Some thoughts triggered by the above article, and posted on my Facebook political commentary Facebook page, Election Conversation 2014. I welcome you to visit this page, check out the "About" ..... and if you like it, request to join !
This post comes from a somewhat different direction than usual, but still fits the theme of rights and "rights life" this page addresses. It touches on the issue of government regulation. Whether for reasons of greed, recklessness, ignorance or simple human carelessness, we do endanger each other ; and this can proceed even to to the point of extreme harm. Where there are patterns to be observed, or where harm can be predicted from certain actions, it's within the rights - and responsibilities - of government to establish rules and penalties. But the question is, how to do this effectively and efficiently, without creating yet other forms of harm, for instance to the parties regulated ?
Some of the most dangerous and destructive practices in our society today - for instance economic practices, and ones harmful to our health or environment - still escape our best efforts to regulate them ; while in other areas and for certain groups and people, regulations descend with crushing and stifling force. How do we find the golden balance ?
I'd like to see much more discussion - even a national contest with cash prizes - for solutions to the basic problems surrounding government regulations. How do we establish regulations with real teeth - but not cripple regulated groups with compliance costs ? How do we prevent concrete harm and promote responsibility, without treating people like imbeciles and taking away their dignity ? A few initial thoughts :
1) in cases where employers are mandated to educate workers on required behaviors, why not task the government to also create the educational materials (signs, training materials, online courses), and provide them to employers at the lowest possible cost ? One set of compliance tools, more or less, for an entire industry. Big savings for employers right there.
2) Allow employers tax credits for their employee compliance training expenses (e.g. paid employee time spent in mandated classes)
3) Where safety or access building features (e.g. for the disabled) are mandated, require these in new construction ; but in the case of retrofits, be highly generous with tax breaks.
These are just a few possibilities, but there really does need to be discussion on how to keep people safe, without bankrupting employers or others who produce products or provide services. We also need conversation about regulations in other areas which have less directly to do with economic life - for instance with health care and health products, and with education. How to regulate - or not - in order to protect not just safety and well being, but our CHOICE as citizens, and the necessary freedoms of the practitioner ? These are some of my thoughts - what are yours ?
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