Deconstructing the Administrative State

One of the three areas of work of the Trump Administration is described as the “Deconstruction of the Administrative State”. Since some of my friends seem unclear on what the problem is, here’s an example from “Inside Education“.

The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities.

Today, the content is available to the public on YouTube, iTunes U and the university’s webcast.berkeley site. On March 15, the university will begin removing the more than 20,000 audio and video files from those platforms — a process that will take three to five months — and require users sign in with University of California credentials to view or listen to them..

The Justice Department, following an investigation, in August determined that the university was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. The department reached that conclusion after receiving complaints from two employees of Gallaudet University, saying Berkeley’s free online educational content was inaccessible to blind and deaf people because of a lack of captions, screen reader compatibility and other issues.

So a couple of deaf people whined about lack of subtitles, the National Organization for the Deaf filed a complaint under the American Disabilities Act … and here’s how well that turned out:

The [Justice] department ordered the university to make the content accessible to people with disabilities. Berkeley, however, publicly floated an alternative: removing everything from public view.

“In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free,” Koshland wrote in a Sept. 20 statement. “We believe that in a time of substantial budget deficits and shrinking state financial support, our first obligation is to use our limited resources to support our enrolled students. Therefore, we must strongly consider the unenviable option of whether to remove content from public access.”

Now the university has settled on that option.

The University is good enough to put the information online for free. And yes, many historical videos don’t have subtitles, and thus are difficult to access for deaf people.

SO FREAKIN’ WHAT! The fact that deaf people cannot hear the soundtrack on videos should not be used as a reason to deprive hearing people of those videos. That’s madness …

And that, dear friends, is why we need to deconstruct the administrative state … IT NO LONGER WORKS. This ruling from the Justice Department has nothing at all to do with justice, and everything to do with identity politics. What’s next? Am I going to be required to provide subtitles for the videos I put in my blog? Do I need to provide a braille version of my words or face a fine?

And how about the noble warriors who did this?

Stacy Nowak, one of the complainants, referred comments to the Justice Department and the National Association of the Deaf. The NAD did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Yeah, I bet that Stacy Nowak and the NAD are running from this like cucarachas when you turn on the kitchen light at midnight … they should be ashamed. But they are not the real problem, they are just the symptom.

The real problem has been the proliferation and growth of an administrative state devoted inter alia to forcing everyone to make everything equally available and accessible to everyone, even a blind deaf quadriplegic. Should we have ramps for wheelchairs? Yes, they made my mother-in-law’s life much easier. But the plain fact is that we cannot legislate equality—we cannot make the world equally accessible to everyone.

So I’m overjoyed to see the deconstruction of that cumbersome monstrosity as one of the three main focuses of the Trump Administration. Here’s another example of the administrative state at work, that should be of interest to my friends here in California.

Deep in the bowels of the California administrative state, some unelected and un-fireable pluted bloatocrat waved his magic pen and added aloe vera and goldenseal powder to the list of products that cause cancer. That means that every business in the state that either uses or sells aloe vera and goldenseal powder, including spas and health food stores and places that pride themselves on being organic, has to post the following in their business in a prominent place:

prop 65 warning

Perhaps that will make it clear to even my most liberal friends the dangers of unbridled regulation by the administrative state.

Here’s the short version. We definitely need regulations, because humans are pigs. Without regulations you can be sure that somebody will piss in the drinking water. Guaranteed.

But over-regulation is just as bad, and that is where we are now.

However, there is good news. To my great happiness, one of the less-discussed Executive Orders was a simple one that once again kept a campaign promise. The Order says that if a government department wants to implement a new regulation, they have to get rid of two old regulations. Given time, this will slim things down. It will take a while, it’s a stealth tool … but the effect will be devastating.

Now, if President Trump would only get rid of the public sector unions that make it nearly impossible to fire a government worker, the job would be almost done. And here’s the interesting part.

We didn’t always have Federal workers unions. They were made legal by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and the interesting point is … he knew he could never get that kind of nonsense past Congress, so he did it by Executive Order.

