Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Can We Start A Meme?

It's no secret that I think that one of the biggest problems we have is the over-regulation of everything.  I've been thinking that it's possible the first step could be pretty easy.

A Sunset Law.

A sunset provision adds an expiration date to every law that passes, a "use by" limit.  It could prevent the law books from becoming congested with meaningless crap that never should have passed in the first place (in Florida, it's illegal to have sex with a porcupine), and it could get rid of laws that are plainly obsolete (in Arkansas, it's illegal to walk your cow down Main Street after 1PM on Sundays).

OK, we laugh at these things; I deliberately chose goofy examples.  But I have no doubt that with a CFR that goes tens of thousands of pages, there are plenty of regulations that can be gotten rid of. 

They say the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.  That's stopping the addition of more insane laws and regulations.  The next stop is to start trimming back the laws and regulations. 

Because just as surely as we need to cut back federal spending by 40%, we need to cut the CFR by 75% or more.  If there are less regulations, there's less need for enforcers.  And less need for unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats as our overlords. 
No...wait....not that kind of sunset...


  1. IMO, we should start again, from a clean slate... with the twin concepts of

    "Do no harm; and cause no loss." These are the essence of all criminal and contract law.

    Strange thing about the LAW which emanates from Parliament... when you peer at it, you find that it is mostly concerned with creating loopholes by which favoured groups can avoid complying with those basics of "Do no harm and Cause no loss." The LAW, as devised by Parliament, can make murder and theft legal, whilst at the same time making self-defence a crime.

    Plenty of lamp-posts in Westminster; we should be using 'em more creatively.


  2. Interestingly enough, I was just pontificating on this exact subject to my co-workers yesterday afternoon. You didn't happen to be in Stillwater, Oklahoma yesterday by any chance did you?


  3. Oklahoma is still on my "visit someday list". My wife and I are trying to visit all 50 states, and take a hike in every one.

    Bogbeagle - apparently from Sarah Brady paradise - that is an excellent starting point. "Do no harm, Cause no loss". Think how much better would our world be if they just followed that!

  4. Excellent idea. I'd like to see a sunset provision built into all legislation. I wonder if it would be possible to apply the same idea to government agencies...

    On the subject of goofy laws, my favorites are the surprisingly numerous Massachussetts state laws and Boston city ordinances on how, when, and when not to take a bath.