The Gross National Debt

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In search of more government regulation

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Hang on. I'm serious here.

Yes. I am calling for government regulation. Pick yourself up off the floor. I'll wait.
Where do you fall?

While I am ALL about personal responsibility and personal accountability, I do think some government regulation is necessary. As much as I abhor zoning laws, I do think they are necessary. If you don't, I'm coming to where you live and set up a swine production and slaughtering facility next to you.

I firmly believe we have too much regulation of business and industry these days. There are far too many licensing boards running around.

People should take the time to understand what they are about to do. They should invest in some research. They should LEARN.

Call it Due Diligence.


The flip side of this means people can get buried in minutiae.

Going to a doctor? Without a licensing board and regulations, anyone can hang a shingle and claim to be an MD. A person CAN check claims than someone is a health care provider. Call the college the person attended. Find out what their degree was and their GPA.

But then you must find out if the college is actually a reputable med school. What does the GPA actually mean? What courses were taken?

See what I mean? You can quickly be buried by an avalanche of information that only leads to a need to gather MORE information.

Eventually charlatans will be exposed, yes, but how long will that take?

If it's an emergency situation, you don't have time to run a background check to see if the doctor is qualified.


Sooner or later you will have to trust someone. In the above case of the doctor, unless you want to attend the same med school, take the same courses and training, you are going to have to trust someone's opinion of the school et al.

At this point someone will mention the idea of self-policing. That's a wonderful idea. It works, in a utopia. But I live in this place called reality where self-policing is another way to describe ripping people off in the guise of doing what's right.

With all that in mind, I remind you of the recent economic catastrophe and the financial collapse.

I do not blame big finance for everything. I put a lot of the blame on stupid people who didn't bother to do Due Diligence.

This is where self-policing comes in. Rather than do what is right, big finance attempted to make a quick and big profit by going after people too stupid to do Due Diligence.

So I bring you now to The Volker Rule. This is a massively complicated rule. The story does a fair to middlin' job of reducing it to something comprehensible.. I'll simplify a bit further.

The Volker Rule will limit how banks can invest money. Banks won't be able to invest in uber-high risk stuff.

I hate the idea that government is stepping in to regulate finance even more. But I just can't find a more reasonable and viable alternative that won't lead to an even greater financial collapse. Not saying one doesn't exist. Saying I can't find it.

Such are the compromises of living without rose colored glasses.

1 comment:

  1. It isn't regulation so much as enforcement. You don't need to cover the minutiae if you've covered the big picture in such a way as to make the average pedestrian think hard and twice about doing something out of the ordinary. I believe the problem is in not enforcing or selectively enforcing the laws we already have, leading some to think that maybe they will be one of the ones to skate, as it were.

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