Which certainly raises an interesting possibility for the current President …

Setting that aside, in the short term, I’d push for a new law saying any government department can fire up to 1% of the workforce per year without cause. I’m fed up to here with un-fireable jerks holding the reins of power. That was NEVER what the Founders intended for the country.

What a world! The sun is shining, I’m going for a walk.

My best to each of you,

w.

PS: When you comment please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can be clear what you are referring to. Seriously. Do it. I know it seems clear to you without the quote, but we can’t read your mind.

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75 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Administrative State

  1. About that 2-for-1 regulation reduction: they’ll just junk them all for this one — “You can’t do nuthin’ ‘cept we say so.” Joking aside, it’s a start but really doesn’t address the problem that any junior pluted bloatocrat can easily manipulate the system to make it worse. How about this option? All regulations have a sunset date and must be renewed only after appropriate evaluation. At least that keeps them busy justifying the regulations rather than heaping on new ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gary, Trump has taken the regulation removal out of the hands of junior bloatocrats. He’s told every agency to put together a high-level group to make a list of outdated, outmoded, and just plain wrong regulations to start whacking on.

      Regarding a sunset law on regulations, here’s your odd factoid of the day. That idea was first proposed by the notorious Thomas Jefferson, who said that all laws should expire after 32 years.

      Why thirty-two years? He thought that the laws should govern the fathers, and the sons, but not the grandsons … and in those short-lived days a “generation” was considered to be sixteen years.

      So I’ll totally sign on to that one with you and Tom, thirty-two year sunset law on all regs.

      Thanks,

      w.

      Liked by 2 people

      • > He’s told every agency to put together a high-level group to make a list of outdated, outmoded, and just plain wrong regulations to start whacking on.

        Even better, he requires a report from each agency on a regular basis on their progress. This makes it in the interest of these bureaucrats to remove regulations because that’s what their evaluation ends up being based on. And while it is hard to fire them, if they continually get bad reviews for not accomplishing their goals, it becomes much easier.

        I also look forward to his budget. He has said that he plans to get rid of baseline budgeting (the idea that if you spend all your budgeted money last year, you automatically get more the next year). I’d love to see a policy implemented that X% (1-10) of the unspent budget in a year gets distributed as a bonus to the department employees to encourage them to come in under budget rather than the current situation which encourages them to spend every penny, no matter what silly thing they spend it on.

        Liked by 1 person

          • There is a law regulating access rights for disabled people. There is(?) a law regulating access rights for people who are confused as to which bathroom – or shower- to use.There is a law regulating sex. There is a law regulating marriage. This law has roots in Christianity, it is no longer Christian, but it still excludes Muslims and old-style Mormons. A rape victim has more rights than an accused rapist. Probably we have too many laws. For sure we have too many lawyers.

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          • I did not say that there was a law regulation the age of consent. To have a grandchild at the age of 32 someone had to have sex before the age of 16. Maybe we regulate too much.

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          • C.S., you said “For sure we have too many lawyers.”

            I am reminded of a statement made by, I believe, an Alabama Congressman many years ago when the Japanese were close to taking over our automobile market. He solution was that for every Toyota they shipped over here they must take back one of our lawyers in exchange.

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        • People were able to get married at the age of 10, something that lasted more than 100 years after 1776.

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        • In that case C.G you may be interested to know at the time of Jefferson the average US age of consent was 10, yes ten. Just google historical age of consent.

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      • Willis, I’m more in favor of demanding that all departments cite the article in the United States Constitution giving statutory authorization for their organization. In particular I would insist that the regulation be consistent with the first ten amendments as well as the thirteenth. But hey, I’m just one of those weird libertarian a-caps

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      • It has always seemed reasonable to me, that all the laws of the land should fit in a small pamphlet or book that could be read and understood by citizens of average intelligence. Asking everyone to obey laws that no one person could possibly completely learn is always going to be trouble.

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  2. A quote on government from Ronald Reagan comes to mind:
    If it moves, tax it.
    If it still moves, regulate it.
    If it stops moving, subsidize it.

