Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Moar like this please

via Say Uncle:

Florida's "Repealer Project" aims to eliminate unnecessary laws.

The mission: to have fewer state laws when legislators leave Tallahassee than when they arrived, a counterintuitive goal for a body that usually labors all spring to turn a new crop of bills into law.

It's a weird thing about government: when the people start looking to their government as the solution to their problems, that government is expected to be constantly _doing_ things. Where Thoreau said "That government is best which governs least", too many people judge governments harshly that aren't constantly passing new laws and building more bureaus (see: complaints about "legislative gridlock"). So we end up with the accumulated legal detritus of generations of well-intentioneed laws and all their billions of unintended consequences, plus the laws and exceptions meant to address those unintended consequences, and _their_ unintended consequences, to the point that even attorneys need to specialize; even people who spend a lifetime studying the law can't reasonably be expected to know all the laws they can be punished for violating.

What we really need is a ten-year expiration date on all laws, combined with prohibitions on mass-renewals. Or Heinlein's House of Repeal, whose only function is to remove old laws from the books. But I'll take what I can get; It's refreshing to see _any_ efforts to scale it all back.

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