The unraveling of the credit market and the wild swings on Wall Street are the latest dramatic illustrations of a pattern in which deregulation and privatization run amuck and require government action to rescue the public interest. Lawrence Brown and Lawrence Jacobs in their new book, The Private Abuse of the Public Interest: Market Myths and Policy Muddles, show that efforts to expand markets and shrink government often have the opposite effect of expanding government’s reach by creating problems that force legislators to enact new rules and regulations.
Markets and public authority do not have to be in conflict. The analyses encourage citizens and policymakers to recognize that properly functioning markets depend on the government’s ability to create, sustain, and repair them over time. The authors support their pragmatic approach with evidence drawn from in-depth analyses of health care, education, and transportation policies. In each case, reality proved to be much more complex than market models predicted. Placing these case studies in the context of more than 200 years of debate about the role of markets in society, Brown and Jacobs call for a renewed focus on public-private partnerships that respect each sector’s vital and complementary role.
Welcome: Margaret Simms, National Academy of Social Insurance
Lawrence D. Brown. Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University
Lawrence R. Jacobs, Director of the Center for Study of Politics and Governance, University of Minnesota
Henry J. Aaron, Bruce and Virginia MacLaury, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, the Brookings Institution
Thomas Mann, W. Averell Harriman, Chair and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
The Robert M. Ball Living Legacy Series furthers the ideals of NASI’s founding chair, who died in January 2008. The series promotes social insurance as a means to achieve economic justice and security for American workers and families. Funding for this event is provided by The Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.
13th Floor ~ Holeman Lounge