International Man: Everywhere you look, ever-increasing government regulations create a serious obstacle to economic activity. There are too many regulations today, many with severe penalties. Most companies of even modest size now have a compliance department, along with numerous compliance officers and supernumeraries. That wasn't the case a few decades ago.
It seems the compliance industry was created not by satisfying a demand in the marketplace, but rather by satisfying some rule a politician made arbitrarily.
How and why did this happen? What does this say about the economy and society?
Doug Casey: It indicates a growing dislike and distrust of business and commerce and increasing reliance on the government. It's a disturbing trend.
Companies have a vested interest in providing the best product at the most competitive cost to their customers. That's how you succeed in business. Government, on the other hand, is necessarily a monopoly based on coercion. That's bad enough, but it's run by—no surprise—the type of people who become government employees. You can see them at the DMV and the post office. Worse, the whole apparatus has long been captured by rent-seeking cronies.