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  3. About 20 years ago a university in the U. S. east had a few thousand USGS topographic maps (“quads”) in a room only accessible via stairs. The administration did not want to have to build a new room or find another so the map librarian was told to get rid of the maps.
    The short story is that those maps were placed in a rented trailer and hauled across the country by a military person (friend of a friend) returning to the NW.
    Those that shared the cost of the move got to keep any of the maps wanted and the rest were given to the local university that did have accessible rooms. Problem solved – sort of.

    ~~~~~~~
    I bought a small (8″) folding saw with a hard red plastic handle.
    It carried the CA cancer warning message that you have shown.
    I do have a hammer with a wrapped (soft/black) handle that a mouse has chewed on, but this red plastic on the saw (so far) remains untouched.
    Can mice read?

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    • I miss that sign on every California beach – or do you know of a beach without silica? Where is our Magnificent Coastal Commission when we need it?

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  4. Willis,
    This makes for an interesting thought experiment. By definition, deaf people are hard of hearing. But there are also lots of people on the planet that are mathematics-challenged. When I put together online materials, I confess that I make no attempt to offer a special translation for people that do not know mathematics. Could I possibly be in violation of some sub-clause of the ADA? Inquiring minds want to know …
    All the best,
    Tom

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  5. I’m limiting myself to the ‘one out two back’ regulation issue here.
    I’d love it to work, but I don’t believe it will.

    The first reason is that every regulation was passed for a reason. The harm it addresses is visible, the harm it creates is (largely) invisible. What if your ‘pluted bloatocrat’ removes the aloe vera cancer warning and a child gets cancer? Can he be sued? Better play safe ….

    The second reason is that people will discover they don’t know the law. Regulations will be abolished, and people will go to celebrate their newfound freedom, only to discover that what was illegal is still illegal under some other provision of a different regulation. Just abolishing a regulation that bans something doesn’t make it legal. I’m writing from sad experience with deregulation in Australia.

    Thirdly, the ‘Yes Minister’ phenomenon. Do you have access to that Wonderful British Television Series? The actors are brilliant in the way they make that dark, cynical and deadly honest show appear to be a light-hearted comedy, but it’s so absolutely descriptive of so much bureaucracy that it should be required viewing in any study of management or government.

    Then there’s the Repeal Regulation A, and Regulation B, and release Regulation C technique. It sounds like it’s just what we want, until we learn Regulation C part a) is what used to be Regulation A, and Regulation C part b) is what used to be Regulation B, and Regulation C) part c) is the new Regulation.

    Finally there’s the ‘we can’t go back we’ll look foolish’ problem. Australia tried introducing a new ‘Plain English’ version of its Social Security Act. The expensive Committee actually produced a thousand page monstrosity of bureaucratic gobbledygook, that was far worse that the original hundred page document. It includ3d abominations such as absurd distinctions between ‘being entitled’ and ‘being payable’. Still, that became the new law because it was the ‘plain English’ version, it said so on the pack, the Government had committed to creating a plain English act, and they’d spent too much money and political capital on it to not go ahead with it.

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    • John in Oz 2 March 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      I’m limiting myself to the ‘one out two back’ regulation issue here.
      I’d love it to work, but I don’t believe it will.

      The first reason is that every regulation was passed for a reason.

      John, I have to confess. I was laughing so hard after I read that line that I didn’t get to the rest of your comment.

      Of course they are passed for a reason, but sadly the reason is often simply to extend the reach of the bureaucrats.

      FOR EXAMPLE: The EPA was given jurisdiction over “navigable waters”. First they issued regulations saying, well, creeks are connected to navigable waters so we get to regulate them too.

      Then they passed regulations saying that even a seasonal pond on a farmer’s field has a “nexus of connection” to navigable waters so they could regulate even that.

      So they’ve stretched their authority from what they were given, navigable waters and nothing else, and extended it to a pond on my neighbors land that is only there two months out of the year.

      Perhaps you can see why I laughed at the idea that the EPA passes regulations to protect the environment. They fixed just about all of those problems years ago. Since then they’ve mostly been making mischief with politically driven “reasons” for regulations.

