Friday, July 17, 2009

Oversight and the Private Sector

Good day for Slate--another piece that is quite suggestive. The problem is that prisoners are getting unfettered access to cell phones. While there may be technological solutions to this, the Senate is considering allowing the jamming of signals near prisons. The author of the Slate piece argues that this is perhaps not the best idea, but that this effort is forcing the private sector to innovate. That is, oversight may be useful for pushing the private sector to innovate when the market is not sufficiently persuasive. This may actually lead to changes by private actors without legislation, making the Senate the invisible hand in this case. We must not forget to consider the more subtle effects of government.

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