Max Borders on Regulation (Response)

The general theme of Mr. Border’s video on the growth of a new “Regulatory State,” gives me reason for concern. Unfortunately, Mr. Border tries to tie his personal experience with selling barbeque sauce, with special interests who are working to increase regulation for their big corporate clients. I think that it is important to split these two streams of thought.

At the local level, there needs to be a standard level of regulation to protect citizens from people, companies, and/or products, especially food products, which do not have safety as their number one concern. I have not heard many complaints about health inspectors “blocking” entrepreneurs’ dreams by requiring that they have the minimum level of standards in place and documents signed. This would be similar to the home child care entrepreneur who complains about the state requiring that she be properly licensed before accepting kids into her home. There is a real-world example of this “failure of compliance” occurring in Houston right now where four kids were killed in a fire by a loosely regulated care giver. Should the state have given her more freedom to “create wealth” for her family? Should she be applauded for starting a business and not collecting a welfare check? Absolutely not.

On the national front, there is not a Fortune 500 CEO who has honestly and publically defended more regulation for regulation sake. Regardless of how it erects barriers to entry for the little guys, they do not support increased regulation of any industry in which they stand to make a profit in. The proof is in the millions of dollars spent on lobbyists by big corporations to shape bills (i.e. curb regulation) to their liking. When a CEO does appear to side with the Government on a particular piece of legislation, it is usually because they have found a loophole and they plan to exploit it. They have little concern about a guy making sauce in his kitchen and how they are going to thwart his plans to feed his family.

As far a “something big happening in the media” goes, increased regulation is a byproduct of private industry not policing themselves. Whether it’s financial CEOs who bilk the country for billions and walk away with golden parachutes; or a large volume OTC pain medicine that increases the risk of stroke and heart disease; when companies have not put in place adequate systems in place to protect consumers, the Government must step in.

In conclusion, while I agree that in some industries, the pendulum has swung too far in the area of regulation, we should not be so rash to confuse basic protection with excessive legislation. Regulation also protects the legitimate business who took the time to get licensed and inspected before selling a product to the consumer. Those that do not comply “in protest” are not only breaking the law they are turning their backs on everything that America stands for.

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