In Unchecked and Unbalanced, Arnold Kling provides a blueprint for those who are skeptical of political and financial elitism. At the heart of Kling's argument is the growing discrepancy between two phenomena: knowledge is becoming more diffuse, while political power is becoming more concentrated. Kling sees this knowledge/power discrepancy at the heart of the financial crisis of 2008. Financial industry executives and regulatory officials lacked the ability to fathom the complexity of the system that had emerged. And, in response, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, said that they required still more power, including $700 billion to purchase "toxic assets" from banks. Kling warns that increased concentration of power is a problem, not a panacea, for our modern world and suggests reforms designed to curb the growth of government and allow citizens greater control over the allocation of public goods. Published in cooperation with the Hoover Institution
This is essential reading on the political dangers facing us today and the risk of excess centralization. Arnold Kling is one of my favorite commentators.
If it seems to you as if politicians and government officials are getting dumber, Arnold Kling has the explanation: As their power grows, they know less of what they need to know to exercise it wisely. Kling offers a remedy that is likely to arouse interest in the electorate, and apprehension in officialdom.
Spring 2011 Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy
Unchecked and Unbalanced is an interesting book….The questions Kling asks are not always the ones I would have asked, but they are thought provoking nonetheless.
Chapter 1 Contents Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Chapter 1: The Financial Crisis of 2008 Chapter 4 Chapter 2: The Discrepancy Between Knowledge and Power Chapter 5 Chapter 3: Mechanisms for Decentralizing Power Chapter 6 Conclusion Chapter 7 Acknowledgements Chapter 8 Index