Posts Tagged ‘Government Regulation’

A Word to the Wise

by Dr. Robert Owens on Thursday, September 19th, 2013

This is article 63 of 83 in the topic Redistribution of wealth/socialism

The most insidious result that central-planning and the overabundance of government control that it requires is not the maladjustments that it inevitably creates in the economy.  It is not the crony capitalism and bureaucratic nepotism that it always fosters.  It is not the smothering blanket of nanny-state regulations that strangle creativity.  It is not even the tendency to one-party rule even when camouflaged behind a two party system that is in reality two heads of the same bird of prey.  It is not a system which may actually contain only two parties if you believe there is the government party and the country party. 

No none of these missteps on the way to an illusionary utopia are the most insidious result of any system no matter what it is called that is some variation on the socialist theme of “From each according to their ability and to each according to their need.” Instead the most insidious result of the effort by some to control all is a change in the character of the people.  

When government regulation becomes an all-embracing web of minutia that requires lawyers, accountants, and other translators of government-speak to comprehend, when safety-nets become hammocks, and when the do-gooders believe that they know what is best for everyone reaches a tipping point people begin to expect others to do for them what they used to do for themselves.  A nation of self-reliant, go-getters can be changed into a sea of slugs on the dole constantly crying and voting for more. 

The descendants of the pilgrims and the pioneers are content to wait for their government check and their food stamps as long as there is a game on their flat screen and minutes left on their obamaphone.    Militant apathy has ossified the sinews of a once great people.  So many people don’t care about anything beyond their creature comforts, the most basic of which are guaranteed, that the will to succeed has been squashed.   

When you guarantee success and everyone gets a trophy just for showing up few will strive to do more than is required.   When success is punished by the ridicule of the media and the inequality of government policies such as a progressive income tax that says, “The more you make the more we take” few will strive to do more than is required.  When college entrance quotas and set-asides say, “We don’t seek the best and the brightest we look at race and gender to pick the winners and losers” few will strive to do more than is required. When government subsidies and tax-breaks say, “If you have connections the government will hold back the crushing reality of the market at tax-payers’ expense” few will strive to do more than is required. 

In America today we are surrounded by low-information voters who either don’t pay any attention to affairs beyond their life or who get their news exclusively from the Progressive controlled Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media.  Their opinions are scripted for them by the progressive group-think of corporate hacks constantly building a narrative to advance their utopian agenda.  If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t print.  If they don’t like what you say it will never play.  America’s once dynamic free press transformed into a one-sided monologue reciting over and over, “Government knows best.” 

Our government controlled and increasingly standardized education system works hard to say as some of my students have; “a ‘D’ is good enough.” Or, “At our school we receive an attendance diploma it just means we were there it don’t mean we learned anything.”  Assignments such as I witnessed in a 12th grade Political Science class, “Watch Michael Moore’s film, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and then write an essay on how many ways Bush lied to trick us into invading Iraq” show indoctrination has in many places swallowed education.

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The Constitution Isn’t A Black Box

by J.J. Jackson on Saturday, December 15th, 2012

This is article 141 of 190 in the topic Government Regulations

The federal Constitution, according to those who penned it, is a limited set of powers granted by the States and the People to our federal government. Modern liberals disagree, thinking that the document is an unlimited grant of power for them to do whatever they want. Our federal government, infested with do-gooder leftists, believes in this new, rewritten Law of the Land with a fervency that is so nauseating and destructive, that it has brought us to the edge of oblivion with deficits piled on deficits for the sake of funding their doing whatever they want. They treat government as some sort of “black box”, whereby they can pull any club out of it that they so choose and then bludgeon us with it.

Recently, the federal government, particularly President Obama’s Department of Transportation, carried this “black box” attitude of government power to literally include a mandate for “black boxes” in cars traveling on the nation’s roads. Of course, the common excuses are being issued by the loyal bureaucrats who are desperately seeking to justify their cushy salaries. Salaries, of course, paid for by Americans so that these bureaucrats can interfere with the lives of Americans.

Those excuses include making the roads safer, helping accident investigation, etc. Blah, blah, blah. But the truth is that, even without government regulation requiring these devices, many cars already have a “black box” installed and more and more new vehicles are being equipped with them every year. Why? Because of the free markets.

