from Kevin Williamson at National Review, The Bailouts at Ten: I Told You So
Big Business and Big Government have a lot in common: the challenge of trying to manage complexity through bureaucracy, the deadening mentality and corporate culture of the Organization Man, inertia, internal politics, the agent-principal problem. Sometimes, they deal with those problems in remarkably similar fashion: by convincing us that they are so big and so important that we cannot manage without them. But it is not so. If you can’t get a slick black Cadillac, the hardworking gentlemen in Stuttgart are ready to take care of your big-sedan needs — and their colleagues in Alabama will take care of your little-sedan needs. Elon Musk, even in the middle of what seems to be a very weird and very public episode of some kind, is standing by to sell you what is arguably the best American car ever made, and a million Uber and Lyft drivers are helping many urbanites see that they don’t really need a car at all.
In the decade that has passed since the financial crisis, we haven’t learned anything. The lesson we should have learned — to let business be business and let government be government — seems to be for the moment beyond our political imagination: Left and Right alike are partly or wholly captive to the fantasies of managerial progressivism and neo-mercantilism, with the Left imagining that Washington can intelligently direct energy and labor markets and much of the Right falling in behind protectionism, “managed trade,” and corporate welfare for everybody from Boeing to Foxconn.