Matthew Yglesias at work.
Because Matthew Yglesias is a soulless, calculating, automaton and fake journalist hack, he wrote a post arguing for less government transparency. Because Megan McArdle is a soulless, calculating automaton and fake journalist hack, she wrote a post complaining that if the government gets to avoid transparency, so should businesses.
The money shot:
Moreover, customers also have a voice in how businesses run, because they can move to a competitor if they don’t like your performance. Arguably, this gives them more control over businesses they deal with than over their elected officials, which is why you get better customer service from your cell phone company than from your local purveyor of building codes. Why, then, should I have a right to know not only what options Goldman Sachs sold me, but what they thought of them, if similar government deliberations are shielded from view?
We want to see the internal deliberations of Goldman Sachs because that protects us against fraud. But consider how you’d feel about a presidential administration that sold its new health-care overhaul by saying, “If you like your plan you can keep it,” and then later discovered that this was untrue. Then consider how you’d feel if its leaders knew that this promise was false and made it anyway. Even a well-run administration will make honest mistakes. But an administration that lies about one policy proposal will probably lie about them all, and you’ll want to adjust your faith in its promises accordingly. Which means you have a stake in knowing, not just what happened, but the internal process that led to that promise.Goldman, Sachs sold bad mortgages and then bet against them. McArdle doesn't want you to know that second part. Of course this lucrative deceit has nothing to do with Obama's predictions for Obamacare, all of which suffered from constant Republican undermining and the need to get the approval of the medical field and drug companies.
This is what passes for clever in McArdle's eyes.