What is the Purpose of Regulation?

Regarding Regulation

, Corporate Counsel


The government of the United States is shut down, which is a good time to remind ourselves why we have a regulatory government. To put it bluntly: What is the purpose of regulation?

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What's being said

  • James McRitchie

    I was the legislative advocate for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control years ago under Governor Wilson. A mandate came down to dramatically reduce the number of regulations. In talking to members of the administration it was obvious they equated regulations with being bad for business. Actually, the laws were very strict and the regulations generally provided loopholes. Take these precautions and your exempt from the more stringent law.

    Getting rid of actual regulations would have made the business climate much worse. Fortunately for the administration's public image, I was able to cut the number of regulations in half by removing a set of duplicate regulations. Regulations had been published in Title 22 and Title 26 (which included a compendium of all regulations related to toxic substances). We stopped publishing Title 26 to meet the administration's wish. Of course, that made it slightly harder for businesses to operate because they couldn't see our regulations in the context of regulations from other agencies governing toxics.

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