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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

Behind the Burden of Regulation (New York Times)

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An article in the Feb. 18 issue of The Economist began: “The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation.” Businesses seek to maximize wealth without violating the law. However, what is legal is not always decent. There is a trade-off between ethical and regulatory constraints that limit business. Pervasive, dubious behavior is countered with rules—stacks and stacks of rules that are rarely ever rescinded. Rule writers’ unfamiliarity with the operations they’re looking to regulate partly explains the frustration businesses go through. The other part of the problem is the amount of scrutiny and number of parties a bill must pass before it is passed into law. Virtually no bill can make it through such a gauntlet in its originally written form.