Friday, June 9, 2017

Encouraging Businesses to Rewrite Regulations for the Benefit of Themselves and Society

Government spends a lot of time researching and understanding which legislation is beneficial for stakeholders. They don't always get it right and sometimes they get it so wrong that doors close and jobs move overseas. While these are hotly contested issues that make Republican and Democrats burn with anger and spill-out seething rebukes it is an ongoing problem that must be faced!

We can impose regulations from the top or we can partner with industry to create regulations. The top down system is beneficial when industry cannot propose workable legislation. The hammer shall come down and it should be on the side of the people. At least in theory in societies that are "for the people". But....it doesn't need to come down when there are alternatives.

Industry are the masters of their environment and will have much more knowledge than any legislator will gain. They know their business, what will help them grow and what will screech their business to a stop! Industry leaders have something to say about how they can get things done and we are better off giving them our ear.

It makes sense to encourage them to be stakeholders and propose solutions that can meet the needs of the people and help them maintain their competitive stance. When we look at the issue of pollution it is natural and right to limit our carbon foot print. We all live in this environment and one generation does not have the right to doom the next only for profit.

Industry can put forward and invest in research and proposals that meet societies expectations. We move them from unwilling receivers of legislation to the sculptor that can develop something workable for a larger pool of stakeholders. It is they that have a lot to lose, often ranging into the multi-millions of dollars, and it is they who can propose some of the best solutions.

You might expect industry to be selfish and make propositions that are completely self-seeking in a way that ignores rights of society. This isn't often the case. They have concerns over the environment as well as their competitive position. Government has the ultimate authority to review, adjust and eventually vote on such legislation proposals.

Precisely how industry would come up with this solution is entirely up to them. One could foresee the use of not-for-profit, or research associations, that work on the behalf of the entire industry and not on the behalf of any one donor. They research ideas, investigate options, and create solutions for everyone involved. If they can't get it passed there is no reason to make a proposal.

Under this system science will be boosted. Where there is no available data, or open questions, the proposals will need to find an answer. That requires the use of scientific procedure, either research already conducted or new research, that fills the "gaps" in the proposal. An incomplete proposal is likely to result in a resounding "no" and requests for additional information.

Instead of demonizing corporations we can push them to find a better way of doing things. It would dumbfound the modern mind if they would prefer arbitrary decisions over those that can also meet their needs. More likely self-interest would push them to jump at the chance to remove what doesn't work with something that does.

The long-term impact can have a profound effect on the economy and society. Millions of jobs may be saved by ensuring legislation is practical and not an undue hindrance to industry. Pulling companies into the solution is better than have a cat-and-mouse game of big money donations that influence political votes or legal "hocus pocus" that side-steps justified legislation. As a nation, we are either finding better ways of creating alignment around societal norms through engagement or we continue to bleed organizations that could not save themselves.

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