“Black boxes” do serve a great number of important roles for automakers, insurance companies, and even us every day drivers. First, they protect those of us who are not at fault when something bad happens. If I step on my brakes and the brakes don’t work, the “black box” records that. If the fault is with the car’s design then the automobile manufacturer can be held accountable for any damage due to a faulty product. If the reason is because I didn’t maintain my car’s brakes, well, the “black box” let’s people know that too. If there is an accident where a little old lady claims she hit her brakes, but witnesses say she actually sped up, the recorder can tell whether she hit the gas by mistake and solve that mystery. If cops stop a young punk barreling through a residential neighborhood at fifty miles per hour and he claims the officers were wrong to stop him and that he wasn’t speeding? The “black box” tells the truth.

So, you see, there is no real reason for the government to get involved in this sort of thing. People have already realized the usefulness of these devices on their own. Automobile companies install them already and people already buy the cars with these devices on them. But what Washington D.C. beltway bureaucrats want to do is make sure that they are installed and, furthermore, that the DOT has access to this data. This is beyond anything our Constitution allows our federal government to do, no matter how much liberals spin words to try and claim that such a declaration is just “right wing” crazy talk.

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Mitt Romney Kicks Ass in First Debate

by Donald Douglas on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

This is article 1021 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

I thought my perspective was biased, that Romney just destroyed Obama in the debate. But the results are coming in, and it’s a bloodbath for the Democrats.

See BuzzFeed for the big headline, “How Mitt Romney Won The First Debate.” (At Memeorandum.) Also at Washington Free Beacon, “Liberal Media Calls It for Romney.”

I’ll be updating, but if you’re checking my blog as this post goes live, click your remote over to MSNBC. This is a devastating night for the left. It’s a collective meltdown over there. Ed Schultz just said that Mitt Romney was “in his wheelhouse on the economy.” And Chris Matthews was literally going ballistic. I’ll be looking for the video and will update.

Check back from more reporting and analysis.

8:10pm Pacific: At the Los Angeles Times, “In position to surprise, Romney has sharp answers in first debate.” And the Wall Street Journal, “Candidates Spar Over Taxes: Obama, Romney Lay Out Differing Views of Government, Regulation, Deficit Cuts.”

And The Other McCain, “MITT ROMNEY WINS FIRST DEBATE.”

8:16pm Pacific: Here’s some raw video from CNN. I’ll link the full clip as well, when I find it.

 

8:27pm Pacific: Glenn Reynolds has video from MSNBC, “CHRIS MATTHEWS IN POST-DEBATE MELTDOWN…

8:45pm Pacific: At CNN, “CNN Poll: Romney wins debate by big margin.”

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Job creators to lawmakers: Obama red tape a job killer

by Jim Kouri on Monday, July 23rd, 2012

This is article 126 of 190 in the topic Government Regulations

A U.S. congressional report released on Friday documents the “strangling effect of red tape on job creation,” and claims that job creators across the country have described problems with these Obama administration regulations that prevent them from adding new jobs into the U.S. economy.

Following two previous reports on government regulation in the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee renewed its efforts to examine burdensome and job-stifling federal laws and regulations.

The report documents what the Committee heard — namely that while some regulatory improvements have taken place, many other examples of job killing red tape have not been addressed.

The report also notes what job creation experts say are some of the newest regulatory threats to job creation, according to Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA).

“Last week’s unemployment numbers remained stuck at unacceptably high levels. This reflects the poor climate for businesses that currently exists under the Obama Administration,” said Rep. Issa.

“Our government can create the environment for the private sector to grow jobs. But under this administration, it won’t. Small businesses, and not the government, are the primary driver of job creation in this country. This report explains why job creators say they are struggling to put Americans back to work under an ever increasing regulatory burden,” Issa stated.

For example, from 2010 to 2011, the number of final rules issued by federal agencies rose from 3,573 to 3,807—a 6.5 percent increase. During that same time frame, the number of proposed rules increased 18.8 percent. The published regulatory burden for 2012 could exceed $105 billion, according to the American Action Forum, headed by a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

In the past decade, the number of economically significant rules in the pipeline — those that could cost $100 million or more annually — has increased by more than 137 percent, according to the report.

