November 02, 2004

Chasing Its Own Tail 

Recently I saw the poster advertising a seminar held in Sicily with a tile like "Creation of new business and occupation". The sponsors were local councils, other Italian institutions and branches of the European Union. The scope of that seminar was to give help, hints and directions to people wanting to start a new business or commercial activity.

The non-said about these programs (there are many, with different names) is that much of the effort and money is devoted to help people to overcome the burden and tangled vines of economic over-regulation, suffocating bureocracy, corporativism and the likes.
Just a couple of examples of over-regulation: when a new bar (that, in Italy, is culturally closer to the concept of English pub) opened in my village, it could not get a licence for cooking and serving food - except sandwiches and panini - because there already was a restaurant in the village. And later on, the Chamber of Commerce forced this estabilishment to raise the prices of some items, because the other bar complained about perceived disloyal cuncurrency.

So I ask, instead of spending money and time to help entrepreneurs dealing with stupid, suffocating regulations, isn't it better to reform those regulations? Isn't it better to work towards a real free market and less bureocracy?


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