Jack Rice - Blog

Jack Rice is a criminal defense trial lawyer who provides legal advice to those charged with crimes in Federal and Minnesota State courtrooms.


Jack's Blog & Media Appearances

A Call For More Government Regulation

Some lawmakers are finally willing to back higher gas mileage standards here in the U.S. Oh, how nice for them. While we pay $3.00 per gallon and try to determine how we can take a second mortgage on the house to fill up our tanks, a couple of people do something they should have done years ago. Our President says he wants it now but always fought it himself in the past.

Let me make this point clearly. More regulation in the automobile industry would be a good thing. In fact, more government regulation across the board would be a good thing.

In the last thirty years, we have been buried in speeches about why government is bad and that deregulation is good. That argument just doesn't hold water. Consider.

Media deregulation. Fewer and fewer own more and more and control more of what we hear, say and often think. Imagine one guy controlling multiple radio stations as well as TV news stations as well as the newspaper. Is that good policy?

The savings and loan industry is another example. We deregulated and they spun out of control Profits became paramount and corruption ran rampant. And we never understood what was good on. Think Gordon Gecko, "Greed is Good."

How about the airline industry? Almost every airline has been bankrupt and their pensions are teetering on the edge. The industry is weaker than ever before, not stronger.

Consider the electric prices across the country. How are your bills looking? Study after study have shown that deregulation has resulted in higher profits for them and higher energy prices for you and me. See, that worked great.

The pharmaceutical and health care industry. Massive profits and worse service. Enough said.

The oil industry. Well . . .

And the list goes on and on and on.

Business has one just and only one job. They are designed to make money. They are not designed to be good public stewards. They are not designed to do public good. And worse, because of the way they are organized, they need to make quick profits for the stockholders and for their CEOs who are also almost exclusively paid in stock. Think United Health.

Therefore, only government has the public mandate and the ability to control what is happening. Only government has the ability to require good stewardship. Only government can ensure legal oversight.

Leaving all of this to private industry and pray to God that they do good and simply inconsistent with what business is all about. It is not a slam on it. It is just an acknowledgement of what business is supposed to be.

So enough with the government is bad line and the deregulation is good line. Bad government is bad. Good government is good. Deregulation has been a disaster in many industries and both parties need to take a closer look and remember who they represent, them or us!