Letter: Some regulatory burdens necessary
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Ann Donnelly urges decreasing “the crushing regulatory burden of the federal government” on industries in her Oct. 11 letter, “Herrera Beutler must keep working.”
True, government regulation can be burdensome, but crushing? I think not.
Donnelly conveniently avoids this: that regulations are instituted to defend us, our environment, our health, often our very lives, against the destroying excesses of industries, including the ones she names. Indeed, if industries regulated themselves by observing the triple bottom line, putting social and environmental values on an equal footing with financial profits, there would be no need for government intervention to protect the common welfare. It isn’t easy.
We learn by experience which of our creations or practices have a downside. If industries acted on best available knowledge, they could free themselves from regulation. But the more usual pattern is to do business as usual, no matter what harm results, until forced to do otherwise.
Responsibility or regulation: their choice.