Another expected job-killer will be the fully-implemented Obamacare, which will add more regulations, more taxes and more financial costs for businesses just to survive, according to political strategist Michael S. Baker.

“If the law covers businesses that employ over 50 workers, it’s not difficult to believe employers will only have 48 or 49 employees in order to avoid the added expenses for compliance,” said Baker.

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Cost of Government Day: Now July 15th?

by John Lott on Sunday, July 15th, 2012

This is article 166 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

A new report from Americans for Tax Reform:

This year, Cost of Government Day (COGD), the day of the calendar year on which the average American has earned enough income to pay for the burdens imposed by government spending and regulation at the federal, state and local levels, falls on July 15.This marks the second consecutive year in which COGD has fallen slightly earlier than the previous year. It is true that 2012 was not without victories for taxpayers—the 2010 elections ushered new advocates of limited government into Congress and statehouses across the country who quickly championed budget and spending reforms. However, the threat of bigger government is far from ameliorated; this year’s earlier COGD may be the last if policymakers don’t take seriously the lessons of the past year.

The 2012 Fiscal Year was remarkable in several ways. First, a protracted battle over spending levels resulted in the first net spending cut from previous year appropriations for the first time this decade. After three years of explosive discretionary spending baselines, this signaled a major shift in Washington’s spending-as-usual. . . .

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Latest Government Regulation Gang-Bang Victims: Miniature Golf Course Owners

by Doug Powers on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This is article 123 of 190 in the topic Government Regulations

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I used to know a guy who owned a miniature golf course. He didn’t make much money at it (especially considering in Michigan it could only be open a few months a year), but he maintained the business for many years on a slim margin. Not unlike the latest swimming pool regulations that have had public pool owners saying it’ll be cheaper for them to close the pool than to upgrade to meet new regs, other businesses operating on a slim margin will find it more economically feasible to just close up shop rather than spend money they’ll never be able to recover to satisfy federal regs.

The latest victim is miniature golf courses:

Although the Justice Department has extended the deadline for America’s hotels to comply with regulations regarding handicap access to swimming pools, new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines are already being applied at miniature golf courses, driving ranges, amusement parks, shooting ranges and saunas.

Among the provisions in the “Revised ADA Standards for Accessible Design,” which went into effect on March 15, is one requiring businesses to allow miniature horses on their premises as guide animals for the disabled. Another limits the height of slopes on miniature golf holes.
[…]
The 2010 ADA standards for Accessible Design require that at least 50 percent of golf holes on miniature golf courses be “accessible” – with a ground space that is “48 inches minimum by 60 inches minimum with slopes not steeper than 1:48 at the start of play.”

So, yet another sector of business is on the way to being regulated to death.

Next up on the bureaucrat agenda, making mini golf holes less difficult so they don’t damage the self esteem of players:

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Shades of Atlas Shrugged?

by John Lott on Thursday, October 13th, 2011

From a speech by Obama:

“Anybody in America should be able to make it if they try. But none of us make it on our own. Somebody — an outstanding entrepreneur like a Steve Jobs — somewhere along the line he had a teacher who helped inspire him. All those great Internet businesses wouldn’t have succeeded unless somebody had invested in the government research that helped to create the Internet. We don’t succeed on our own. We succeed because this country has, in previous generations, made investments that allow all of us to succeed.”

Obama might not realize it, but the US was around for about 90 years until we public schools. Highways were all privately built up until around 1900. The subway system in NYC was virtually all built and run by private companies until government regulation drove them out of business and the government took them over (of course once the government took them over the regulations that drove the private companies out of business were then removed).

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Let’s face it, a one time $4,000 tax break per employee may be a good sound bite, but it is small compared to the cost of hiring the worker

by John Lott on Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Firms find it costly to fire workers. A one time $4,000 payment may make some difference, but you are only going to make permanent hires if you think that the jobs will last and that depends on demand for the products. From the NY Times.

. . . many employers dismissed the notion that any particular tax break or incentive would be persuasive. Instead, they said they tended to hire more workers or expand when the economy improved.