      Then there’s the whole “sue and settle” scam, where the EPA gets say Greenpeace to sue them to do something. Then they say “well, we’ll settle this out of court” and put in some totally bogus regulation that the watermelons over at Greenpeace want. Were is the reason for that?

      “Every regulation passed for a reason”? Man … you must be new around here …

      Best to you,

      w.

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      • from a post today at https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/03/08/the-dose-makes-the-poison-orvan-ox/

        A regulation that once made sense, might no longer be needed. In the days of vacuum tube (or thermionic valve) radios, some designs were more expensive as they used more tubes and each one meant more supporting components as well. This lead to advertising the number of tubes as an indication of quality, to convince buyers the higher price was worthwhile for better sensitivity, selectivity, or sound quality. When the transistor came along, at first things were much the same, but the expense fell rapidly and the advertising became a gimmick. Eventually it was ruled that advertising the number of transistors[3] in a radio was not an honest indication of quality. In 1968, this made sense. In 1978 it still made sense. By 1988 integrated circuitry meant the transistor count wasn’t very meaningful. I’ve had no luck finding the article, but I do recall sometime in the last several years there was something about dropping the rule against advertising the number of transistors. Not from an outbreak of marketing department honesty, but as nowadays so much is integrated circuitry with a huge number of transistors that advertising the count would be pointless.

        I remember hearing a decade or so ago that there were still laws on the books in some places that said that any automobile going through the town had to have a person carrying a red flag walking ahead of it.

        the only thing worse than regulations that aren’t needed are regulations that are routinely ignored

        things like California’s prop 68 (“this facility may contain substances that are known to cause cancer” stickers on every building) are almost as bad in that they provide no benefit and impose costs.

        David Lang

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        • In addition to the cost, there is real harm done by the label “contains substances known by the state of California to cause cancer” being applied to everything: the harm is that we can longer tell what is dangerous and what is not, at least not by relying on government entities.

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          • If they have now determined that Aloe Vera, a plant used medicinally for thousands of years, is “known to be a carcinogen,” they have lost all credibility at what may or may not actually cause cancer. Perhaps they should switch to issuing edicts on what isn’t known to cause cancer in California – the list would probably be shorter and easier to remember. I can see the statement now -“only California politics is known to be free of cancer, unless you consider poisoning minds cancerous. All other substantive things are suspect.”

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          • I have a few problems with the sentence ‘known by the state of California to cause cancer’:
            – ‘known … to cause cancer’: I don’t think the science is settled (as if it ever were)
            – ‘by the state of California’: I don’t think the state is a person that can ‘know’ a thing, which leads to
            – ‘by the state of California’: Please, give me a name and a phonenumber. I extremely dislike bureaucrats hiding behind an institution.

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      • I downloaded and began to read the EPA definition of “navigable waters” and after about 15 pages, I realized that what it appears to MEAN is, if your land ever receives rainfall that might possibly run off and flow to the sea, then we (the EPA) can regulate it.

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    • John in Oz 2: “The first reason is that every regulation was passed for a reason.””

      John, you have to learn to differentiate between regulations and standards.

      There exists (in the U.S.) a great many professional organizations (meaning, non governmental) that establish and maintain published standards for various industries. In mine (architecture) there are ASCE, ICBO, U.L. ANSI, ASTM, AWI, etc. These are adopted by city/county/state/federal legislatures and recognized by courts as “industry standards” which has specific legal meaning, and are there not only to protect the public but also to prevent frivolous lawsuits. For the most part they work because they ALWAYS (By the way, one of the most jaw-dropping moments in my life was when I started in 2009 to look into Global Warming and Steve McIntyre pointed out that these types of organizations don’t exist wrt “climate science”. )

      The regulations that Willis is discussing are the nonsensical social/political engineering sort.

      You have to remember, the people who work at government bureaus all have mortgages, pensions, kids in college, etc. What would happen if any bureau actually solved the problem for which it was created? They’d be out of work.

