Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The 10 of Spades, “Self-Regulation”

i-42e7d215fca6d121d7e3a70f49d54798-10s.jpeg At this point, the denialist must propose “self regulation” to deal with the problem that doesn’t exist. Self-regulation is a set of rules that an industry generates to govern itself. The cool thing about self regulation is that it cannot be enforced, and once the non-existent problem blows over, the denialist can simply scrap the rules!

For instance, in the runup to passage of bank privacy legislation in the late 1990s, data brokers created an organization called the “Individual Reference Services Group” that proposed rules for selling personal information. After the legislation passed, IRSG promptly disappeared. And it was those weak, unenforceable IRSG rules that made it possible for identity thieves to subscribe to data services and buy more personal information (even the FTC spotted that risk).


One response to “Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The 10 of Spades, “Self-Regulation””

  1. Is it self-regulation when the industry selects the forum and format for regulations?

    Kevin Drum calls bullsh*t when he sees it.

    Now, don’t get me wrong: even a little bit of movement is a good thing. And I don’t care much what their motivation is. But a lot of what’s happening here on the global warming front involves corporations trying to preempt tough state regulations with weaker federal rules — not exactly a sign of getting on the liberal bandwagon. Likewise, although some CEOs are genuinely concerned about skyrocketing healthcare costs, for the most part they seem to be simply adapting to the new sheriff in town. That “seat at the table” they’re asking for isn’t because they all took vacations in Stockholm this winter and came away true believers in universal healthcare. It’s because they want to make sure that if something is going to happen, it’ll be as little as possible.

    In other words: sure, this is good news. At the same time, keep your hand on your wallet. These guys need to earn a seat at the table, not just be given one.

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