Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox said Tuesday his agency repeatedly failed for at least a decade to pursue allegations of wrongdoing by Wall Street figure Bernard L. Madoff, the alleged perpetrator of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
(From this article, emphasis added)
Why is this stuff under government control again? You have to federalize to professionalize, right? Because the government is going to make sure everyone's on the up and up? Because if the government doesn't do something, then everyone will just go crazy?
Too many people believe that government oversight is a necessary (and legitimate) function of the government on the state and federal levels. As if nobody will behave themselves without government scrutiny. As if creating a regulation or an agency or a law will somehow ensure moral behavior.
So what happens when the government agency or its agent fails? There's no option, no alternative. By law, there are no alternatives. But people are supposed to be protected, right? (Answer: No. You don't have the right not to have bad things happen, only the right to take the perpetrators to court and get reimbursed, etc.) The only thing the SEC (or the FDA or the USDA or the DMV or DFACS or TSA or what have you) can do is make MORE regulations to provide people with the illusion that something is changing, that the risk is mitigated, that there will be no more bad decisions.
But a regulation or the existence of a government agency simply can't guarantee moral behavior. Which is what I think many people seem to think. That we're somehow safer from people doing bad things (like fraud). That only the government can handle such oversight (what about UL?).
Look, there are going to be people who do bad things and act wrongly. And of course it's just to catch them and put them in jail or fine them or whatever needs to be done. But when the people gaming the system are The System, and that system has power over us . . . when we only have a chance every couple of years to change an administration who may or may not improve things . . . we are not protected. It's an illusion. And we're stuck with the same illegitimate crappy agencies, with the same crappy regs, and they have the force of government to back up their actions. Not only there is no actual protection from Bad Guys, we're less free. I'm just sayin'.