Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don’t Work

The rallying cry of the “Tea Party Movement” and many other conservative groups in this country is to “shrink the government”; make it less big, less expensive, and yes (without offering any apologies), make it less effective an institution. As Ronald Reagan often quipped: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”.

If government truly is the problem, perhaps we have only two real choices: help to make it better by being more responsive to the public interest, or send our complaints to the Offices of Corporate Domination. For as ineffective, and at times, seemingly corrupt as our government agencies appear, they still must ultimately answer to the people.

I’m unaware of any corporate charter that offers anything remotely similar, and indeed, the bigger the corporation, the more power it can wield, not only in the political realm, but in the marketplace, as well.

That’s why as citizens we must all become more engaged with what is going on in our society today. To that end, this is an excellent article written by a veteran EPA regulator (now retired) who has spent his professional career fighting against the forces of inertia, and corruption, and whose career trajectory has been permanently limited as a result of his honest efforts.

William Sanjour offers an insightful critique of the entire regulatory apparatus, why the role of government regulations are necessary, and why decades of “regulatory reforms” after “regulatory reforms” have consistently failed, and what to do about it.

For those in a hurry, here’s a brief summary of his recommendations:

“To summarize, this is what I believe needs to be done:

1) Agencies which enforce regulations should not write the regulations.

2) The revolving door should be shut.

3) Whistle blowers should be protected, encouraged and rewarded.

4) To the greatest extent feasible, those who the regulations are intended to protect should participate in writing and enforcing the regulations.”

From the original Independent Science News post titled: Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don’t Work

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