Baptists, bootleggers and global warming

Baptists, bootleggers and global warming

Murray Letter to the Editor in The Guardian
September 22, 2005

George Monbiot expresses surprise and delight that big corporations would request regulation (Comment, September 20) . Monbiot has obviously not read enough in the field of regulatory economics, else he would have come across Professor Bruce Yandle's theory of "bootleggers and Baptists". As Professor Yandle pointed out in 1983, Baptists support the banning of alcohol sales for moral reasons; bootleggers support alcohol bans for very different reasons, and are therefore likely to back the Baptists in their efforts. To Monbiot, the ultimate Baptist, a regulation banning alcohol sales would be "making a market" for the bootleggers. The public has fended off this alliance in the alcohol market to its benefit. It should come as no surprise that the government is defending the public from this unholy alliance in the environmental field also.