The Kindness of Bureaucrats

When the local government of Washington, D.C., says, “Don’t worry” — people worry.

Matthew Marcou, deputy associate director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation’s Public Space Regulation Administration, told those ruled by his long-worded administrative agency — the people working the city’s many food trucks, which feed lunch to a great number of Washingtonians and tourists on sidewalks every day — not to worry.

Just because the wording of a new sidewalk regulation would shut down eight of the city’s ten most popular food trucks doesn’t mean the good folks at the Public Space Regulation Administration couldn’t simply — almost magically — grant a waiver.

Be happy.

Still, there are the malcontents, the businesspeople who want some sort of certainty about the rules controlling their enterprise. The Washington Post reports that “Owners of food trucks . . . are put off by a still-unknown process that relies on the kindness of bureaucrats to keep their businesses alive.”

Che Ruddell-Tabisola is the D.C. Food Truck Association’s executive director and also a co-owner of the BBQ Bus. “[W]hy would you put forward regulations that are only successful when you make an exception to the rule?” asked Che.

The word “regulate” comes from the word “regular”; the goal of regulation being to make things regular. Therefore, regulations that require significant use of waivers fail. They aren’t rules at all. They constitute, instead, a labyrinth of economically suffocating and graft-inducing red tape.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Nov
    12
    10:13
    AM
    Drik

    Because power comes from being able to grant waivers to those that you like and to those who are willing to contribute, in small denomination, unsequential, unmarked bills.

  2. Nov
    12
    1:37
    PM
    Roger and Lynn Bloxham

    To Drik:
    Spot on!

  3. Nov
    12
    2:13
    PM
    Paulina West

    “[W]hy would you put forward regulations that are only successful when you make an exception to the rule?”

    That is brilliant.

    Is it really so hard to see, like this DC man does, that a nation of laws is far superior to a nation of men?

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