The Crush of the Regulators

It is a blast to be the compliance expert in government regulations.
Everybody loves you, and they see you as the great protector,
especially if the regulators are visiting next week.
They love your knowledge and they count on you to save them.
Often the regulators are brand new and have no clue.
It’s not brilliant, but you merely need to ask them to show you the rule.
Because you are confident you know the rules,
and you see eyes evade as their imagination cooks up new ones.
When they can’t find the rule that they have made up,
they say it is “industry standard” and they don’t need a citation.
They desperately aim to fulfill their mission of making you wrong.
They are always right unless you know their boss’s boss, and you usually don’t
because each time they send a new batch of regulators.
It is terrible irony as you train the regulators during each interrogation.
When the regulators are wrong, they are right and you pay big fines.
This is how they engorge themselves – They fine you big when you’re wrong,
and they fine you just as big when you’re right.
You cannot challenge the regulators in court and be heard by an impartial party –
You could in a free society. You could in a society of laws.
We are being trashed by the power of regulators  and legislators.
Legislators keep writing more and more laws which require
more and more regulations which require
more and more rules which require
more and more interpretive Q & A’s which
no one understands,
No one but I after hundreds and hundreds of hours of study each year.
Legislators don’t get rid of the old bad laws.
Regulators don’t get rid of the old bad rules.
No, that would be difficult work – It would require thought.
No, we get bad law on top of bad law on top of broken regulation
on top of bad regulation on top of bad rule on top of amended rule.
Laws become more and more twisted, asinine, convoluted,
so complex that lawyers can never be brilliant enough to understand them.
Regulators get to grow and keep growing.
Soon, there will be more regulators than victims.
With less businesses to fine,
taxes will rise to replenish the lard of the regulators
who are being taxed to pay themselves to regulate
any business which might survive this blizzard.
Surviving businesses will be the fierce lawyers
who bash swords with the regulators.
Who will pay all of the lawyers?


I submitted this one for Jingle’s Poetry Potluck – This week’s theme was Rules, Regulations, and Laws


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  1. #1 by Life: Between the lines on January 23, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    This reminds me about my days preparing for inspection at work. A visit from the regs can send everyone into a frenzy. As badly as things may seem when they visit, we do need regulators as they protect us in some way or another, even those dealing with taxes and all. 🙂

    • #2 by Carl on January 23, 2011 - 8:41 pm

      Yes, we need some of those chaps. Unfortunately, we have lost any sense of balance. It’s OK; people in my field are in high demand right now. It is a shame that businesses spend so much more on pleasing regulators than they do on pleasing customers – It denigrates commerce.

  2. #3 by Evelyn on January 23, 2011 - 7:40 pm

    Yea, I got nothing.
    what a hard Jingle theme this week…
    You had a whole bunch! 🙂

    • #4 by Carl on January 23, 2011 - 8:39 pm

      I had nothing until I got in my whiny mode. It’s not artistic, but I figured I should not give up a chance to whine!

  3. #5 by Life: Between the lines on January 23, 2011 - 8:49 pm

    lol@Carl at a chance to whine lol
    It can denigrate but also does elevate standards…think about the restaurants and closings etc…

  4. #6 by Jingle on January 23, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    it is a hard theme indeed…
    but I am thrilled to see you play and play well…

    any take would be fun to read.
    Thanks for sharing…


    • #7 by Carl on January 23, 2011 - 10:26 pm

      Thank you so much, Jingle! Thank you for all you doing.

  5. #8 by Scent of my heart on January 23, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Lovely contribution. So much to explore in your words …

    • #9 by Carl on January 23, 2011 - 10:27 pm

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment.

  6. #10 by Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved on January 23, 2011 - 10:42 pm

    This is certainly appropriate given the theme and you’ve addessed a subject that most of us are not equipment to address. Thanks for adding to the richness of the experience.

    Happy Potluck. Enjoy your visits and visitors. Blog on …

    • #11 by Carl on January 23, 2011 - 10:48 pm

      Thank you, Jamie. I appreciate your comment – It is wonderful if we can add to the experience – It’s all worth it.

  7. #12 by liv2write2day on January 23, 2011 - 11:33 pm

    Carl, I relate to this one having lived my life under the eye of government regulations (healthcare) and being responsible for compliance. We need regs and we need a bit of common sense…balance. Well done.

    • #13 by Carl on January 24, 2011 - 6:15 am

      Thank you so much for your comment – It’s nice to have empathy from another “victim.” 🙂

  8. #14 by Jessica on January 24, 2011 - 9:23 am

    That’s a real tirade of feeling there! It sounds like no fun at all to be caught up with all that red tape. Well written.

    • #15 by Carl on January 24, 2011 - 11:05 pm

      Thank you for commenting. I enjoyed your poem.

  9. #16 by kolembo on January 25, 2011 - 5:15 am

    Long, but worth it! The last three lines are great! Wonderful pay-off!

    • #17 by Carl on January 25, 2011 - 7:36 am

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  10. #18 by Claudia on January 25, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    wow – very well written! before i read that this was the theme of the prompt i thought you are dealing with them on a daily basis…kudos

    • #19 by Carl on January 26, 2011 - 12:02 am

      Thank you, Claudia. This actually is a whine about my day job. When I saw the prompt, I thought that I could not do anything on that theme, and then I thought, why not whine?

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