administrative_state   19

The Captured Economy - Brink Lindsey; Steven Teles - Oxford University Press
For years, America has been plagued by slow economic growth and increasing inequality. Yet economists have long taught that there is a tradeoff between equity and efficiency-that is, between making a bigger pie and dividing it more fairly. That is why our current predicament is so puzzling: today, we are faced with both a stagnating economy and sky-high inequality.

In The Captured Economy , Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind these twin ills: breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit. They document the proliferation of regressive regulations that redistribute wealth and income up the economic scale while stifling entrepreneurship and innovation. When the state entrenches privilege by subverting market competition, the tradeoff between equity and efficiency no longer holds.

Over the past four decades, new regulatory barriers have worked to shield the powerful from the rigors of competition, thereby inflating their incomes-sometimes to an extravagant degree. Lindsey and Teles detail four of the most important cases: subsidies for the financial sector's excessive risk taking, overprotection of copyrights and patents, favoritism toward incumbent businesses through occupational licensing schemes, and the NIMBY-led escalation of land use controls that drive up rents for everyone else.

Freeing the economy from regressive regulatory capture will be difficult. Lindsey and Teles are realistic about the chances for reform, but they offer a set of promising strategies to improve democratic deliberation and open pathways for meaningful policy change. An original and counterintuitive interpretation of the forces driving inequality and stagnation, The Captured Economy will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about America's mounting economic problems and the social tensions they are sparking.
book  bureaucracy  governance  regulation  administrative_state  critique 
25 days ago by rvenkat
The New Conspiracists | Dissent Magazine
--misleading title, the article is more about use of disinformation, conspiratorial factoids with the dismantling of democratic institutions and administrative state in mind.
dissent_mag  administrative_state  institutions  conspiracy_theories  epidemiology_of_representations  political_psychology  cultural_cognition  dmce  networks  teaching  ? 
4 weeks ago by rvenkat
Inside Trump’s Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.’s Scientists | Vanity Fair
-- By far, the most justifiably sympathetic profiles of bureaucrats in the federal government. The article reminds me of all the good work done by career bureaucrats of the Indian Civil Service.

-- exemplary old fashioned journalism.
administrative_state  bureaucracy  united_states_of_america  governance  regulation  american_machine  via:? 
8 weeks ago by rvenkat
Feigenbaum: How High-Income Neighborhoods Receive More Service from Municipal Government: Evidence from City Administrative Data
Municipal governments oversee many of the most important political matters of daily life in the U.S., yet our understanding of municipal politics remains limited. We combine a large dataset of requests for local government services—such as snow plowing, traffic signal repairs, pothole repairs, and graffiti cleanup—in Boston, Massachusetts, 2011–2015, with fine-grained census data on localized incomes and income inequality. Employing a within-neighborhood design, we establish that, other things equal, higher-income census tracts make more requests for government services. Using data from open-ended text responses submitted by the city, we then connect these requests to the provision of services, showing how the underlying capacity of local communities for communicating requests—i.e., for participating in the process of local government—helps drive inequality in the receipt of services themselves. These results highlight how inequality in economic resources connects to inequality in the non-electoral components of participation in local government.

big_data  econometrics  administrative_state  governance  wealth  inequality  technology  cities  geography  spatial_statistics  political_economy  public_goods  public_administration  ? 
october 2017 by rvenkat
The Morality of Administrative Law by Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN
As it has been developed over a period of many decades, administrative law has acquired its own morality, closely related to what Lon Fuller described as the internal morality of law. Reflected in a wide array of seemingly disparate doctrines, but not yet recognized as such, the morality of administrative law includes a set of identifiable principles, often said to reflect the central ingredients of the rule of law. An understanding of the morality of administrative law puts contemporary criticisms of the administrative state in their most plausible light. At the same time, the resulting doctrines do not deserve an unambiguous celebration, because many of them have an ambiguous legal source; because from the welfarist point of view, it is not clear if they are always good ideas; and because it is not clear that judges should enforce them
democracy  moral_philosophy  governance  regulation  administrative_state  law  political_science  cass.sunstein 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Free Speech in the Algorithmic Society: Big Data, Private Governance, and New School Speech Regulation by Jack M. Balkin :: SSRN
We have now moved from the early days of the Internet to the Algorithmic Society. The Algorithmic Society features the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence agents, and Big Data to govern populations. It also features digital infrastructure companies, large multi-national social media platforms, and search engines that sit between traditional nation states and ordinary individuals, and serve as special-purpose governors of speech.

The Algorithmic Society presents two central problems for freedom of expression. First, Big Data allows new forms of manipulation and control, which private companies will attempt to legitimate and insulate from regulation by invoking free speech principles. Here First Amendment arguments will likely be employed to forestall digital privacy guarantees and prevent consumer protection regulation. Second, privately owned digital infrastructure companies and online platforms govern speech much as nation states once did. Here the First Amendment, as normally construed, is simply inadequate to protect the practical ability to speak.

The first part of the essay describes how to regulate online businesses that employ Big Data and algorithmic decision making consistent with free speech principles. Some of these businesses are "information fiduciaries" toward their end-users; they must exercise duties of good faith and non-manipulation. Other businesses who are not information fiduciaries have a duty not to engage in "algorithmic nuisance": they may not externalize the costs of their analysis and use of Big Data onto innocent third parties.

