Say what you will about government control of our lives, I think the standardization of building codes is one of the most important functions the government performs. It might sound kind of wacky, but if we do not all build to the same specifications and according to some hard and fast rules, anarchy will ensure.
Imagine if you were in a building that had not been built with the required amount of circulation area. There is a fire and you are stuck inside because there is not a safe way to evacuate. This is a tragedy that can easily be avoided if everyone builds according to certain rules.
This was an issue during the earthquake in Haiti last year. Poor building practices combined with a total lack of building codes meant that huge areas of structures were flattened. The destruction would not have been as bad if construction had been more standardized.