Guest Author Baleigh Scott wrote this article to convince people that, principally, “government is the disease for which it claims to be the cure.” In order to inform her blogged opinions (The Indisputable Dirt), this Public Policy Analyst reads political editorials and classical literature. Her background is in Economics and Creative Non-fiction, so her writing is directed to an interest in Money and Story-telling. The welfare state is her perfect subject. Enjoy.


If the wall is strong enough to restrict big businesses within, it is most certainly strong enough to keep smaller, not-yet-in-existence businesses out.

When I mention the dangers of regulating business (as I do incessantly)— of giving a panel of flawed human beings the power to create and enforce arbitrary rules and standards within an industry— people tend to assume that I’m going to focus, not on “proper” regulation, but on its evidently corrupted human manifestation.

The expected argument goes something like this:

We can’t expect people, including regulators, not to act in their own self-interest. If we grant government agencies the special power to regulate businesses, the biggest and most powerful businesses will inevitably find ways to use their wealth to influence those regulatory agencies. In one way or another, the given regulatory agency will become no more than a puppet for the industry’s big wigs. As a result, the very agencies designed to prevent huge companies from using their size and influence— at others’ expense— will end up granting the wealthiest companies more power and freedom than the free market ever could. Thus, if our goal is to curb the power of big businesses, we’d be better off without the regulatory agencies in the first place.”

There is a lot of truth to this.


Baleigh Scott is a public policy analyst who graduated college in 2013 with degrees in the curiously related areas of Economics and Creative Non-fiction. At work, she compiles and analyzes large amounts of economic data. In her spare time, however, she reads political editorials and classical literature, and tries to think of ways to convince people that, most of the time, government is the disease for which it claims to be the cure. She blogs about it all at The Indisputable Dirt. The following piece is cross-posted there.

The other day, I went on my lunchtime walk, as I do pretty much every day. At the end of my walk, I stopped at a gas station by my office to buy a bottle of water and a snack. While I was perusing the snacks, a large man flanked by two companions approached me. He asked me what I was buying.

“Peanuts,” I replied, suspicious of his curiosity. I held in my hands a water bottle and package of Starbursts.

He explained that he had no cash, and that he would buy me my peanuts, candy, and water using his state-issued food assistance card (a.k.a QUEST Card), if I would buy him a Black & Mild and a Swisher Sweet. Why the complex arrangement? Obviously, his QUEST card could not directly purchase tobacco, while my credit card could.

Say what you will, but I agreed.