Elections don’t matter

I have argued before that civil servants run the government. I can now prove that I am correct.

I found a case so egregious that all doubt will be removed.

Do you think the President is in charge? Do you think Congress is in charge? If you answered yes to either you are wrong.

The case that proves that you are incorrect is the Volcker Rule. In short, the Volcker Rule is supposed to ban "proprietary trading" at banks. It was part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

You might think that Volcker – who works for the President – got to decide what the rule means. If you thought that, you are wrong:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, seeking to influence the eponymous rule he helped create, is telling administration officials they should avoid writing narrow regulations that banks can seek to exploit or evade, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Volcker, in private conversations with administration officials, said that, in implementing the so-called Volcker Rule, regulators should adopt something akin to antimoney-laundering laws, where the federal government bans a particular behavior and then places the onus on banks to screen for red flags and comply with the rules. . . .

Still, the ultimate decision rests with a myriad of regulatory agencies, which must jointly write the rules. Regulators and policy makers are discussing how best to implement the Volcker Rule and recently solicited comment from the public.

You read that right. The President’s adviser, whom the rule is named after, is begging civil servants to actually implement "his" rule in a meaningful way.

Congress actually passed the law, so they must have had some say in what the law will do, right? Wrong, the article concludes with the following paragraph:

On Thursday, a group of 18 Democratic senators sent a letter to the oversight council encouraging regulators to adopt strict and "meaningful" definitions. "Despite having just emerged as a nation from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, powerful interests will seek to weaken the … Volcker Rule protections," the letter states.

You can view the comment from the senators (click here and check the box for public comments).

Just to make it absolutely clear, Senators and advisers to the President are begging civil servants to implement a law.

3 Responses to Elections don’t matter

  1. JohnK says:

    “… regulatory relaxation is one thing that still holds potential. You want to increase productivity. And this can be done at low immediate cost by letting people make choices based on incentives. You can drill, let parents choose schools, reduce the required number of permits, etc.

    “To deal with the objections from the superfluous regulators, create a “Department of Deadwood” at every level of government where all redundant regulators, hopeless teachers and the like can report to office and be paid, indeed required, to do nothing. Newspapers, cards, coffee, donuts and video games will be supplied. They’ll be paid to get out of the way. Or perhaps if they are so inclined, they can take online courses in engineering or sweep the street for exercise. Why should they object?”

  2. Jehu says:

    I repeat my call for the return of the spoils system. It’s the least bad approach to federal administration (I’d be ok with letting states individually decide how they want their own bureaucracies to roll).

  3. […] Foseti – “Women with Careers“, “Moral Revolutions“, “Review of “The Vampire of the Continent” by Ernst Reventlow“, “Do Elites Like America?“, “Elections Don’t Matter” […]

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