When I was a small boy, I was strongly in favor of reduced regulatory intrusion into private activity. I remember riding in the 1953 Dodge with my mother and asking her, "Wouldn't it be great if there were no stop signs?" She patiently explained to me that, no, it would be very bad because of all the carnage and chaos.
I recalled that incident recently when I received an e-mail entitled "If you are over 35, you should be dead." As I am in fact over 35, I decided to read it to clear up the mystery of why I was not dead. On opening the message, I thought (an act that provided axiomatic evidence of my being) that I recognized the contents as an antiregulatory diatribe I had already received a few times. And if I've gotten this note a few times, perhaps some Scientific American readers have received it as well. Therefore, I decided to respond here, because I don't have all your e-mail addresses.
This article was originally published with the title Regulation Rag.