Enforcing Rules Is Important

A while ago on a German train station, I saw a conductor telling a group of people that smoking is prohibited in this station. He was laughed at and ignored. Later on a passenger next to me on the train told the conductor, how glad he was that he stood up to the smoking people and reminded them of the rules. The conductor replied that it is sadly not in his power to enforce the smoking ban in German stations – and not his job for that matter. This would be the job of DB Security, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, who (together with the German Federal Police) is responsible for the security of German train stations and have the means to enforce the rules. The passenger complained that all the security personnel  making their rounds do rarely remind  people of the smoking ban and even more rarely enforce it. An observation I can confirm. The conductor shrugged “A lot is changing” to which the passenger replied “Unfortunately”.

We could now dismiss this little story as an unimportant chat of people unhappy about change, but I think there is more to it. It is not a story about change but about rules and how unenforced rules makes people unhappy.

Continue reading Enforcing Rules Is Important

Sorry, mate, but it’s the law

In one of its recent issues „The Economist“ obviously had a bad day. At least Charlemagne had, though usually his commentary on Europe and its politics are right, this time Charlemagne is plain-wrong in blaming German „legalism“ for the crisis and the Eurozone’s slip into the dangerous low-inflation territory.

Continue reading Sorry, mate, but it’s the law