government job. As it is, it just leads to too much corruption.



The flip side is that you won't want someone in said position that doesn't know anything about the industry. Do you want a luddite making technology policy, for example.

Not that I'm all for regulatory capture or anything.


> Do you want a luddite making technology policy

No and that's exactly what we have right now.


> Do you want a luddite making technology policy, for example.

Would that be worse? Say 50% of the time they get the policy right where the corrupt policy maker gets it deliberately wrong all of the time.


That is not a flip side, it's a false dichotomy, because there is an enormous middle ground there.


I never said it was a dichotomy. Just because I presented an opposing side of an issue does not mean that I'm presenting a dichotomy.

One of the reasons that people are pulled from industry to fill these roles is because there is a view that they will understand the issues at play. This is true. We don't want people making policy decisions on issues that they barely understand. At the same time, it becomes the incestuous relationship that we have (aka Regulatory Capture) where there is incentive to make policy decisions that are pro-business while being anti-consumer.

There is some sort of a middle-ground to be had, but saying things like "people should not be allowed to hold office if unless they've been out of the industry for at least 5 years" seems a bit naive.


Well yes, "flip side" implies a dichotomy. What's the middle-ground of a coin's faces?

It's not helpful to characterize alternatives as naive, ignorant, or Ludditic. The question is not one of naivety, but of actual policy, which is the stuff that affects all of us. How would the work of an outsider (or statutory redshirt) differ from a revolving-door candidate, one whose foundation is sell side? Seeing that we have a documented public history of the output of people in this role, what conclusions can we draw? Should the incestuous relationship merely be noted, as you do, before dispensing with alternatives?


> Should the incestuous relationship merely be noted, as you do, before dispensing with alternatives?

My thought is that saying someone can't work in the industry for 5 years prior might help with breaking up regulatory capture to a certain extent, but could have consequences on the people filling the role actually understanding the issues at hand.

Your view seems to be closer to, "things are bad now, so we certainly can't do any worse." My view is that if we're going to make the effort to fix things, let's think things through rather than throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.


You're defining "the industry" as people with congruent CVs to Chairman Wheeler. And no, I'm not saying we can't do any worse, not the least because we've already had Michael Powell in this position.

I disagree that the revolving-door is equal to regulatory capture. While it may be a precursor, we do already know that supply-side policies like putting a time-lock on the door is a remedy. Note also that the door would be locked for industry to hire from the government agencies.

Revolving door people are no better apprised of "the issues at hand" than someone with a (e.g.) buy-side foundation. That's one of the places where you filter out alternatives, by assuming that the revolving door candidates are the ones who "actually understand the issues."

You also continue to perpetuate the dichotomy you said you weren't making by refraining from even acknowledging a middle ground, so maybe this is just a case of mauvaise foi on your part and poo on me for engaging.


> The flip side is that you won't want someone in said position that doesn't know anything about the industry.

CEOs rotate into of different industries all the time without knowledge of that domain.

The top-job isn't about making policy, it's about representing the organization's interests and setting strategy.


That may be, but the parent post did not limit the suggestion to just CEOs.


The colloquial term for this is "revolving door."


There's three kinds of corruption:

- apparent when there isn't (false positive - mistaken)

- apparent when there is (obvious)

- not apparent when there is (false negative - not obvious)

I'd define corruption as a pattern of putting profit/loss considerations ahead of public interests. Other than personal ethics, this is a really hard thing to control for because it goes to why people want to be public servants and what are their interests/relationships.


There's something to be said for lifetime appointments: "we trust you enough to give you this job and pay you enough to be comfortable for the rest of your life. If you clearly violate that trust, we'll impeach you and you will never again be trusted."

I could be wrong, but I don't think federal judges and Supreme Court Justices participate in the revolving door. Supreme Court Justices are deeply political, but they're not sell-outs like Chris Dodd.


Is the first kind really corruption then?

Corruption can be stopped when voters & consumers have more power than the politicians or their backers. No one can force you to vote a certain way or buy a certain product. You punish "public" "servants" by restricting their power, i.e. voting them out if they break the law or not enforcing the law equally.


The problem with that is that the only folks qualified for these jobs are folks with some sort of recent related experience, and the only future job that this is revenue-boosting for is in related domains.


But that doesn't mean that we have to appoint from within industry. There are probably many academics who would be just as qualified or more than former industry lobbyists. Moreover, these people would probably be more than happy to return to academia and research after serving their tenure.




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