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And here's one final turn of the screw, the worm, whatever. According to the authors of the depressing yet persuasive (and unpublished!) paper "Regulation and Distrust," the less we believe in government, the more of it we will demand.
Writing in July, Philippe Aghion, Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, and Andrei Shleifer argue that "distrust influences not just regulation itself, but the demand for regulation. Using the World Values Survey, we show both in a cross-section of countries, and in a sample of individuals from around the world, that distrust fuels support for government control over the economy. What is perhaps most interesting about this finding...is that distrust generates demand for regulation even when people realize that the government is corrupt and ineffective."
That's just one more horrible, deep-rumbling-in-the-very-depth-of-our-bodies-and-souls truth that stands revealed before us, at the end of the Clinton-Bush years. And, sadly because history is a dream from which we cannot awake, the Bush-Obama years, which have already started.
Nick Gillespie is the editor-in-chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com.