by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Government regulations affect every aspect of our lives, even though the pace of adding new regulations has decreased somewhat recently. In 2016, there were approximately 46,074 pages detailing federal law and 176,420 pages of regulations associated with those laws. This total doesn’t include any local laws and regulations generated from within your state, county, or city. We are expected to obey them all automatically.
Do you know them all? Of course not—it’s impossible. From fixing bothersome boggy spots in your lawn to how and what you use to kill pesky insects to wearing seat belts and obeying speed limits to how you can defend yourself, the list of regulations is almost endless. Do you know how many were added in the last 24 hours that you are supposed to know about and obey? Probably not. Neither do I.
The problem gets much worse if you dare risk your resources and open a business, and it becomes exponentially worse if you manage to be successful at that business. For instance, my wife and I run several businesses. Despite having attorneys and membership in multiple industry associations, we are still surprised on occasion to find out about new laws and associated regulations. It’s already in force and is directly affecting our business—and we didn’t even know about it! It is very difficult to stay on top of all the new rules that come out while you’re trying to run your business.
With all this in mind, it’s likely that during this past week, you unknowingly broke some law or regulation. If you’re a business owner, it’s almost a given.