Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Regulation: A Necessary Evil

Join Dr. Larry Bickle at the School of Mechanical Engineering for a look at how government regulations impact technical entrepreneurs.

Government regulation is essential to the the healthy operation of "free markets." Free markets can only function if there is "no force and no fraud." The only entity in society that is authorized to use force to make sure this happens is the government. Many regulations are essential and help speed up business transactions. For example, we don't have to each calibrate a gas pump before we fill our car with gasoline. We can trust that a government agency has inspected and approved the calibration of every gas pump on a regular basis, and thus, we all benefit from improved transaction efficiency.

On the other hand, regulation (like all laws), moves very slowly and thus preserves the status quo. Incumbents will and do use the power of the government to stifle new competitors. We'll look at the current example of how taxi cabs and city governments are combining forces to stop the new internet-based car service, UBER. We will then generalize this experience to see how technical entrepreneurs need to think about regulation/law as they develop their new businesses.

The presentation takes place on Friday, February 6 in the School of Mechanical Engineering, room 218, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. For more information, please call 277-1325.