The Problems with Regulations

Why do we keep getting more and more regulations aka restrictions imposed upon us, and why are they very difficult to remove and how they restrict human progress?

The problems with regulations.

The Purpose of Regulations?

On the surface, regulations seem like a good thing, and sometimes they are. Regulations can help to impose order on chaos.

However, too many regulations, or to over-regulate is to limit growth or progression. They can add unnecessary expense, paper work, slow down progression or advancement, and perhaps prevent progression completely. Many professions, such as teachers, now get given more and more paper work to complete. This obviously takes time away from actual teaching. How much of this extra paperwork is actually beneficial to the job and the students, and how much in unnecessary nonsense? My bet would be, mostly the latter.

More regulations tend to get added over time, and usually without removing past regulations. Therefore, they end up accumulating and they become entangled in a net of restriction and limition.

Regulations are notoriously difficult to remove. In fact, only major and catastrophic events such as wars have been known to reliably remove a lot of these regulations. One reason why they are difficult to remove is because the regulators themselves are afraid of making a change, or removing a regulation, because if something bad happens due to their action, they will likely lose their job.

How to determine whether a regulation is beneficial or not? This can be easy to determine, or not so easy, depending on various factors. The simple act of creating a regulation may give the illusion of progression, or of doing something good. This is perhaps an example of confusing movement with progress. If there is a negative outcome due to a new regulation being imposed, the negative effects are not likely to show themselves in the short term. Plus, when you have layers of entangled regulations, the problematic ones will be more difficult to pinpoint.

Elon Musk has stated that some of the problems he is having with the Starship SpaceX program, basically slowing down progress, is dealing with regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Many regulators are also disconnected from the industries from which they impose regulations on. This often means that they don’t understand the sector, and they are not interested in progress. They simply wish to make it seem like they are doing their job. So, they just slap on more regulations in order to make it seem like they are doing something.

Final Comments

While regulations can create order out of chaos, too much order via rules becomes restrictive, slow to change and adapt. At a governmental level, too much order is the result of authoritarian governments. These governments also impose new rules and regulations with the intention of restricting their populations, basically to maintain their control and power.  

Too much order strangles or bottlenecks creativity, growth, and progression.

Similar Posts