“Big SIS” is the special-interest state, of which James V. DeLong writes in Ending “Big SIS” (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic.It is a non-fiction horror story, one that should outrage every reader. A reader must be impervious facts and logic if he gets very far into “Big SIS” without grasping the direness of America’s present condition.
What is that condition? It is enslavement (not too strong a word) to the regulatory state. DeLong does an admirable job of describing the growth and entrenchment of the regulatory state (chapter 2). But the most compelling parts of his thoroughly factual narrative arrive with his documentation of the costs of the regulatory state and his enumeration of example after example of its lunacies. If you have a visceral feeling that government in the United States has become entirely too intrusive in its methods and perverse in its results, DeLong’s book will confirm that feeling and give you plenty of weapons with which to refute those who believe in government as a disinterested, omniscient force for good.
If chapters 2 and 3 outrage you, as they should, surely chapter 4 will depress you. There, DeLong enumerates and explicates the many reasons that the regulatory state’s death grip on America is unlikely to be loosened. DeLong holds out some hope for change in chapter 5, where he discusses many ways in which the death-grip might be loosened.
But I am less sanguine than DeLong seems to be about the possible efficacy of his proposed counter-measures. The forces that DeLong describes in chapter 4 are likely to prove too strong to be defeated in gentlemanly fashion. In the end, it may well come to non-gentlemanly counter-measures, something along the lines of a new Declaration of Independence from the imperial state that has arisen in Washington.
If it does come to that, DeLong’s catalog of imperial acts and their vile consequences would serve splendidly as a replacement for the original Declaration’s enumeration of King George III’s “repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny.”
FDR and Fascism
The People’s Romance
Fascism with a “Friendly” Face
Democracy and Liberty
The Interest-Group Paradox
Is Statism Inevitable?
The Price of Government
A New, New Constitution
Zones of Liberty
Fascism and the Future of America
The Indivisibility of Economic and Social Liberty
A New Cold War or Secession?
The Price of Government Redux
The Real Constitution and Civil Disobedience
The Near-Victory of Communism
A Declaration of Independence
As Goes Greece
Accountants of the Soul
Ricardian Equivalence Reconsidered
Zones of Liberty
The Constitution: Original Meaning, Corruption, and Restoration
Estimating the Rahn Curve: Or, How Government Inhibits Economic Growth
The Bowles-Simpson Report
The Bowles-Simpson Band-Aid
Regime Uncertainty and the Great Recession
Re-Forming the United States
More about Taxing the Rich
America’s Financial Crisis Is Now
The Southern Secession Reconsidered
A Declaration of Civil Disobedience
Regulation as Wishful Thinking
The Real Multiplier
Vulgar Keynesianism and Capitalism
Why Are Interest Rates So Low?
The Commandeered Economy
Estimating the Rahn Curve: A Sequel
In Defense of the 1%
The Real Multiplier (II)
Lay My (Regulatory) Burden Down
The Burden of Government
Reclaiming Liberty throughout the Land
Economic Growth Since World War II
More Evidence for the Rahn Curve