      I think it was Hazlitt or Mises who pointed out that the first job of a bureaucrat is to make sure that the problem for which the bureau was created is never solved – and if possible, made even worse.

      Liked by 2 people

      • posted to soon:

        ….they ALWAYS take into account the current state of the art weighed against a cost benefit analysis.

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        • > ….they ALWAYS take into account the current state of the art weighed against a cost benefit analysis.

          ahh, but the “current state of the art” changes, and the standards don’t have an expiration, so after a few years they may not make any sense either.

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          • The standards maintained by the professional organizations I listed are always changing – some are revised, some deleted altogether. The process by which the changes are implemented is entirely transparent and well documented and the can be initiated and/or reviewed by anyone.

            I take it you aren’t an architect, engineer or in any way involved in the manufacturing or make of making anything, right?

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          • nice ad-hominum attack.

            I’ve seen enough issues with professional organizations being outdated to not rely on them to clean up old regulations. Adding new ones when there are problems, yes. And those regulations will be pretty good for the time they are created, but eliminating old ones that may not apply? only if there is someone championing a replacement.

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          • Then name the prof org’s that you say are wrong or out-of- date. I work with dozens of them every day and have for over 20 years. They are tremendous resources of tests that have been performed on materials and components that are used for a multitude of materials, electronic components, etc.

            Name of the org’s please.

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          • it’s not worth my time, I’m sure that when I found an easy one, your response woudl be that it’s not a ‘real’ professional organization (it takes very little to officially qualify as one)

            but even in the set of organizations that you would classify as ‘real Professional Organizations’, are you really willing to bet that there is nothing outdated in their standards/policies?

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          • I, and the engineers I hire, know that they are up to date because we review them before they are written into our specifications. How long do you think our insurance companies would allow us to stay in business if we were specifying unsafe or out of date standards? They are also used by third-party special inspectors when reviewing the work in the field who also have liability insurance concerns that have to be met.

            You said, “I’ve seen enough issues with professional organizations being outdated to not rely on them to clean up old regulations.” and yet you won’t spend a few seconds typing their names? Or even tell me how you rely on them in your line of work?

            You say that it’s not worth your time. I’m feeling the same way about this post. And as to “it takes very little to officially qualify as one” you are wrong. Will an insurance company stand behind them? That is the real test.

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          • you specified “professional organization”, not “professional organization somehow tied in to Insurance company backing”

            I know of dozens of “professional organizations” in the IT field, none of which are tied to any insurance companies.

            that’s the sort of ‘clarification’ that I expected you to make, limiting the definition of ‘professional organizations’

            And just because an Insurance Company backs it doesn’t mean that it’s up to date. In fact, it almost guarantees the opposite. Insurance Companies aren’t going to sign off on anything until it’s been proven many times over, so by definition there will be a bunch of new, state of the art, things that could be done perfectly safely, but that have not yet been approved by the Insurance Company.

            They are also perfectly happy to have you continue to do things the old way that’s been proven safe, no matter how costly or inefficient it is.

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          • lol,
            There is probably no industry more interested in establishing industry wide standards among manufacturers than the electronics industry.

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          • > There is probably no industry more interested in establishing industry wide standards among manufacturers than the electronics industry.

            except if a company thinks it will benefit from defining it’s own standard (Apple for example hates doing anything that anyone else does)

            as for the lower level electronics industry, I’ll respond with “the nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from”

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  6. by the way, for those who want to argue that every regulation is needed. I came across one example that’s a clear regulation that made sense at one time, but doesn’t any longer

    in the days of tubes, radios were advertised with how many tubes they contained, because that was a relatively good indication of the quality and was closely tied to the costs. When transistors came out, advertising just shifted to providing the transistor count. Around 1968 it was ruled that the number of transistors in a radio had little relation to it’s quality, and so a regulation was passed prohibiting advertising the number of transistors in a radio. While that made sense at the time, in these days of ICs where there are thousands to millions of transistors, nobody would be foolish enough to list that as a feature, and very few people would pay any attention if they did. So this regulation could (and probably should) be eliminated at this point

    I remember running across places that (as of a decade or so ago) still had regulations on the books that required that someone carrying a red flag had to walk ahead of any automobiles

    and there’s always the example of the federal bunny inspectors.

