Allow me to tell you what's really wrong with the economy these days: it's the bureaucracy, stupid!
Now that little video may well have been made as a jokey ad and there's some doubt as to whether a drone would be able to carry that weight. But ever since that little joke went viral guess what's happened? Yep, the company has been told to shut down the operation:
His drone successfully delivered 10 bottles of beer to a fishing hut on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. However posting a video onto You Tube boasting of his initiative served only to attract the attention of the FAA, which currently bans the use of drones for commercial purposes. It has instructed the brewery to stop its airborne deliveries, to the disappointment of customers who have made a plea for a change of heart on the White House website. Current federal laws limit the use of drones for recreational purposes and they must not fly over populated areas.
Now that there should be some regulation is just fine with me. There has actually already been one death when the rotors of one craft cut the throat of a passer by. But this is what enrages:
The FAA is redrafting the regulations, but the commercial use of drones is unlikely to be allowed in the USA until 2017.
The process started last year: so that will be 4 years just to get those regulations drafted. And really, this just won't do. For economic growth is all about, is based upon, how quickly we can adopt new technologies. It might be to do new things or it might be to do old things in a more interesting or efficient manner, but it really is the adoption of new technology that drives the whole thing forward and thereby makes us all richer. A four year dealy while the bureaucrats scribble on pieces of paper is something we just shouldn't be willing to put up with.
After all, it's not a particularly difficult task, is it? Should we allow drones to slice peoples' heads off? Y/N?
If N are there drone designs without exposed rotors? Given that the answer there is Y the only other question would be what level of insurance should we insist that commercial operators have?
There, that wasn't so difficult to do and if I can do it in five minutes then what on earth is the bureaucracy doing taking four years over it? Waiting for their pensions to mature or something?
And yes, of course this is a fairly trivial example. But what people outside the entrepreneurial world don't seem to understand is that almost every new product and or service is being subjected to the same regulatory delays. And that really is having an effect in slowing down the growth of the economy.
I'm perfectly willing to agree that there are areas of life that do indeed need regulation. But could we please note that we don't need regulation of all aspects of life and further, where we do indeed need it can we get these things settled in a timely and efficient manner? Not doing so is needlesslyh making us all poorer than we need to be.