Random thoughts on high oil prices

Hi all,

[seamus said...]

Standard-setting is required to make markets work. Standard-setting is why Europe and much of Asia are years ahead of us in mobile/wireless technology distribution.


I started to compose a response, and then saw Derek had done so; more eloquent than mine. However, I would like to make a point that he didn't...

There is fundamentally a difference between setting technological standards, such as in the mobile/wireless example, that help provide interoperability, economies of scale for component suppliers, plus other advantages, and regulations, such as minimum fuel efficiency rules, imposed by the government. The post conflates the two.

Being on technical standards committees in my industry, I can attest that this is normally (thankfully) done in the private sector. Compliance to the resulting standards is voluntary. Both buyers and sellers benefit.

Regulations, on the other hand, coercively restrict the market, hurting both buyers and sellers.