Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Government Is Not Done Screwing This Up

Members of Congress, especially on the Republican side, are making noises about instituting some sort of legislative fix to prevent a flood of lawsuits against business owners once virus restrictions are finally relaxed. They’re worried about ambulance chasing lawyers crippling already weakened enterprises with thousands of lawsuits by both customers and employees for failing to take proper measures to ensure the safety of all concerned in the aftermath of the pandemic. They want to both reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits and standardize the criteria across all the states.

 I sympathize with the motives here, but you know they’re going to screw this up. The goal will be to protect business owners from the most timid and fearful among us who will be driven by panic to second guess whether protective measures at any particular business are adequate to their standards. Of course, Congress won’t want to be accused of not taking the issue seriously enough, so they will take it upon themselves to set their own guidelines for what constitutes proper precautions. That’s where they’ll bollox this all up. They just won’t be able to help themselves.

Some committee of politicians will have to come to a consensus on what constitutes proper precautions. Every petty bureaucrat on the committee will have ideas of their own, and everyone’s ideas must be accommodated to reach consensus. What could possibly go wrong? I’m sure this is how we ended up with TSA guidelines and OSHA rules. Businesses will be forced to comply because either government will compel them to comply, or the newly devised “voluntary” guidelines will become the de facto standard based on what will be labelled “consensus”. Defy the “recommendations” and be prepared to defend yourself in court for decisions that don’t align in some way with the “sound principles” blessed by government bureaucrats in all their wisdom. Instead of a return to normalcy, Congress will end up enshrining some of the stupidest, most cumbersome regulations into a new standard of business practice with which we will be burdened forever. You know I’m right.