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  7. “Am I going to be required to provide subtitles for the videos I put in my blog?”

    The way it’s going, yes.

    Remember when Obama hired some guy off the street to do sign language translation, standing beside him, totally unvetted, and the guy just faked the sign language?

    We need a new law that says anybody can sue to remove regulations that don’t make sense or have unintended consequences. I take the message to Oregon cake bakers very seriously. If a law is not written well it is a very powerful weapon that can be used against you. Ruthlessly.

    BTW, I read about the Wikileaks release that said the CIA had weaponized cell phones. So that’s why smartphone batteries have started exploding and catching fire! 🙂

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    • Obama should have had 137 signers beside him to ensure they covered all versions of sign language.

      It is not clear how many sign languages there are. A common misconception is that all sign languages are the same worldwide or that sign language is international. Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own, native sign language, and some have more than one (although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages). The 2013 edition of Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages.

      How do non-english speaking persons get to hear and understand the announcements on high from our ‘esteemed’ leaders?

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  8. Gee, I miss the good old days when knowledge was destroyed to keep people from learning the truth. Now it’s just to keep people from learning.

    8 years of Obama trying to turn the U.S. into a university and this is what we get….

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  9. In 2001, the British Columbia provincial government, headed by Gordon Campbell, enacted a 2 for 1 reduction of regulations.
    We (BC) currently have the best economy in Canada.

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    • Thanks, Gary. I love the fact that I always learn something from the commenters. I was unaware that BC did that.

      How’s your carbon tax working out? Here’s what I wrote about it a while back.

      w.

      British Columbia, British Utopia 2013-07-11

      I was pointed by a commenter on another blog to the Canadian Province of British Columbia, where they put a carbon-based energy tax scheme into effect in 2008. Before looking at either the costs or the actual results of the scheme, let me start by looking at the possible benefits…

      Fuel On The Highway In British Pre-Columbia 2013-07-12

      Supporters of the British Columbia (Canada) carbon-based energy tax that I discussed in my last post have made claims that the data shows this tax was a success … so being a suspicious-type fellow, I thought I’d take a look at the data myself. I didn’t figure the tax was…

      The Real Canadian Hockeystick 2013-07-13

      Well, the leaders of the carbophobes in British Columbia are already declaring victory for their carbon-based energy tax as a way to reduce CO2 emissions. They highlight as a main indication of success the reduction in per-capita gasoline use, and my research shows that their numbers are right. Here’s a…

      Why Revenue Neutral Isn’t, and Other Costs of the BC Tax 2013-07-15

      I hope against hope that this is my last post on this lunacy. I started by foolishly saying I would write about the benefits, costs, and outcomes of the BC carbon-based energy tax, so I was stuck with doing it. I discussed the possible benefits of the tax in “British…

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    • “In 2001, the British Columbia provincial government, headed by Gordon Campbell, enacted a 2 for 1 reduction of regulations.”

      Do you have a link for that? I couldn’t find any reference to it and would be really interested in how that worked out. My guess is that approach sounds good in theory but can’t be implemented.

      “We (BC) currently have the best economy in Canada.”

      Because Ontario commits hari-kari with wind farms and Alberta got blindsided by the latest oil price crash?

      And according to Wikipedia, Gordon Campbell imposed the Carbon Tax.

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  10. Willis, the other interesting point in UC Berkeley’s decision, is the hypocracy of their excuse that it would cost too much to comply with the DoJ ruling. We all hear how California has the harshest environmental regulations on almost everything done by man. It is a given that the cost of implementing those regulations is high, & is worn by consumers & taxpayers. It is also a given that those regulations are all introduced based on recommendations from academics, many of whom probably work, or once worked, at Berkeley.

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    • I forgot to say that the academics did not care one little bit about the cost to the populace of complying with their suggested regulations.

