Regulation isn’t a bad word


I keep hearing the word “regulation” thrown around as if it’s a bad thing. Regulations are what cleaned up the air, rivers, and land. Regulations are what made cars, homes, workplaces, and the products that fill them safer. Without regulations, corporations set the rules. Without regulations, we’re less safe.

Why am I ranting? A couple things: hearing Donald Trump say:

“For the bankers in the room, they’ll be very happy because we’re really doing a major streamlining and, perhaps, elimination, and replacing [Dodd-Frank] with something else…”

What about the people being happy? Dodd-Frank is a flawed law, that was put in place because it’s what Congress could pass at the time. They decided that even with flaws, doing nothing was worse. This administration has decided that we were fine with doing nothing, and we don’t need protection from banks. (And before you say that he’s promised to replace it with something better, that’s what they all said about the Affordable Care Act.)

I also am on rant because of the United Airlines controversy. I’ve read that United was well within their rights in removing that passenger from the plane — and we’re back to the word regulation. If United’s behavior is allowed, it’s solely because we’ve allowed their rights to supersede our own. That is regulation in nutshell: cases where we’ve decided that corporations’ rights are superseded by the public in order to protect us.

So the next time you hear the President rail against “regulations” — remember that what he’s really saying is that he wants to give you less protection from corporations.

The public gets the horns