re: Death By A Million Regulations
I sympathize with this point of view. Many regulations are, as Rob effectively illustrated, a quagmire of jurisdictional questions, redundancy, and overall b.s. But there's a problem: some companies look for any absence of regulation they can exploit.
It's almost like some companies know laws will be written later to outlaw their activities, so they figure they have to maximize their bad behavior while it's still legal. It's that gray area where "ethical" and "legal" start to separate from one another. The garbage with Goldman Sachs trying to affect aluminum prices is a recent example of this sort of thinking.
And when the companies get punished, the fines are never enough to appease public disapproval. If you make the mistake of parking in the wrong space in San Francisco and your car gets towed, the penalty you'll pay to get your car back is more severe, in relative terms, than what many fines related to the financial crisis have been. It's no wonder people have, as Rob pointed out, a natural affinity for more rules, more regulation and - so they hope - more protection. When companies so often do things that make people think, "Someone should stop that!", calls for more regulation are difficult to avoid.