Sunday, January 2, 2011

Steps to Success in the Regulatory Regime: A Kochanack Guide

Tyler Cowen, George Mason University professor, NYT columnist and general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,  writes:

WW, a loyal MR reader, emailed me a request:
My friend recently accepted a fellowship at REDACTED and will be starting in a few months. I was wondering what advice or reading suggestions you might have for a future component of the regulatory regime.

Here's part of Cowen's advice (My emphasis):
Figure out in advance what kinds of cognitive capture you will be subject to, and whether you wish to fight or embrace them....
If you don't already know, learn the value of ambiguity and how to build alliances in the workplace. Many people remain bad at these skills.
Cowen's comment along with Brad DeLong's insight about Greenspanism is all you really need to know to understand Washington D.C.

D.C. is filled by those awed by the trappings of power and will sell their souls as part of regulatory capture, to get close to that power. And they will make ambiguous statements so that when necessary they can throw any person or principle under the bus, when career advancement calls for it.

That this obscene way of life can be promoted without shame says a lot about how much our civilization has declined.

Note: I don't think so, but there is a possibility Cowen is being facetious. As per usual with him, he's too ambiguous to know for sure.

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