Donald Devine writes on “How to Fight the Bureaucratic State:”
Charles Murray, has written another ground-breaking book, mischievously titled By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. Murray concludes that the government is incapable of changing its ingrained [regulatory] irresponsibility, so he suggests that reform should be initiated by the people themselves.
Murray starts with the fact that there are so many federal regulations on so many daily behaviors that it is impossible for the regulators to enforce them. The traffic police can issue tickets on rural roads, but they cannot enforce reasonably-over-the-speed-limit driving on crowded highways. It is the same with regulators. They can only effectively police when few disregard the rules. They can then come down good and hard on them. Most settle without a trial, knowing that bureaucratic courts are rigged against them. Murray would create a Madison Fund named for the father of the Constitution to provide legal assistance to the public, which is encouraged to simply ignore the screwiest regulations. If Americans refused to obey irrational regulations and were backed by an insurance-like fund that would provide legal support to, and publicity for, those unreasonably harassed, regulators themselves would soon learn not to enforce indefensible rules.
Murray believes it would only take a few wealthy contributors to get the Fund established, and that trade associations might get into the business too. Congress might even find enough courage to act constitutionally, if enough people get involved. There are many devils in the details, but sign me up anyway.
This sounds to me a lot like the model Uber has pioneered in launching itself in cities, states, and nations across the world whose regulatory regimes are typically hostile to their business model.
Of course, Uber’s flagrant model is necessary, because they wouldn’t get regulatory approval otherwise. The regulators don’t exist to consider better ways to provide on-demand cab service. They exist to enforce the regulations on the book, which led to the need for Uber in the first place.
And so as Uber encourages its early drivers by paying for any traffic tickets, fines, and legal expenses, Murray is proposing a sort of super-fund for any American willing to flout the worst examples of regulatory enforcement.
It sounds like a great idea.