The number of laws grows rapidly, yet the number of regulators grows relatively slowly.  There are always more laws than there are regulators to enforce them, and thus the number of regulators is the binding constraint.

The regulators face pressure to enforce the most recently issued directives, if only to avoid being fired or to limit bad publicity.  On any given day, it is what they are told to do.  Issuing new regulations therefore displaces the enforcement of old ones.

Read all of the corollaries.

One rejoinder would begin by observing that the origin of the problem is that future legislators are short-run players.  Given that, it may even be normatively optimal for today’s short-run legislators to speed up the pace of their own regulations so that they are in effect as long as possible before their eventual displacement by the next generation.  Of course this is conditional on today’s regulation being better than the marginal old one being displaced, which is presumably the case otherwise it wouldn’t have been under consideration in the first place.

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