Posts Tagged ‘Scandinavian simplicity’

The age of the kilo-page

November 19, 2010

I recently learned a new expression – “kilo-page” – which means a thousand pages, as in, “The financial reform bill is more than a kilo-page.”  My rule of thumb is that a kilo-page law is not understandable, and that a law that is not understandable defeats the whole purpose of the rule of law, which is to have impartial rules for the common good that everybody follows.  A kilo-page law is an open invitation to the powerful to manipulate the system for their own benefit.

I came across the expression in the comment thread on a web log post entitled Scandinavian Simplicity by an economist named Scott Sumner.  Sumner makes the point that Sweden recently issued a single-page regulation – that everyone who gets a mortgage loan must make a 15 percent down payment – that will do more for financial stability than the whole 1000-plus pages of the U.S. financial “reform” bill.  The actual expression “kilo-page” was coined by another economist, named Bryan Caplan.

Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.