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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12688/kagan-government-is-all-she-knows/

Kagan: Government Is All She Knows

May 11, 2010 by

Nate Oman offers this perspective on Elena Kagan:

Kagan has spent her entire career either in government or else in academia studying the processes of government regulation. She shows little academic or professional interest in business. This is important because while public regulation makes up the bulk of the Court’s docket, private businesses are overwhelmingly the target of that regulation. Everything in Kagan’s career, however, suggests that she is intellectually geared to look at the regulatory process from the government’s point of view. For example, in law school I had an advanced seminar on administrative law from Kagan. It was an interesting class, mainly focused on the competition between bureaucrats and political appointees. In our discussions businesses were always conceptualized as either passive objects of regulation or pernicious rent-seekers. Absent was a vision of private businesses as agents pursuing economic goals orthogonal to political considerations. We were certainly not invited to think about the regulatory process from the point of view of a private business for whom political and regulatory agendas represent a dead-weight cost.


Bruce Koerber May 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Statist knowledge is equally as fraudulent as Keynesianism. Actually there is little difference between the two.

Walt D. May 11, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Seems that Justice of the Supreme Court is an entry-level job – no experience required.

Russ May 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Well, you don’t actually have to know what the Constitution says in order to be a Supreme Court justice, so why not? All you have to have is a good imagination, so that you can see penumbras of emanations…

Walt D. May 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

How do you take the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution if you have not even read it? If you locked the Congress in a room and told them to write out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I don’t imagine very many of them would be able to complete the task, even in outline form.

Sword of Damocles May 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm

What was it that one of the “committee of nine” said once, “We are not supreme because we are infallible, we are infallible because we are supreme”, or something like that (if I remember the quote from “The PIG to the Constitution” correctly). Nor are “they” bound by that “outdated piece of parchment” any longer as they, more and more, look to the laws and customs of other countries for guidance.

Just my thoughts,

JC Hewitt May 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm

They’re just working as hard as they can to cause capital flight.

I mean, if they have Rubin on retainer, why aren’t they listening to him? It’s kind of disgusting. They have nooooo clue how the Treasury is supposed to run.

It’s like they went to Columbia Law School (an academic lawyer factory), saw how Cory Booker got media attention, and then just used standard machine tactics to take over the most complicated, malfunctioning piece of government machinery ever crafted by human hands.

And the first thing they do is… “Well, y’know, people are mad about this whole bailout thing, the next step in the playbook is to… REGULATE.”

You realize that they’ve just blocked up a massive train of IPOs, right? This is like Sauron telling the orcs to pillage California in an attempt to win political brownie points.

Soros and the rest of the big guys are going to have fun with this. I mean, you can just imagine some Swiss guys toasting each other on a streetside cafe and laughing themselves to pieces.

HL May 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I was just thinking about this. What happens if the whole USA becomes Detroit? Where to go then? Every idea and policy that doomed that city will eventually doom the country. Sad.

Frank G May 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm

This woman’s accomplishments certainly indicate that she is an extremely intelligent and very capable person, but at what point in her career was she made qualified to become a supreme court judge? I just don’t get how someone that has only a theoretical understanding of what lawyers and judges do, can somehow be qualified to sit on the highest court of the land.

During the nomination process of Judge Sotomeyor, this administration and its supporters gushed how well qualified Judge Sotomeyor was becuase of her time on the bench and the fact that her rulings demonstrated she was not a radical. Now, we are to believe from the same group that a professional educator with absolutely no bench or practical legal experience is equally as qualified? This is about as bad as when Bush nominated his personal attorney to sit on the court, granted this woman is more accomplished but with no practical legal experience she is far less qualified to be a judge, much less one of the highest judges in the land.

I know that President Obama is all about getting the “W” and could care less about the substance of his “W”‘s, but this is a new low for even him.

Seattle May 12, 2010 at 1:50 am

Is anyone really surprised at this? The President and Congress decide who sits on the bench. Are they really going to choose people who would stick up for the state’s victims? Obviously they’re going to choose someone who will give them the rulings they want, the rest of society be damned.

Horst Muhlmann May 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

Obama really is a defacto third term for Bush.

Why just in the past month, he has had two Katrinas (the oil spill and the Tennessee floods) and a Harriet Meyers!

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