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      • Yes, but they don’t have to pay those costs…

        In this case I think they probably did the right thing, but it highlights how stupid these requirements are and how they seem like they should do the right thing, but have the unintended concequence of reduceing the availability for everyone.

        David Lang

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  11. Willis – you said:

    “we cannot make the world equally accessible to everyone.”

    You mean – the world is not FAIR! Who knew?

    I doubt I ever quoted a student more than the one who said (actually, quoting his mother, Texans all): “FAIR is where you go in the summer and eat cotton candy.”

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  12. Pingback: Deconstructing the Administrative State | Skating Under The Ice | Cranky Old Crow

  13. The offending educational resources will be accessible only to bona fide students at the University. What if such students are deaf and/or blind? Will we now have demonstrations on the campus?

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    • The ADA applies only to ‘public’ accomodations. The university itself is ‘private’ so the ADA does not apply (thats why the new limitation to registered students). The distinction is very complicated in actual fact, with lots of litigation. For example, McDonald’s bathrooms are obviously private, but were deemed public because of the nature of the business, so McDonalds had to refit them all with handicap access. Another well intentioned but very costly regulatory swamp.

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  14. Willis, I’m surprised you didn’t write anything about “Community Choice Aggregation” program yet:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/02/san-mateo-county-ditches-pge-starts-buying-cheaper-greener-energy/?preview_id=4042657#comment-3191532412

    In the style of your writing let me dare to suggest the opening.

    “Imagine you are running a shoe making business. The next day, the state legislature passes a bill demanding you to give 30% of your business to a fellow chosen by community… “

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    • Thanks, tegirinenashi. You write it, you might be my first guest author …

      I live in Sonoma County, one of the counties discussed in the post. I looked at the pricing. For us it would have been MORE expensive … although I need to look again, PGE just raised their prices.

      w.

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  15. “Here’s the short version. We definitely need regulations, because humans are pigs. Without regulations you can be sure that somebody will piss in the drinking water. Guaranteed.”
    ===========
    I’m as cynical as the next person, but I don’t believe I ever guaranteed it.
    Ever.
    Too many variables 🙂

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  16. We don’t park armies anymore do we, we just incapacitate the enemy and hope they come to their senses.
    That ain’t really working.
    So now what ?

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  17. OT , just heard Elon Muskrat has offered south Australia a deal , full battery backup for the state within 100 days of signing an agreement or its free .

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    • He must have a lot of excess batteries on hand to back up a state power system within 100 days. Of course you/he didn’t say how many minutes of backup.

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  18. Another unlawful regulatory example, this one also from EPA. 42USC7411 requires the EPA to impose ‘cleaner’ regulations only if the implied cleaner technology is 1. “Commercially available” and 2. “Adequately demonstrated”. Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is neither. Yet the Obama EPA proposed CO2 emissions/MWh from new USC coal generation would require CCS. The mandatory regulatory impact analysis (RIA) literally said, “there will be no impact since no coal CCS plants will be built.” The RIA is available at http://www.epa.gov/sites/products/file/2013-09/documents/20130920proposalria.pdf
    There is a lot of regulatory swamp for Trump to drain.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have a clear memory of a story about a couple of US researchers at MIT, possibly, who strapped coins to mice in order to prove that money causes cancer. It seems to have been removed from the net. They were not in great favour at the time.

    Here in the UK, current regulations prevent me from having any more than 2 persons in a 4 bedroom house, unless I spend 20k to have it fitted out to the satisfaction of the council. I put a small cooker off a bedroom in a 4 bedroom house and was told that I had converted into an apartment, liable for a separate and double council tax charge, but the planning department at the council would consider it an illegal conversion.The house has been shared for the last 25 years and the electrical system, heating, garden and toilets are shared.

    If you think regs are bad in the US, have a look at the UK.

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  20. A few years ago we got a stupid regulation in Switzerland (Berne) that a restaurant needs to have separate toilets for men and women. Many small restaurants (seating 20-50) closed after that.
    I think it’s not only the stupid regulations, it’s also the stupid enforcers and the ratting neighbours..

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