Government’s Fickle Force

Government’s Fickle Force

Tom Stilp JD, MBA/MM, LLM, MSC
Mayor Richard J. Daley said about enforcement of the law during the Chicago riots in the 1960s: “Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all—the policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”  link here

It is an unseen presence in our daily routine: the government.  The government makes sure there are vitamins in our breakfast cereals.  For our morning toast, the government requires the flour used in that toast has no more than 75 insect fragments and one rodent hair per 50 grams.  No more than 10% moldy beans are allowed for our coffee.  (Government’s fickle force steps alongside you day and night, Chi. Trib., §2, p. 2 07052022).

There are things we know.  There are things we don’t know.  And there are things we don’t know that we don’t know. 

As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it about 20 years ago when he was famously lampooned for matching verbs and nouns of the same words: “known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.” link here

So, we depend on government.  The problem is that if you are a business owner, the regulations sometimes make sense, yet other times do not; regulations appear fickle, arbitrary and capricious.  The law and business might converge at exactly the right spot, or not.  There is a constant tension between law and business, government and free enterprise, freedom and regulation.  Over 1.25 million people are killed in each year in auto accidents, and in the U.S., over 6 million are injured each year.
(link here)  Yet, we still drive.  We make judgment calls each time.

The considerations of freedom are counterweights to regulation, justifying changes when the benefit of a regulation fails to outweigh the practical burdens of its application.  The courts exist to help strike the right balance.

Having successfully fought on the side of business interests for over three (3) decades, let us know if we can help your business.