Why Do We Have Terrible Laws?


.     Laws are human made and often quite flawed.   Like Singapore’s, “It is illegal to pee in an elevator.” Another silly law is USA’s Alabama where it is illegal to drive with a blindfold.  Swaziland has as a law, that women’s pants can be legally stripped off by soldiers.  Saudi Arabia is notorious for cutting off the hand of thieves.  Greece banned videogames.  Many lawmakers have become trivial in their choices of laws to produce and uphold, and there are several reasons why.


.     First of all is lawyers are experts on legality and enforcement, not policy design.  They know what is acceptable and not, but these same lawyers are stupid of the consequences.  Policy making is not their expertise.  They may be good at translating concepts into a written law, but not thinking up the policies. They have zilch know-how of economic theory, business principles, livelihood creation, crime control, and things that actually matter in people’s lives. Better to replace some congressmen with economists, businessmen, journalists, engineers, social science majors, historians.


.     Second problem is that lawmakers have poor or no diagnosis of the problems of a country.  It is either they cannot empathize with an ordinary person, or they are just lounging in pools of money stolen from the people.  Some even have helicopters to use so they do not feel traffic.  The problem arises when lawgivers have a wrong assessment of the issue at hand.  Whenever government is not addressing an issue properly, count on it that it is adding to the problem.  It can be likened to a doctor not successfully treating a patient because he has not diagnosed the illness properly.


.     Third reason why there are bad laws is that there is no active limit on the number of laws.  Best to phase out obscure and obsolete laws at times.  This is needed because there is no admission of mistake on the part of lawmakers.  After all, they are perfect since no one is called out for faulty work.  There is such a thing as too much ingredients (laws).  Best to put a cap limit on laws so that the populace is not bombarded by too much stupidity.  Quality laws (and great enforcement) would always be better than numerous laws.


.     Fourth reason why we have bad laws, is that laws say more than they should.  Unlike simple statements, such as 2 + 3 = 5, which reads and means 2 + 3 = 5, laws are subject to wild interpretation.  A law is what a lawyer wants it to be to win his case.  A law is what a congressman puts in it to get some money secretly.


.     Fifth reason would be the lack of ethics in lawmakers.  Just because they know right from wrong does not mean they will do right.  Even laws exempt congressmen and high government officials from prosecution.  Citizens are in a load of trouble when lawmakers are the primary lawbreakers. Too much thievery, deceit, abuse of power, impunity are the small clauses lawmakers insert into their laws. High requirements of character has to be demanded of officials.  Non-compliance to reasonable ethical standards should be tantamount to removal from office, and high money settlement.


.    Laws fail when one or all of the points above are valid.  People are the ones to suffer when the laws themselves are faulty, half-baked.  Hopefully, may God bless us with law-designers who are sensible, upright, and competent.




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