The Problem of Regulation

I came across this article and it generated some thoughts about the subject of rules, regulations, and laws. I feel better knowing that we have finally recognized the inherent dangers of parrots and burning water skis. Maybe there should be a law against stupid. I plan to post some more thoughts about living by the rules. My Pew Note post today is relevant to the subject. “If every command is equal to another, life is consumed in rule keeping.”

Governments of both parties keep adding stacks of rules, few of which are ever rescinded. Republicans write rules to thwart terrorists, which make flying in America an ordeal and prompt legions of brainy migrants to move to Canada instead. Democrats write rules to expand the welfare state. Barack Obama’s health-care reform of 2010 had many virtues, especially its attempt to make health insurance universal. But it does little to reduce the system’s staggering and increasing complexity. Every hour spent treating a patient in America creates at least 30 minutes of paperwork, and often a whole hour. Next year the number of federally mandated categories of illness and injury for which hospitals may claim reimbursement will rise from 18,000 to 140,000. There are nine codes relating to injuries caused by parrots, and three relating to burns from flaming water-skis.

Over-regulated America: The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation

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