Friday, July 16, 2010

Regulation Without Representation

I have a beef with regulation.

And it has nothing to do with thinking that there shouldn't be limits on what we can or can't do in America. Some limits that don't infringe upon our rights are needed to protect those rights.

My current beef is that some regulation is passed by a representative and some regulation is mandated by a bureaucrat. One of those shouldn't happen at all.

I also think that 99.9% of our regulation is garbage, but that is a whole ‘nother post.

I am of the strong belief that a government agency's responsibility is to enforce law not create it. We vote in lawmakers to do that.

When power is 'given' to an agency to create law, laws are being created without representation.

I may be treading on thin ice here, but it seems that regulatory agencies are sliding down greasy slopes. The more we create agencies to regulate and the more we give agencies to regulate, the more we are taking power from the people and the representatives that represent them.

With the new banking and consumer protection bill, a new agency will be created with new powers to regulate and create regulation. These will in effect be new laws that financial institutions and merchants will have to adhere to. They will not have been created by your representative. (And they’ll be most menos eficaz.)

I don't know why, but the more I think about regulation the more I'm irritated with regulation.


NoSurfGirl said...

Lol. You've opened up a can o' worms! But not from me, because I understand your viewpoint, though I don't necessarily exactly agree with it. My husband is basically a libertarian, though he doesn't like to label himself politically, so ANY regulation is bad, in his opinion (here I am speaking for him... anyway). He believes that the constitution in it's original simplicity is enough regulation and that the rest should be left to the states, through the medium of representation, as you described.

I believe there are some things that have to be laid out by higher authority. In the same way that the Fed needs to regulate road building, commerce, etc (because we have to travel between states and people buy from other states, too) the Fed also needs to protect the consumer from those who are greedy, consciousless, and "hidden" by many layres of management. And by hidden I mean, not just the people at the bottom, who have no idea why they're being gyped, but also the people at the top, who have absolutely no moral or emotional connection with those at the bottom and therefore, no real sense of sympathy, really.

I'm not saying all businesses are like that. I'm not even saying that most are, but there are a few. And I think that consumer spending did lead in a huge way to our current financial collapse but I also think that speculators knowingly caused it... they knew what would happen to a huge number of people, but they did what they did anyway because it was more important to them to make a huge amount of cash.

Having said that, I agree that it's not up to our president to come down on these insitutions or enact laws. I guess my question is, is he? Or is he just letting our lawmaking bodies know what he feels needs to happen? If he made a law all by himself without our legislative branches passing it through the normal chain of legislature, how would he enforce it? With the SSI? The Army?

I might be wrong. I'd love to know more, actually... tell me what you think about what I have written :)

NoSurfGirl said...

OK, I was tired... and now I see a little bit more where you're going with this. IT's the voting in of a new regulatory agency you have a problem with.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll have to go read up and do some more research to see whatall's involved... does the body have to be congressmen and senators, for instance? Because if it is, people can still vote out members of the regulatory board if they don't like what they're doing.


Josh said...

I should probably do another post about how I feel about regulation in general, which I think isn't too far from your husband's view. Although there are probably still some differences. I guess I'm becoming more libertarian in some things as time goes on.

So about regulatory agencies (I am rusty on the specifics), they report to either the president or the congress depending on how it was created or sanctioned by the congress. Usually they are placed within the executive branch.

Regulatory agencies create regulations, which become laws. These laws are made within the limits imposed upon it by congress. If the rule-laws created by this agency are found to be outside its bounds the rule-laws can be repealed. Depending on the agency and its limits, these laws can vary in impact and power.

The primary argument for having these agencies is that it allows "specialists" to impose rules to control something that congress may know little about.

Those that run these agencies are not elected officials. They are appointed or hired depending on the position within the agency.

So my "beef" is that we keep creating these agencies that we are told, or say, we need, and by doing so more rules, which become laws, are being created by individuals NOT voted into office.

Now in general I think regulatory agencies are the lazy way congress tries to fix a problem instead of trying to create laws that can work as a deterrent or at least a form of justice to those that harm others.

A possible solution that I would like is that instead of creating regulatory agencies, the representatives should work with experts to create laws. Laws voted upon BY congress. They can create agencies to enforce laws, but never to create them. At least for now I think never is the right word. I don’t like someone besides elected officials making rules that become laws.

Josh said...

PS. NoSurf, I'm excited to see your future comments on this blog. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say.javascript:void(0)

NoSurfGirl said...

OK... THAT I fully agree with. I don't know what that makes me politically... but I have learned not to care :)

BTW the word I had to type in to verify this comment was "bride."

Which is really weird. How do they come up with words for verification? They can't just use an english dictionary... otherwise some of the words would be multisyllabic and obscure.

Josh said...

Your last question is becoming one of those eternal questions. I have no idea. Sometimes they are actual words and sometimes they are complete nonsense.

Many times reading them can be a pain.