Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Regulation. We’re told that it would have saved us from this and that event associated with the current economic downturn.

Well, probably not.

First off, remember that we have had regulation during this period. Clinton upped regulatory oversight of businesses; so did Bush.

Next, the mere fact that there are regulations doesn’t make them effective. Take Bernard Madoff. What Madoff engaged in was a swindle — not a hard-to-control best-intentions-turned-wrong investment fiasco but an actual, intentional fraud.

But as columnist Steve Chapman recently observed, the federal bureaucrats whose job it was to regulate investment businesses investigated Madoff “at least eight times in 16 years,” never, ever “coming close” to the fraud.

”So what,” Chapman asks, “makes you think that future bureaucrats, no matter how vast their authority, will be able to do better?”

Another thing about regulation is that there are several kinds.

When the founding fathers talked about regulating trade, they didn’t mean micromanaging trade to get specific outcomes. The founders meant “to make regular,” as in establishing standards . . . like what is the difference between sound investments and elaborate frauds.

That’s hard enough. Micromanaging a million businesses, to prevent certain unfortunate outcomes, is pretty much impossible.

Past performance is a good indicator of future performance. Just adding a bunch of regulators? That’s no help, since we haven’t discovered any new magic since the last batch failed.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Dave Parsons says:

    Not to mention the whole topic of “regulatory capture”, noted in modern economics.

  2. Timothy James Maki says:


    Most regulations are at the least well intended and serve their purpose.

    However, we must not forget – regulations, like door locks, are to keep honest people honest.

    The dishonest will miss-use and abuse even the regulations that were intended to guide towards the greater good.

    And that is shame.


    Timothy James Maki

  3. “WE THE PEOPLE” must regulate Congress and all elected officials.

    It is time to audit all elected officials and submit petitions to correct the wrongs of Congress’s past and present.

    It is time that we show Congress who is the real sovereign government of America, “We the People”

  4. Joe Chapala says:

    It’s clear that somebody was not doing their job or allowed to do their job with regard to regulation.

    I’m not a fan with regard to excessive regulation as long as the people in power act in a way that does not put the public’s welfare at risk. Unfortunately, those with the power in many cases show that they don’t care about the ramifications of their actions.

    Joe Chapala
    Casa Preciosa Ajijic, Mexico

  5. […] “Is More Regulation the Answer?” (Common Sense, Steve Chapman, and the eternal question) […]

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