Mar 162013

A probable example of regulatory failure.  This can happen when the emphasis turns from health and safety to the rules about health and safety.

State building officials say they would like to help Mr. Conway and are considering changes. Local officials say their hands are tied because the codes are written by the state. They also say even amending building codes wouldn’t address fire and health issues at Turtle Island.

via Ah, Wilderness! Mountain Man vs. the Building Inspector –

Mar 132013

Those of my fellow conservatives who think winning elections will fix things should read this article by Ivan Krastev, and ponder.

The nature of any political regime for self-correction is its major characteristic and it is the capacity of self-correction and public accountability that it is at the heart of any democratic advantage. There are now many in Kremlin who, on the contrary, think that excessive democratisation has been responsible for many of the problems that new country faces. Many envy ‘true’ Chinese authoritarianism. But the truth is that in many of its practices China is more democratic than Russia, and its decision-making is undoubtedly superior. Over the last two decades, when China was busy with capacity building, Russia seems to have been pre-occupied with incapacity hiding. When Western commentators try to make sense of the different performance of the new authoritarians, they would well advised to look beyond formal institutional design.

via Is China more democratic than Russia? | openDemocracy.