Blog Post #1:  Getting Real with Ridiculous Regulations

By: Jenni Pant

March 2014

As the title already forewarned, I will be writing about the exciting world of regulations and compliance issues.  Now, before you stop reading or fall asleep, let me tell you this:  there are over 18,000 administrative rules and regulations in Michigan.  The U.S. Federal Register is now over 80,000 pages long (compared to the first published register in 1935 which was 11 pages long), and the Code of Federal Regulations is almost 170,000 pages long.  If you can tell me that each and every one of these rules and regulations serve a constitutionally laid out purpose, or any reasonable purpose whatsoever, I will eat my shirt.

Now, for my first blog post, I think we need to get back to basics before we really dive in, and ask questions.

My first basic question:  What is a regulation?  According to much in-depth research, Google came up with the following definition:

reg·u·la·tion

 

ˌreg(y)əˈlāSHən/

 

noun

1.a rule or directive made and maintained by an authority.

“planning regulations”

Synonyms:  rule, ruling, order, directive, act, law, bylaw, statute, edict, canon, pronouncement, dictate, dictum, decree, flat, command, precept

2.the action or process of regulating or being regulated.

“the regulation of financial markets”

Synonyms:  adjustment, control, management, balancing

So, in essence, we give certain people authority over us to be able to tell us what we can do and what we cannot do.

Next, WHY do we have regulations?

I think my buddy T. Jefferson said it best, “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

All in all, we have regulations to protect ourselves from…other people and ourselves.

My last question:  What happens when our elected authorities lose sight of the What and Why, and regulations get out of hand?

I do not think you have to look too far to know what happens.  Government gets ridiculous and out of control.  We’ve got a government that tells us what foods we can eat, what medicines to take, how and where we can get healthcare (though not equally enforced), what light bulbs to use, what cars to drive, what we can or cannot put on our own property…and the list goes on.

Now that we’ve gone over the What, the Why, and the repercussions of when we lose sight of What and Why, I think we have set the stage to take a further in-depth look at real regulations affecting real lives.  Stay tuned for my next post.  I will bring you real life stories of regulations gone out of control!

I will leave you with one final thought:  Do not be afraid to ask questions.

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

-Benjamin Franklin