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Free Minds & Free Markets

There Ought Not Be a Law: New at Reason

Top Photo Group/NewscomTop Photo Group/NewscomThe world is an imperfect place, but laws tend to make things worse, not better.

J.D. Tuccille writes:

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants limits on virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, that help people keep their financial lives private from folks like him. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants government regulation of political speech by foreign agents—or maybe just by people with whom she disagrees. Gun control activists want more restrictions with which to threaten peaceful gun owners so that violent predators who break laws will have more things to ignore.

If ever there was a "there oughta be a law moment," we're living in it. At least, we're living in one of all too many such moments. Because people are forever looking to the law as the solution to the ills they perceive in the world around them—often only to spackle over the failures of the previous round of laws. In the process, they're forever forgetting that laws are usually nothing more than codified prejudices, imposed against resistant populations, by sometimes incompetent and often corrupt enforcers.

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