Reducing the amount of choking government regulation

Most of us eventually come to the realization that we have too much stuff. We have too much stuff in our homes, we have too much stuff on our computers, we had too much stuff on our smart phones.

So, eventually we must come up with a means to get rid of the worthless useless stuff on our computers in our homes and our smartphones. Now, this does take some time and it takes an effort to sort through the stuff to figure out which is good stuff and which is stuff to throw away.

The problem with legislation, rules, regulations and laws is that there doesn’t seem to be a method to sort through them and get rid of the ones that we no longer need. Regulations that are ill-conceived, discriminatory, unenforceable, too costly, or simply no longer needed must be repealed.

This might lead to a new type of political promise. Right now, we seem to rate legislators on the number of bills they sponsor and get passed. What about a new criteria? How about grading performance on the number of regulations repealed or otherwise killed?

Or, we might modify procedure to allow that for a new law to pass, there must be three repealed in the same section or area.

Here is a comment by a former member of the New Zealand parliament:

— E. Donald Elliott is a Professor (Adjunct) of law at Yale Law School and a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

For a number of years I was a Member of the New Zealand Parliament, during which time New Zealand, facing the same problem of obsolete and contradictory law, set out to clean up its statutes. The process we used was to systematically re-write the corresponding statutes of each sector of the economy we reformed – such as the tax code and health care – so that the laws were clear and unambiguous, and reflective of the needs of contemporary society. These re-written statutes were then passed by Parliament and all the related old ones were repealed. In my view this was a very effective process. New Zealand’s environmental laws, for instance, went from being 25 inches thick to just 348 pages. The action of repealing all the old laws also automatically repealed all the regulations built on those laws so the regulatory code was cleaned up at the same time.

And here is the full article from The Atlantic.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/obsolete-law-0151-the-solutions/255141/

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