Earlier today I was writing a piece about Randy Brock’s advocacy of captive-insurer regulation as a model for boosting the Vermont economy. When I was just about done writing, I came across a rather startling statement by Phil Scott, the putatively moderate Republican candidate for governor. I added it to the post, but I think it deserves fuller exploration on its own.
Brock, for those just joining us, would like to open the door to new niche markets by offering a “friendly” regulatory climate, as Vermont has done with the captive insurance industry. And South Dakota has with credit cards, and Delaware with corporate registration, and Liberia with flags of convenience.
Well, in a statement that escaped any scrutiny at the time, Phil Scott called for an across-the-board deregulatory scheme that would open all businesses to the same kind of friendly regulation as the captive insurance industry.
The occasion was Scott’s webcast following Governor Shumlin’s State of the State address. That’s the one made infamous by Scott’s odd wavering from side to side, and the fact that he was just a little bit too close to the camera for the viewer’s comfort.
Maybe that distracted us from the substance, but here’s the key passage.
The state has enjoyed significant benefits from the renewable energy industry and captive insurance, he said. “Imagine if we had a governor’s office that treated every sector in the same way,” Scott said.
Does he really mean that? Because if he does, he is staking out a remarkably radical position.