Thursday, November 06, 2008

You Can't Rely on Regulation

In our society we have become a people who love law and regulation. We have this mythical notion that if the government can pass the right laws then we will not have to worry about bad things happening. What happens is that we become so trusting of law and government protection that we are lulled to sleep. We don't consider what the real situation is because the government has it all under control.

Congressman Ron Paul has an article up at LewRockwell.com that deals with this point. It most deals with regulation in the financial sector, but he also provides this as an illustration:
It is much the same in any area rife with government involvement. Many feel that just because their children are getting good grades at a government school, they are getting a good education. After all, they are passing the government-mandated litmus test. But, this does not guarantee educational excellence. Neither is it always the case that a child who does NOT achieve good marks in school is going to be unsuccessful in life. Is your drinking water safe, just because the government says it is? Is the internet going to magically become safer for your children if the government approves regulations on it? I would caution any parent against believing this would be the case. Nothing should take the place of your own common sense and due diligence.
Go and read Congressman Paul's The Moral Hazard of Regulation.

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