We Have To Pass The Bill So You Can Find Out What Is In The . . . (Regulations?)

Modern laws are just outlines; the real law is in the Regulations, and regulations are killing our liberal democracy.  Here is the essence of a letter I sent to columnist George Will in early 2011:

Dear Mr. Will,

Regarding your piece that was published in today’s (1/16/11) edition of the Houston Chronicle, addressing the growing autonomy of the regulatory state, I refer you two sources:  (i) just about anything written by my erstwhile Administrative Law teacher, Prof. Kenneth Culp Davis, an early fan of the regulatory state who belatedly awoke to a recognition of the nature of the monster he did so much to abet, if not create; and (ii) a law review article written in the year 2009 but focused upon an evolutionary process begun long before the predations of Cass Sunstein and the rest of the Obama crowd:


Professor Colburn’s piece literally sent chills down my spine.  (They were not of the kind Chris Matthews notoriously experienced.)  As you have observed, the monster of administrative law (the regulatory state, as you call it) was not created by President Obama or Czar Sunstein, nor even by the president during whose term Prof. Colburn wrote, Bill Clinton.  Moreover, the entire phenomenon was precisely predicted, nearly 70 years ago, by Hayek, when he observed not only that government-by- agency was the genetic marker of the planned state (be it Fascist, Communist, or Obamaist) but that such a state, once it clearly sets off in that direction, can only advance toward its theoretical apogee by getting progressively more and more regulated.

I think the planned American state that Prof. Colburn describes (without apparent horror), was already by the year 2009 a very scary place.   Even were one to assume that our Congress includes a very substantial number of senators and representatives who not only understand the problem but come equipped with a functioning spine, the Colburn piece convinced me that the prospects for overhauling the system to the extent necessary to reverse our path toward a command/control state and give us some momentum in the other direction, are very poor.   Nevertheless, I cheer and admire your efforts.

[Posted to @ mecmoss.com 12 Feb 2012]

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