Interesting post! I think you’re right. No legal business is free from standards of some kind. Further, those standards are imposed with the intent of protecting the public from the fallibility, neglect and/or malfeasance of the industry. As a society, we are responsible for the trade-offs involved in regulation. One cost is the higher inefficiency or cost of the process. The medical area is one where government intervention has created a substantial burden to efficiency and expense. The second is wisdom or intelligence. The government regulation of the financial industry didn’t prevent the financial collapse we experienced last year. Arguably, it facilitated it in important ways. Finally, regulation creates an expectation of safety which is not possible where humans are involved. Humans are universally fallible and so are their institutions. This is in no way to say that the government or industry associations shouldn’t move to create regulations or standards. It is to say we need to understand the trade-offs and costs.
Likewise, I find your story of attempting to control the ‘professionalism’ of sports fascinating. I am all for amateur athletics. I think it is athletics at its best. But the corrupting forces are overwhelming. I’m sure every team in your league that cares in the slightest pushes the rules to the maximum and often finds loopholes to push beyond. Likewise, we see it in professional athletics. Even golfers are taking performance enhancing supplements now, it seems! And what of sports where they deliberately create a system to keep dominance from happening? Does it serve the sport that the championship rotates yearly? At what point will fans understand that they are watching a nearly random walk?