CHAPTER 13Unequal Regulation

There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains.

—Theodore Roosevelt, speech, August 31, 1910

THERE’S A SIDE TO REGULATION THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK ABOUT, and it has far-reaching effects if representatives of corporations are writing the rules. Once a regulation is passed saying, “you can emit no more than 10 ppm [parts per million] of mercury,” you can legally emit up to 10 ppm. Before that rule was passed, any amount you emitted might subject you to potential lawsuits from nearby humans made ill by your emissions, by other states, or even by the federal government. The regulatory rule essentially legalizes what a corporation is doing. In the best of worlds, this wouldn’t ...

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