The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (2011 Budget – $534M – prox 1,400 employees)

“SABIT: Promoting Partnerships, Generating Results

The emerging markets of Eurasia present unique opportunities for U.S. companies and Eurasian economies alike. The Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program builds partnerships and provides technical assistance by training Eurasian business leaders in U.S. business practices. These training programs directly support Eurasian economic and civil society development by encouraging market-based reforms (emphasis is mine), while generating valuable export and investment opportunities for U.S. industry.”

My understanding of “Market-Based Reforms” is that they are societal changes made based on markets.  My definition of markets is –  the free interaction of people buying and selling goods and services and pricing both based on the balance of supply and demand.  Therefore, market-based reforms would be societal change based on supply and demand.  Here is an example of a ‘market-based reform:’  The supply of telecommunications opportunities (telephone, text messaging, email, etc.) has grown so large that the price is driven very low compared to alternatives for communication. This low cost method of communication is such that society reforms or changes so that people spend more of their communication time remote from each other communicating electronically than sitting face-to-face talking.  The consequences of such reform or change range from less personal touch in communication to an increase in the flow of trivial (non-meaningful) information.

So, the U.S. Government is spending a significant amount of money helping ‘Eurasian Business Leaders’ ‘develop’ their societies using best U.S. ‘market-based’ business practices.  We assume this is meant to develop for good, not to develop for bad purposes – in this case to make them wealthy enough to buy U.S. goods and services.


Now Consider:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (2011 Budget – $8.682B – 17,350 employees)

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the annual codification of the final rules published in the Federal Register. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad subject areas. Title 3 of the CFR contains presidential proclamations, executive orders, and other presidential documents that are required to be published in the Federal Register. (Sometimes the U.S. Code title and the CFR title that covers the same subject matter match, but often they do not. For instance, tax laws are in title 26 of both USC and CFR; environmental materials are found in Title 40 of CFR, but in various titles of USC.) Each title is revised once a year officially and the cover of each print booklet indicates the date of last revision. Electronic versions are updated more frequently, as described below.

CFR Title 40 – Protection of Environment –  this and the various U.S.Code Titles are the implementation of Federal laws to regulate (my emphasis) our environment.   There have been 509 updates to CFR Title 40 since the inception of the EPA in 1970.

To my knowledge, none of these thousands of pages of regulations are market-based reforms.  They have, however done a great deal to ‘reform’ or change society.  Do we then assume that this massive not-market-based reform or change is learned from Eurasian countries who do not understand market-based reforms – in this case to make us poor enough to need to have Eurasians produce all of our goods and services for us and eventually control us?  Reminds me of a government that warns us not to feed the animals because it will make them dependent while it feeds the poor to make them independent (?).