There has been a lot of talk lately about regulators “working together” to get things done in Washington. Reaching across the aisle. Compromise.
Personally, I have a policy of voting for the politician whom I think will be the most ineffectual and divisive in Washington, because frankly, the more they get done, the more damage they inevitably will do. I point to the bailout for a recent example of why it is better to have a deeply divided congress (preferably, ideologically divided) and querulous in order to prevent bad ideas from becoming bad policy. If the members of congress in favor of less government and freer markets (they used to be called Republicans) had opposed those seeking to make our economy more socialist this bill never would have passed. Thanks to compromise however, we are now stuck with a policy that will ripple through multiple generations.
Our system of government in the USA is set up to have opposing forces, checks and balances. Politicians compete with each other—the prize being votes and their continued political career (theoretically anyway).
Competition among regulators has the potential to not only prevent a lot of bad policy, but also to encourages transparency, efficiency, and practical results.
One industry that has been discussing the idea idea of regulatory competition is the insurance industry. For most of the industry, insurance regulation is fractured in a way that requires to jump regulatory hurdles in each state they operate in, making it that much costlier to do business and virtually impossible to innovate. Due to extreme stagnation and industry complaints for the last few decades, there has been much discussion about creating a federal option (an Optional Federal Charter) for the regulation of insurers instead of relying only on state regulation.
But even in this area too, there is talk about greater cooperation and compromise between state regulators and the feds. Frankly, I like my piranhas to occasionally attack each other and give the rest of us in the country a break.