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My husband and I were seated next to Charles Murray at dinner recently and had an interesting conversation. I first asked him if his Madison Fund has gotten off the ground. It hasn’t, because Murray is a public intellectual, not an organizer of funds, but investors have expressed interest, and I think it looks like an opportunity for a business-savvy Ricochet member!
For those of you who haven’t read his latest book, By the People, the Madison Fund is intended to fight the crippling the excesses of the administrative state. The idea is that the fund will act like insurance against regulatory overreach, and that Madison Fund lawyers will take on cases that fight silly — as opposed to reasonable — regulation in order to make it unenforceable.
Murray believes that the administrative state is very incestuous (with a single agency often playing the role of police, prosecutor, and judge) but thinly-spread. He thinks that with the help of an organization like the Madison Fund — or collection of them — businesses can challenge regulatory rules without risking their very existence. Currently, businesses tend to just ignore many regulations that cost a lot but don’t serve any sensible purpose, though this opens them to the risk of enormous penalties and legal fees should they come under scrutiny.
The Madison Fund — or Madison Funds — would take cases knowing full well that they will lose, since the business is technically in violation. However, this would drive-up the costs of enforcement and they Fund would publicize the heck out of the cases, showing how antithetical to both safety and business many regulations are. In the process, they will name names of regulatory administrators who not only put such regulations in place, but are willing to put people out of business for ridiculous reasons. Such petty administrators love to control people, but hate the limelight because they don’t want to be publicly exposed for the unelected tyrants they often are. In other words, the idea is to use regulatory agencies’ tactics against them — to put fear in their Grinchy little hearts — because they do not actually have the resources to regularly fight this kind of civil disobedience.
So there you go, smart business Ricochetti! Write up a business plan for the Madison Fund and send it along to Charles Murray! Perhaps he can put you in touch with investors and the fund will be off and running!Published in