Less Government Regulation Series: Building Codes and Competition (May 18, 2009)
Some individuals oppose state-wide or national building codes because they prefer local codes that reflect local concerns and conditions. For some, the belief is deeply ideological and passionate. However, there is a cost to the community in lost competition that costs the consumer. A builder who is obliged to expend the resources to learn a new local building code is hindered from competing with and against other builders who know the local code. The local code is a barrier to entry into the market. With less competition, there are higher prices to the consumer. If there are more local building codes, ironically there is more abstruse government regulation and more piles of paper. For some, free and open markets are a greater concern. Government regulation or involvement is often necessary to promote free and open markets. These antinomies tax the intellect and muddle the debate. Rise above the din of ideology.
Bumper stickers of the week:
Measure ten times, cut once.
More is more.