Good intentions and sentiment can lead to horrible incentives and business-killing laws, making people more likely to try and legislate away the realities of life:
‘Paraplegic and wheelchair-bound, Pinnock threatened most of the businesses in Julian with lawsuits if they did not quickly install accommodations for the disabled, in compliance with Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He also demanded that they reimburse him for certain “research fees” averaging about $2,500 per business .’
I’m not surprised to see courts in The People’s Republic Of California take up the law (signed by George H.W. Bush) with special determination. The regulatory force is strong in the Golden State.
Our authors finish with:
‘The ADA’s enforcers have undertaken the utopian task of redesigning society to eliminate the disadvantages of disability. They will never be satisfied. Every decade will bring another layer of regulation, each more intrusive and incomprehensible than the one before, each accompanied by another tidal wave of avaricious lawyers. The lesson of the ADA should be clear: No law of this kind should ever be enacted, on any subject, in a properly functioning democracy.’
For every unfair thing in life, and every actual injustice, there can be an intrusive, clunky, federal law that can trade some injustices for others.
Your bathroom mirror is two inches too high:
***It’s my hobby horse, but I don’t think many in our culture have quite realized that the ideas and ideologies that create sentiment in the public mind against the injustices of life for all, and seek positive justice, fairness and equality for some, will be pursued with the same purity, true-belief, moralism, ignorance, politics and political power-grabbing, money, hypocrisy and intensity of all other human affairs.
-A link for Michael Lewis’ article about California politics, public pensions and Schwarzenegger’s time in office.
Related On This Site: Big cities, especially New York, tend to over-regulate business, you can hope for efficient corruption: Richard Epstein At Defining Ideas: ‘City Planners Run Amok’…Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas: ‘California’s Kafkaesque Rent Control Laws’