Australia is known for its high level of regulation. Strict regulations apply on our roads, in business, on our beaches, how we handle our pets and children, voting, schooling and the list goes on. On the other hand, Greeks will tell you that rules are put in place only to be broken - and they often are without consequences. So what's better - a regulated society for the benefit of the whole, or a society free of regulations so individuals can do as they please?
It's a question of striking a balance, isn't it? Not enough rules and you get anarchy... too many, and you get a police state or a society that's governed by lawyers.
In Britain we have so many stupid, petty regulations that it's getting to the point that we're no longer a free country.
The problem is that we Brits are susceptible to regulation. Europe imposes lots of rules on us that other member states mostly just ignore, but we just step up to the mark and make sure all the boxes get ticked. Sometimes I think we're drowning in a sea of petty beaurocracy.
Every regulation is preceded by an abuser who has been robbing society.
I often wonder about the mental stability of leaders thinking they know what's good for society and crossing personal boundaries of the people
The trouble is (as Niteriter says above) that a lot of laws and regulations are brought about as a result of pressure from lobby groups. These groups may have the best of intentions, but the legislation often gets used in all sorts of unforseen ways. An example that occurred in Britain recently is the case of two policewomen who acted as unofficial childminders for each other's children. In Britain you have to be registered to be a childminder, so this is technically against the law, even though in this case no actual money changed hands. So when somebody reported the two women, they were told they would have to make alternative arrangements or face prosecution.
(What was I saying about it "getting to the point" where we're no longer a free society? I think we're already there.)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … ldren.html
I think leaders in a democratic society make decisions based on an aggregate of feedback from constituents. The noisiest (or wealthiest) constituents often win which is often not good for the whole.
I agree that government regulations make life awkward for everyday citizens. However, if we could trace the history leading up to instituting the law you describe, I willing to bet we will find an increase in incidents in which children were harmed while under the care of an irresponsible or unqualified (read young) caretaker. Irresponsibility on the part of individual citizens is too often the catalyst for most of our intrusive regulations.
Yes, I agree with you (although occasionally tragedies are just a case of "sh1t happens" rather than irresponsibility on the part of an individual). It goes like this:
1. Something unfortunate/tragic occurs
2. It comes to the attention of the media
3. There's a nationwide campaign to pass a law to stop it happening again
4. Said law is passed
5. A few months or years down the line, along come the "unforseen consequences".
I often ponder the notion that if we taught basic life skills in our schools (e.g. don't harm others, clean up your own mess, put things back where you found them, etc.) we'd eventually run out of need for regulation. A utopian dream I know but I ponder it nevertheless. It's less depressing than regurgitating the memory of getting fined for driving 6 inches onto the sidewalk!
It pretty much all boils down to personal responsibility in the end, doesn't it? To your list I would add things like "there's no such thing as a free lunch", "don't expect other people to be your sole or even main source of happiness" and "walk away from people who exploit you because if you stay, you're just rewarding them and encouraging them to carry on doing it". That last one is particularly hard for many of us.
However, I don't have much faith in our school system being able to deliver this kind of stuff. A lot of schools can't even teach maths and English properly. Really it boils down to parents and individual people (I know people who had terrible parents but taught themselves to be decent citizens, so I know it can be done).
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