Since session ended, I have been busily studying government regulation, and observing media accounts of the effect of such regulation on our lives.
Accounts have been amazing, from the conversation over reintroducing the fairness doctrine to the licensure of occupations which pose no threat to the public. We need government to consider certain principles before imposing such regulations on us; regulations that often result in law and policies that restrict competition, may have unreasonable compliance costs, and often promote the interests, or beliefs and views, of firms or pressure-groups over consumers.
As chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Commerce Task Force I actually find myself in a position to do something about it; not just in Tennessee, but in the entire nation.
This week ALEC will meet in Philadelphia for our annual conference. I am going to give an impassioned call to my fellow legislators to help roll back the tide of government invading our lives and from hurting consumers. We’ll attempt to provide tools for legislators to judge regulatory ideas. The goal is to identify the difference between patronage and when unregulated practice can clearly harm or endanger the health, safety, or supply of goods or services to the public, and if the potential for the harm is easily recognizable and not remote or dependent upon tenuous argument.
We’ll hear from the Department of Justice, the Institute for Justice and others. We’ll also work to develop model legislation to bring home to all 50 states.
One of our attorneys at the legislature encouraged me by giving me a little history lesson. He stated that with President Carter and prior, the build up of regulation got pretty intense; hurting competition, choice and opportunity. Then with Ronald Reagan there was a huge roll back in the states and federal government. Since that time regulation has been building again. No one really remembers the roll back times in the 80’s.
I am excited about this opportunity. I hope we will serve you well.