I was meeting with a group of companies last week who were discussing the application of a particular government regulation. The topics were what can be done to ameliorate the application of this regulation, what is its justification and how much compliance costs.
As far as I could discern, the regulation has nothing to do with any critical government objective. It did not affect health, safely, or welfare. It did not concern the environment, national defense, justice, education, or any our social ills. It did not create any jobs or economic opportunity. It really had no purpose other than it was a government edict that cost this particular industry hundred of thousands of hours to compile the information at a cost of millions of dollars a year.
Leaving the meeting, I wondered how did we let this nonsense happen to all of us? Who comes up with this kind of stuff? What happened to common sense?
The terms of “government overreach” “burdensome regulation’ and “job killing” are all used in the political lexicon. Sometimes that is just rhetoric but in many cases it is true. How much is enough? When does the reasonable turn to unreasonable and when the unreasonable and purposeless happens what can be done? The answer is that it happens all the time and there is little that can be done about it.
The discourse, violence and protest in Baltimore show a lot of things and one of those is the need for a growing economy, existence of viable jobs. In spite of the redistribution of wealth mantra and philosophy of channeling more money to the government in taxes, the country needs to have have private businesses employ our citizens, to innovated and to move society ahead. The yoke of useless regulation will continue to burden the system.
It is worth asking the question. Of course, there is a need for independent regulation to prevent the vagaries and excesses of the free market. Adam Smith would agree on that notion, but there is a limit. We passed the limit long ago and government issues hundreds of new regulations every day. The noose is around the neck and we are enduring the consequences of the monster and faceless (even well-meaning) government actions.