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Our Shiny New Shackles
Apr 25, 2011
Earlier today, the Galleon insider-trading case went to the jury. I see little hope that Raj Rajaratnam will be declared innocent. But we shall find out soon enough.
I thought it interesting, though, to reflect that in the year Rajaratnam was born (ca. 1957, the year Atlas Shrugged was published), federal prosecution for insider trading essentially did not exist. It is an economic “crime” that the SEC has basically created out of whole cloth in the last fifty years.
I know that some libertarians have taken to declaring that, despite the postwar rise in economic regulations, we are freer today than in decades past, because of the success of certain Progressivist causes. Personally I disagree, and that for many reasons. But principally I disagree because I share the Anglo-American belief that economic freedom is the central freedom, without which all our "self-realizational" freedoms are just so much bread and circuses.