America the Fixable was just launched to identify solutions to some of the country’s most entrenched problems. This first month they are focusing on obsolete law. At this point, our country is basically run by dead people. Running government today is like trying to run a business using every idea every manager ever had.
There are four problems caused by the accumulation of old law:
1. Too much law causes paralysis.
2. Laws have unintended consequences.
3. Priorities change. The more specific a law, the faster it becomes obsolete.
4. Accumulation of laws is not coherent. The goal of law is to provide a framework for a free society. The idea of legal “codes” — such as the Uniform Commercial Code — is to provide uniform standards by which people can organize their activities. Federal law attempts no such coherence: the Government Accountability Office found 82 separate programs for teacher quality.
We are trapped in our own old, outdated, incoherent, obsolete laws!