Re: The Myth About the High Cost of Regulations
My apologies for the 'cherry picking', but I don't have time for a lengthy post and I wanted to make a couple of comments in response.
I'm not sure I see any sense in focusing on the cost. If a law is necessary to protect our rights it shouldn't matter (within reason) how expensive it is.
Originally Posted by jpn
Right. And that's pretty much where things start to go wrong. We don't enter into lengthy negotiations with hitmen when formulating laws against murder. Neither should we 'negotiate' with polluters or anyone else who will be effected by laws Congress writes to protect us.
For some 200 years, it's been the practice of Congress to enact laws, like the Clean Air Act. The executive branch then enters into often lengthy negotiation with stakeholders and formulates the actual, detailed regulations.
When this happens, it should be a glaring sign that Congress is trying to do something it shouldn't.
Congress delegates this responsibility because it has neither the time nor the expertise to develop the rules, or the machinery and manpower to enforce them.
Exactly. The problem is government collusion with corporations. The ugly bit is that's why so much of the regulatory regime gained traction in the first place - politicians looking to expand their power and business eager to use their influence with government to gain advantage.
Originally Posted by timj219
My concern with the 'cost' of regulations isn't about how much they cost taxpayers, or their affect on the economy necessarily - but with the freedom that we all lose when they are implemented. What usually distinguishes 'regulations' from ordinary laws is the focus on imposing standard behaviors - usually on some isolated set of players (business or industry). We generally don't think of how they will affect the rest of us. The irony is, they often end up impacting us far more than normal criminal laws.
Criminal laws generally identify some specific behavior that is deemed harmful, or too dangerous to allow. Regulations, on the other hand, in seeking to establish "standards", tend to specify a narrow set of acceptable behavior and outlaw everything else. So, we might see a law that dictates some licensing scheme for a profession, and think that it will be a good thing because it will provide us some dependable quality of service. But are we really understanding that we've essentially criminalized everything that doesn't fit into those standards? No matter how harmless or even worthwhile those non-standard services might be? Do we realize that regulations often do far more to regulate consumers than they do to regulate business?
Hopefully I can drop in on this later. Again, good thread. Thanks to everyone who's contributing.
"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort." -- Robert E. Heinlein