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“Regulation for thee but not for me”

Urbanist Aaron Renn recently published an interesting article in City Journal called “Libertarians of Convenience”. It talks about how today’s urban progressives are selectively favoring deregulation for the things that only matter to them – everything from urban housing to food trucks.

Here’s a snippet:

But it’s hard to avoid thinking, too, that some of the inconsistency reflects elite biases. The things that liberal-minded city residents like and want to do—eat from hip food trucks, smoke dope, and other “bourgeois bohemian” pursuits—should be left as free as possible, consequences be damned (raw-milk advocates downplay the nearly 1,000 cases of illnesses caused by it from 2007 through 2012). Those that they consider déclassé—Big Gulps, Marlboro Lights, McDonalds—should be restricted or even shut down. It’s regulation for thee but not for me.

I like his angle, because we’re probably all – at least a little – guilty of subjectively wanting more of the things we like and less of the things we don’t like.

What do you think of his argument?

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