Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hear, hear …

… When Humans Lose Control of Government - The Atlantic

Modern government is organized on “clear law,” the false premise that by making laws detailed enough to take in all possible circumstances, we can avoid human error. And so over the last few decades, law has gotten ever more granular. But all that regulatory detail, like sediment in a harbor, makes it hard to get anywhere. The 1956 Interstate Highway Act was 29 pages and succeeded in getting 41,000 miles of roads built by 1970. The 2012 transportation bill was 584 pages, and years will pass before workers can start fixing many of those same roads. Health-care regulators have devised 140,000 reimbursement categories for Medicare—including 12 categories for bee stings and 21 categories for “spacecraft accidents.” This is the tip of a bureaucratic iceberg—administration consumes 30 percent of health-care costs.
There used to be a cartoon in the Sunday papers called "There Oughta Be a Law." Actually, nearly always, there ought not to be. A healthy society is one with few, clearly expressed, widely promulgated laws. As has been pointed out by others, the good Lord Himself managed to get by with a mere 10. The ludicrously detailed laws we suffer under today are make-work for lawyers. We no longer have government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We have government of the lawyers, by the lawyers, and for the lawyers. Which is why I think lawyers should be banned from holding office and the Supreme Court should have at least one non-lawyer on it to remind his colleagues from time to time about common sense. 

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