Friday, April 23, 2010

Regulatory capture

Marko points to a CNN article about SEC employees who drew six-figure salaries to spend their time hanging out and downloading porn.

Points out the obvious:

...In any office-type job, more than 50% of the people working there will only work hard enough to not get fired...think about how difficult it is to actually get fired from a government job, and then think about how little motivation the little bureaucrats have to get actual work done.
And now some folks want to give the SEC more regulatory power. That’s like hiring a gardener to plant your tulips, discovering the dude in the tool shed smoking pot and jerking off during work hours…and addressing the problem by hiring an additional gardener and doubling their salaries.

I get the frustration with a broken system. But when you've spent the last century saying "this is an emergency! We need more laws!" and the system keeps being broken, it's probably a good idea to try getting rid of some of those sweeping and counterproductive legal "solutions" before you default to piling on more.

If the new code don't work, you get rid of it before adding a new fix. If you steadfastly refuse to remove the useless detritus of past programmers' pet projects, you end up with Windows Vista.

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