The Glory in Risk

'One vital concept here is that of risk. Regulators act on the implicit premise that our primary focus should be on avoiding risk. According to them, all we have to do to be successful is avoid tainted food, drugs with side effects, companies that could swindle us, imperfect aircraft, etc. Moreover, in their view, doing so is easy. Simply ban and forbid any risky product or idea from the marketplace.

What they fail to appreciate is that avoiding a negative is not the same as achieving a positive. Avoiding tainted food doesn’t ward off hunger any more than avoiding a side-effect will cure the primary disease. Instead, what life requires are positive values, from material goods like food, shelter and medicine; to emotional ones like a lover or a spouse; to spiritual ones like a lifelong purpose and career...

Most regulation is fundamentally flawed because it elevates risk avoidance above value creation. In so doing, it causes material and spiritual impoverishment, as well as stagnation, atrophy and decay. If we’re to make the most out of our lives—if we’re to create and achieve our most exalted values—we must be free to accept their inherent risks. Let’s reclaim that freedom by rejecting—and dismantling—the regulatory state.'

- Amit Ghate, 'Risk and Regulation'.


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