In light of the controversies surrounding two recent nominees to the SEC's paths in and out of government, I've got a piece in the NY Times/Dealbook making the case for the revolving door. Here's a taste:
the revolving door has some advantages. It may improve the caliber of applicants for government jobs, for example. It probably incentivizes them to perform well in those jobs to show off to future employers. It means that law enforcement officials have some first-hand knowledge of how the industry they regulate works. And it can salt the private sector with government alumni who have come to expect compliance with government requirements.
Moreover, there are democratic reasons to embrace a regular rotation of citizens through government positions, principles that should be familiar to any politician who has praised a part-time legislature. Banning the revolving door, by the same token, would prevent people from working for whom they choose, which is inconsistent with the strong American commitment to free labor, and may even have constitutional implications.
Love to hear your thoughts, either over here or over there.
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