Borders tackles overregulation

The latest Ideas Matter update from Max Borders features a discussion about the problems associated with government overregulation.

Regulation costs Americans more than a trillion and a half dollars. “But, but –” say the advocates of regulation, “without them we’d all get sick or injured or die!”

Well, some regulations are about protecting health and safety, but many are just rackets concocted by special interests groups to make money — as we see in the video. … In fact, I’d argue that most regulations are special interest schemes (even the ones designed to ensure health and safety).

Most regulations are completely unnecessary in the following sense: they are based on the idea of “prior restraint,” which, according to Tibor Machan, is a means of circumventing the rule of law:

This legal concept is usually associated with slapping restrictions on those engaged in writing for newspapers before it has been shown that their writing will do violence to innocent people and is considered unjust. Similarly, government regulations impose controls on how people conduct themselves before anyone has been harmed, hurt, imposed upon or the like. Government regulations are, in other words, precautionary and escape the restraint of due process of law.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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