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Opinion Too many rules, too little discussion

Too many rules, too little discussion

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.


Too many rules, too little discussion

I am a small business person and, like most other small business owners, my anxiety soars at the thought of dealing with government regulations. I understand the need for some regulation, just as I understand the need for stop signs. Regulations to protect public health and safety against the small number of people who would cheat or cut corners are necessary. But the way federal and state bureaucrats tend to deal with troublemakers is to throw everyone into the deep end of the regulation pool and then leave the rest of us to swim through the red tape, rules and requirements and added liability caused by their arbitrary and many times unnecessary rules. I don’t believe rule-makers are malicious, but I do believe they get into a Statehouse or Beltway state of mind and after too much time in office lose touch with reality, especially as it relates to small business operations. Just about every line of business has a state and/or federal trade association. The members are all competitors in the marketplace, but still work together for the good of the industry and the markets they serve. There should be a process that requires the issuing agency to identify the type of business likely to be affected, then demonstrate there is a real need for a rule that affects all businesses within that business group. Once that need is determined, there should be meetings with the appropriate associations to explain why it is necessary and to hear how the problem might be better resolved through open discussions. Stop signs at intersections are usually good and necessary. Regulations requiring a stop sign at every driveway on a block would be an unnecessary disruption, just as unneeded business regulations are. Those are the kinds of regulations small business owners face every day.

Grady Payne CEO Conner Industries Fort Worth  


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