Regulation and Robert Higgs’ objection

Regulation is the kind of law that says, “This isn’t a crime, but I’m going to stop you from doing it anyway” that is, the kind of law that intervenes and prevents admittedly innocent activities, insisting that oversight is needed, even where everyone involved consents. It’s very easy to attack the “bad” kind of regulation, as in the familiar inept or corrupt building official or the captured agencies overseeing banking; but attacking “bad” regulation gets us nowhere on the question of regulation itself, because people merely think it needs to be replaced with “good” regulation. So let’s discuss the most popular major regulatory agency in the US: The Food and Drug Administration. Continue reading