Should there be fewer laws? Should there be fewer laws?  

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We generally tend to leave a law on the books forever once it is made, unless it had a built in expiration date. Some of these laws conflict with needs in today's society, but they have been forgotten until someone digs them up to suit his own ends. I'd argue that we don't need these laws.
readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are more laws that imaginable and some of these laws are completely ridiculous, but they are still on the books. The proliferation of laws creates several theoretical problems, which leads me to believe that there should be fewer laws in general. Let me offer a few of these problems, as I see it. First, with all of these laws, people who practice law must be familiar with a huge corpus of material. And to be honest, it is impossible to accomplish this. Also think of the common citizen; it is hopeless.

Second, when we compare and contrast laws, there is a huge dilemma. What laws should we follow or apply? How do these laws work in connection with other similar laws? Third, with all of these laws, there is problem of selectivity. You will have to be selective about which laws to emphasize. And the clever person may find many loopholes, which is not fair to the average citizen.

An overhaul of law may be the right move. To be sure, this will not be easy in any way. In the least, we should be careful not to add new laws without considerable deliberation.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is, of course, a matter of opinion.

In general, I do think that there are too many laws in some areas.  I think that one of the most important areas in which there are too many laws is the federal tax code.  The tax code is a real problem in part because it is so very complicated.  However, the other problem is that all sorts of loopholes and incentives are built in to the tax code to help out various industries and interest groups that are able to successfully lobby Congress to give them breaks.

I think that that is the sort of thing where we have too many laws.  I do not thin there is any real problem with laws about things like seat belt use or about land use.  Where I do see a problem is with laws like tax laws and subsidies that favor some businesses over others.

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