The second part of the essay turns to the emerging pluralist model of online speech regulation. This pluralist model contrasts with the traditional dyadic model in which nation states regulated the speech of their citizens.

In the pluralist model, territorial governments continue to regulate the speech directly. But they also attempt to coerce or co-opt owners of digital infrastructure to regulate the speech of others. This is "new school" speech regulation. Digital infrastructure owners, and especially social media companies, now act as private governors of speech communities, creating and enforcing various rules and norms of the communities they govern. Finally, end users, civil society organizations, hackers, and other private actors repeatedly put pressure on digital infrastructure companies to regulate speech in certain ways and not to regulate it in others. This triangular tug of war -- rather than the traditional dyadic model of states regulating the speech of private parties -- characterizes the practical ability to speak in the algorithmic society.

The essay uses the examples of the right to be forgotten and the problem of fake news to illustrate the emerging pluralist model -- and new school speech regulation -- in action.

As private governance becomes central to freedom of speech, both end-users and nation states put pressure on private governance. Nation states attempt to co-opt private companies into becoming bureaucracies for the enforcement of hate speech regulation and new doctrines like the right to be forgotten. Conversely, end users increasingly demand procedural guarantees, due process, transparency, and equal protection from private online companies.

The more that end-users view businesses as governors, or as special-purpose sovereigns, the more end-users will expect -- and demand -- that these companies should conform to the basic obligations of governors towards those they govern. These obligations include procedural fairness in handling complaints and applying sanctions, notice, transparency, reasoned explanations, consistency, and conformity to rule of law values -- the “law” in this case being the publicly stated norms and policies of the company. Digital infrastructure companies, in turn, will find that they must take on new social obligations to meet these growing threats and expectations from nation states and end-users alike.
freedom_of_speech  internet  regulation  governance  administrative_state  big_data  algorithms  privacy  data  artificial_intelligence  machine_learning  ethics  philosophy_of_technology  new_media  social_media  networked_public_sphere  public_sphere  GAFA 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Sixth Edition | The National Academies Press
Publicly available statistics from government agencies that are credible, relevant, accurate, and timely are essential for policy makers, individuals, households, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations to make informed decisions. Even more, the effective operation of a democratic system of government depends on the unhindered flow of statistical information to its citizens.

In the United States, federal statistical agencies in cabinet departments and independent agencies are the governmental units whose principal function is to compile, analyze, and disseminate information for such statistical purposes as describing population characteristics and trends, planning and monitoring programs, and conducting research and evaluation. The work of these agencies is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Statistical agencies may acquire information not only from surveys or censuses of people and organizations, but also from such sources as government administrative records, private-sector datasets, and Internet sources that are judged of suitable quality and relevance for statistical use. They may conduct analyses, but they do not advocate policies or take partisan positions. Statistical purposes for which they provide information relate to descriptions of groups and exclude any interest in or identification of an individual person, institution, or economic unit.

Four principles are fundamental for a federal statistical agency: relevance to policy issues, credibility among data users, trust among data providers, and independence from political and other undue external influence.� Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Sixth Edition presents and comments on these principles as they’ve been impacted by changes in laws, regulations, and other aspects of the environment of federal statistical agencies over the past 4 years.
nap  report  policy  statistics  regulation  administrative_state  democracy  collective_cognition 
july 2017 by rvenkat
Washington Monthly | The Big Lobotomy
--looks like the dismantling of the administrative state has a long history
via:henryfarrell  administrative_state  us_politics  regulation  governance  institutions  us_congress 
march 2017 by rvenkat
Moral Commitments in Cost-Benefit Analysis by Eric A. Posner, Cass R. Sunstein :: SSRN
The regulatory state has become a cost-benefit state, in the sense that under prevailing executive orders, agencies must catalogue the costs and benefits of regulations before issuing them, and in general, must show that their benefits justify their costs. Agencies have well-established tools for valuing risks to health, safety, and the environment. Sometimes, however, regulations are designed to protect moral values, and agencies struggle to quantify those values; on important occasions, they ignore them. That is a mistake. People may care deeply about such values, and they suffer a welfare loss when moral values are compromised. If so, the best way to measure that loss is through eliciting private willingness to pay. Of course it is true that some moral commitments cannot be counted in cost-benefit analysis, because the law rules them off-limits. It is also true that the principal reason to protect moral values is not to prevent welfare losses to those who care about them. But from the welfarist standpoint, those losses matter, and they might turn out to be very large. Agencies should take them into account. If they fail to do so, they might well be acting arbitrarily and hence in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. These claims bear on a wide variety of issues, including protection of foreigners, of children, of rape victims, of future generations, and of animals.
law  governance  public_administration  administrative_state  moral_values  policy  cass.sunstein  taboo-_trade-offs  moral_psychology  dmce  teaching 
march 2017 by rvenkat
The Administrative State: Law, Democracy, and Knowledge by Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN
This is a chapter for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the United States Constitution. I provide and compare three organizing frameworks for the administrative state. The first examines its constitutionality, the second its democratic credentials, the third its epistemic and technocratic capacities. After describing each, I examine their interaction, and suggest that the administrative state is the setting for an endlessly shifting series of alliances between and among constitutionalists, democrats and technocrats.
democracy  administrative_state  bureaucracy  collective_cognition  law  review 
february 2017 by rvenkat

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