TED Conversations

Matthew Tupper

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

How much regulation are you willing to tolerate (accept?) in exchange for not having to take personal responsibility for your actions?

Has regulation gone too far in removing individual's responsibilities? Are we hindering our ability to function as a society with extraneous legislation?

Is there a correct amount of legislation/intervention? And how would we go about measuring this? We are all going to have our own opinions on what is too interventionist, so how do we choose the correct level?

Is it possible to remove the intentionally obtuse regulations that currently exist?

There is a lot of room, in my opinion, for a renegotiation of the relationship between individual's responsibilities and the state's.

I would like to thank Kris Rosvold for his comments on another conversation I started, which has prompted me to start this conversation.

progress indicator
  • thumb
    Apr 24 2012: Simply to make government from the bottom up. The only real requirement of government is a rule of law and a national defense, everything else is superfluous. What ever elevates the liberty of the individual is the right direction.

    It does and can change but it is rare. But your question is great and encouraging to this end.
  • Apr 26 2012: When a regulation becomes a crutch for someone to fall back on as an excuse for their actions then that regulation is detrimental to the individual. Stack them on top of each other and society crumbles.

    It is difficult to take crutches away from crippled people without being burned at the stake.
    • thumb
      Apr 24 2012: Schwartz blaming banks as the core problem is not correct and misleading to anyone trying to understand the current situation.

      His point of people following their own interest even in government that is somehow assumed to not to have this occur is very good though.
      • thumb
        Apr 24 2012: certainly. but if we follow his core logic to the end, the conclusion is satisfactory. you can't blame him not following it to the end himself. most people don't even start.
        • thumb
          Apr 25 2012: Yea perhaps. But a perfunctory understanding of the economy either way. The reason that I think that is important is that his description of practical wisdom is really just a description of the free market.

          Where an individual determines what is in his best interest to trade with another acting in his best interest. This is a ridiculously simple concept that connects everyone in the world by virtue of every product being produced in some part practically everywhere, it forces people to be objective and think about what the other fellow wants, in gets rid of an endless amount of psychological pathology by virtue of the fact that THE most cathartic activity in the world is the act of producing something, to come up with a better product serves the other fellow and if on a large scale mankind (the Google boys made everyone in the world smarter) and raises the standard of living of everyone vastly more effectively than any form of government every dream t of. ( I know you know this but others might not)

          I have wrestled with the use of metrics for many years. Metrics are not inherently bad or fallacious. They are at the core of the scientific method and the only sane way to run a business. But after decades of experience with this subject they should not be involved with how someone gets paid as that almost always becomes detrimental to the purpose it was intended to control. Just like government.

          We have a 3 strike rule that forces the judges to do what he talking about and a lot of injustice because of it. Judges have a job to do and policy should not bypass them in there duty.

          This indulgence in rule making is most egregious when the authors are the most removed from the application. Application is essential in ANYTHING, EVERYTHING should be worked from application backwards. Which is where the craftsman he mentions get this practical wisdom he speaks of from APPLICATION.

          The main thing is that government should be from the bottom up.
      • thumb
        Apr 25 2012: okay, listen. you can not blame someone for not knowing something that less than 1% of people know. i agree that the guy's economics knowledge is seriously lacking, but come on, ben bernanke is the fed chairman, and even he does not understand how the economy works, or what the causes of the meltdown were. so give the gent some credit.

        his main message is that we don't need too much regulations, and people should trust each other with decisions. that is a good message.
        • thumb
          Apr 26 2012: I don't buy the premise.

          Basically Schwartz has realized that he doesn't know as in the first thing to know about something is that you don't know anything about it which he in effect is stating. Don't get me wrong that is light years more astute and honest than 90% of the planet and 99.9% of psychologists he is at the other end of the scale from Jonathan Haidt.

          If I dismissed what he said I would not have made a 2000 character post in response.

          The premise that I do not buy is that this stuff is esoteric it ain't. As I'm sure you are aware my purpose is to wake some people up to this stuff so conjecture is part of the pathology and part of the problem.

          Here is a real simple video that explains the U.S. problem concisely:

        • thumb
          Apr 26 2012: Agree: we don't need too much regulations

          We need the appropriate amount.

          Free markets have shown again and again they can not be trusted to self regulate.

          There is too much at stake.

          On the other hand, regulation is not going eliminate bubbles, but it might help reduce the frequency, and severity, and fraud etc.

          I think the comment might be broader. Regulation for fatty foods, gambling, drugs including tobacco and alcohol etc. Our vices. Planning regulations for building etc etc. Environment. Labour laws etc.

          On the vices, prohibition doesn't work. There may be some optimal balance that limits harm while enabling adults to make silly choices. Education should be part of the armory.

          On some of the other things generally suggest a mixed approach with an equalibrium point that will never please all the stakeholders. If both sides are a little unhappy that may indicate a good place to be.

          When you don't police people, when there are no consequences or costs, some can be pigs. Public toilets for example. But we need to avoid going too far to the big brother side. And then the regulators need a watchdog etc. Checks and balances.

          Life and society and the economy is complex and interdependent. We are not just individual islands.