The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

How Distrust of Government Grows

One of the great tensions in Democracy that gets a lot of study by political scientists is the problem of regulatory capture. Government intervenes with the stated intention of protecting a vulnerable class of citizens and quickly becomes captured by the intersts of the entity it is supposed to regulate. We see this in energy regulation, work place regulation, and other places.

I recently received a notice from the state of Colorado that I needed to obtain workman's compensation for my employees. My business? I run a booming day care center for my three kids and have a nanny come in several times a week to help out. Dutifully observing the trials and tribulations of Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird, I filed Social Security taxes for my various baby sitters and paid the required unemployment compensation taxes. To do this you need to register with the state to get an employee ID number. Having become registered as an employer, I became subject to the state law that I obtain workmens' compensation insurance for all employees. Wisely thinking that such coverage might be under my homeowners policy I called the insurance agent to find out. Here is what I found out. If the state did not require me to have workman's compensation, my employees would have been covered under my homeowner's policy. But since the state requires the coverage, they are not covered by the homeowners policy. Hence, I have to go out and by the insurance myself. If I didn't know better, I would think that this law serves more to help insurance companies make sales than to protect my household employees.

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