Let's re-Think Government Regulation

Let's re-Think Government Regulation

Scott Karlo
on Nov 19, 2012

This conversation springboards from the blog post located here(http://theciviccommons.com/blog/government-regulation-to-the-rescue) that looks at government regulation and how it protected the very bird that symbolizes our freedom.

Participants (4)

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2014-08-30T00:08:34+00:00
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Yulu Li
on Nov 26, 2012
"Rachel, I quite agree with you about the idea that regulation is the way to deal with the..."
Rachel Baird
on Nov 25, 2012
"I agree with you that the term "regulation" has become politically charged and polarized in a way..."
Yulu Li
on Nov 25, 2012
"I agree with you. in the public sector, efficiency wouldn't be the only concern. besides, I would..."
Mark Mizak
on Nov 20, 2012
"I  believe you are correct but the criteria should be appropriate and effective regulation.  It..."

Scott Karlo

Scott Karlo - 2014-08-30T00:08:34+00:00 - "This conversation springboards from the blog post located..."

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Scott Karlo
on Nov 19, 2012
"In my Bald Eagle blog, I wrote, "Today I hear people refer to scientists as “stupid” for their..."
Yulu Li
on Nov 26, 2012 - 2:30 pm

Rachel, I quite agree with you about the idea that regulation is the way to deal with the conflict between personal interests and public profits. I think it’s like a public good, there must be someone who pays for it, while some others benefit from it. When regulation brings back the bald eagle, there must be some party’s interests that have been harmed because of it. It also has free riders, that most people would just enjoy the benefit of better environment.

However, I think the biggest issue as we discussed is whether should one agency make a “law” as well as implement it. Maybe it’s better for EPA to act as a supervisor rather than a law-maker. But on the other side, regulations are very close to being laws in all but the name. It means the EPA will have a better understanding on the regulation, and based on what they expected and really got, they can easily change the regulation and adjust them because the environment is changeable.

Back to my argument, I think it’s difficult to define “effective regulation” because it likely depends on what you are focusing on (E.g. the regulation on air pollution). Is it an effective regulation if it causes less pollution but it is more expensive and is detrimental to the industry, or it is more effective if the industry could keep lower costs? We also need to think about which benchmark should be used to measure productivity. We need to keep in mind if we use the data of previous years that things change over time. If we use the data of other states or countries we need to account for the fact that things also differ from place to place.

 
Scott Karlo
on Nov 19, 2012 - 9:48 pm

In my Bald Eagle blog, I wrote, "Today I hear people refer to scientists as “stupid” for their beliefs on global warming. I hear people argue about the clean air act and other restrictions enforced by the EPA. I hear other heated arguments fighting government regulations. Once again most of these arguments are aimed at somehow preserving profits. Often times the people fighting this cause are standing by the word “Freedom” as part of their battle cry. In some cases the Bald Eagle is even a part of their message. I wonder if they ever connect the dots between their freedom and the preservation of that awesome bird?"

 

Is it possible we're blinded by the polarized sides within our country and political parties, that instead of fighting for or against regulation, we ought to be evaluating where regulation worked? Does it make sense to remove the phrases "more regulation" or "less regulation" from the arguments and replace them with "effective regulation?"  If we began using that one simple phrase, would it get more people to the table and participating in productive conversations?

 

 

 

Responses(3)

Mark Mizak
on Nov 20, 2012

I  believe you are correct but the criteria should be appropriate and effective regulation.  It is not just if it is effective that matters.  Consideration should also be given as to whether or not it is constitutional and if it fits within the political philosphy of the country, assuming we still have one.

The EPA is a problem for me.  Not because I think it is not needed, but because it is so blatently at odds with our system.  The EPA is an executive branch agency that writes law.  This is wrong.  it enforces the law it writes, this though the purview of the executive branch is wrong because no party should both write and enforce those self same laws.  And it adjudicates whether you have broken their rules, at least at first and unless you force them into a higher court.  In so many way this is anathame to what our country is all about.

There is also the consideration as to the overreach of the EPA into matters that should be the concern of individual states.

As an adult leader of the Boy Scouts of America, I am delighted in the resurgence of the bald eagle and other wildlife in our region.  But that in and of itself is not sufficient for me to look the other way when the federal government overreaches.  The end does not justify the means, in this case or ever.

 
Yulu Li
on Nov 25, 2012

I agree with you. in the public sector, efficiency wouldn't be the only concern. besides, I would simply argue that what is the standard of "efficiency" here? Which measure method should be used? Which party should be the supervisor? And which one should be used as benchmark? The "efficiency" varies on different cases. How could we measure it efficiently? 

 
Rachel Baird
on Nov 25, 2012

I agree with you that the term "regulation" has become politically charged and polarized in a way that has clouded its actual meaning. Ditto the term "global warming." The logical discussion that the gradual raising of the earth's temperature is negatively affecting humanity--all of us--has been clouded over by ideologies. As you said, despite many claims to the contrary, most arguments against global warming and its possible solutions can be traced directly back to profit. In my opinion, the opposition between personal interests (profit and otherwise) and the public interest is the purpose of regulations, to keep personal gain from over-riding collective well-being.

Your idea about evaluating regulations for their effectiveness is a good one. It would have to be done in a scientific manner--proposing a regulation would be like proposing a theory, and supporting your logical reasons as to why it would have a positive outcome. On the back end, regulations could be evaluated as to what they ended up accomplishing. It seems to me that people forget that regulations, like taxes and other things that are often portrayed in a negative light, exist to give something to them. Sometimes that thing is tangible, like nesting bald eagles, and sometimes it's intangible, like air and drinking water that are less likely to cause cancer, but they exist to provide a public benefit. As part of the public, it's our job to ensure that the benefit is recieved and carried out in the best way possible.

 
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