Thursday, March 24, 2011

Regulation vs policing

It seems that "regulation" of industry and "policing" of industry are conflated in many people's minds, and indeed in the nomenclature of our government bureaucracies. However, I think there's an important distinction to be made between them: the former involves government planning of resource allocation, the latter involves government detection an punishment of crimes and wrongdoings. The former is hopelessly counterproductive while the latter is indispensable, so it's probably not good for our public discourse that we refer to both as "regulation."