Political Education Is Necessary to Foster Cooperative Regulatory Enforcement
John T. Scholz
In order for corporations and society to obtain the benefits of interactive corporate compliance, enforcement officials must be willing and able to pursue the kind of cooperative enforcement that would encourage interactive compliance. Regulators have been blamed for much of the inefficient regulations and unreasonable enforcement that interactive compliance is intended to improve. In this chapter I will argue that in the United States, unlike in more authoritarian countries, we generally get the kinds of bureaucrats and inspectors we deserve. The problems associated with enforcement lie to a great degree with us, not the regulators, and the solution will require political education and greater knowledge about how enforcement works.
The growth of regulatory policies in the last two decades has been the result of political demands from consumer, environmental, worker, and community groups that businesses do more in certain areas than market forces demanded of them. The problems associated with regulatory compulsion can be overcome only by convincing both these groups and these businesses that political and legal confrontation is less beneficial than more cooperative relationships are.
My argument begins with the basic theme that everyone can be made better off with interactive compliance coupled with cooperative enforcement. To develop this argument, I will begin with a brief review of the