Companies are focused on jittery consumer confidence, an unstable stock market, perceived obstacles to business expansion like government regulation and, above all, swings in demand for their products.

“You still need to have the business need to hire,” said Jeffery Braverman, owner of Nutsonline, an e-commerce company in Cranford, N.J., that sells nuts and dried fruit. While a $4,000 credit could offset the cost of the company’s lowest-cost health insurance plan, he said, it would not spur him to hire someone. “Business demand is what drives hiring,” he said. . . .

Chesapeake Energy, one of the biggest explorers of oil and gas in shale fields across the country, for example, said it had 800 positions open, and had already received tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed.

But Michael Kehs, vice president for strategic affairs and public relations, said in an e-mail that the credit “does not drive our hiring.” . . .

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An Earthquake Comes to Washington

by Daniel Greenfield on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

This is article 53 of 104 in the topic Preserving America

It took an earthquake to interrupt Obama’s golf game. Nothing else until now has. But while the rumbling of tectonic plates comes and goes, the deeper rumbling of millions of voters will not. The rumbling is larger than this election. It is bigger than Obama and larger than his feckless party. It is an earthquake of self-definition.

There are two types of earthquake events in the last hundred years. Shocks that made Americans rethink their society, the government and the world around them. Economic depressions and unexpected wars.  The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and September 11 were all shocks to the system that changed the country. That changed how Americans saw themselves. And we may now be in the midst of a fourth such event.

Obama’s backers expected that a second depression would lead to a second New Deal. His victory seemed to bear out their predictions. The crisis was here, now was the time to exploit it. But instead of another New Deal, the crisis has led to an Anti-New Deal, a revolt against government regulation.

The left’s dogmatic rigidity, its adherence to theories of history in which capitalism leads to socialism blinded it to the obvious. A major national economic crisis had come again, but the context of it had changed.

There was a world of difference between 1933 and 2010 in the level of government involvement in the economy. Today we are living in a New Deal world, reformed, moderated and elaborated on. Massive government intervention in the economy is not a radical new idea, it’s business as usual. The architects of the New Deal could claim that they were addressing the failures of capitalism– but today there is no longer any sector of the economy that legally takes place outside the sphere of government. The buck stops in DC.

The anti-capitalist rhetoric of the left has been unconvincing for that reason. When the two richest men in America hold fundraisers for the Democratic Party, does that mean the capitalists have taken over the party, or that the socialists have taken over capitalism? Most people intuitively know the answer to that. The modern economic reality is an oligarchy where public officials and private lobbies intersect.

The dirty handshakes between the public sector and the private led to this disaster. It’s easy to call for more regulation in response– but who regulates the regulators?

Obama rose to power on wheelbarrows of money from the rich, the super-rich and from unknown sources that have never been accounted for. He raised twice as much money as McCain, and while the media disinformation machine insists that it was the power of social media at work, it was actually the power of socialism.

Socialism is just crony capitalism misspelled, and everyone knows it. Everyone who has ever competed for a government contract, been forced to join a union by government mandate or been squeezed out of an industry by agreements negotiated between corporate lobbyists and their congressional allies that is. The more you regulate, the more you control.

New York Times columnists may kvell over Warren Buffett’s eagerness to be taxed at a higher rate, but most people suspect that it isn’t saintliness at work, but personal economic interest.

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Sick And Tired.

by Skip MacLure on Sunday, July 17th, 2011

This is article 7 of 104 in the topic Preserving America

We’ve been doing this column for two and a half years now. The driving force and the inspiration for skipmaclure.us is my editor, Dee. She’s the unsung hero behind the scenes that makes this whole thing work.

Like myself, she has a full time career, making this conservative outreach a labor of love. Dee’s a rare creature. She’s a rock-solid conservative in a country that has surrendered itself to the opiate of government cradle-to-grave entitlements, known as socialism. I’ve learned much from her about the nuts and bolts of everyday life under the ‘soft tyranny’ which is the British social welfare system.

She has related stories to me such as entire extended families, none of whom has ever held a paying job. The ‘dole’ has become trans-generational. You have more and more people in the UK living off of smaller and smaller productive segments of society. It brings to mind something that the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money”.

European style socialism is communism light. By its very nature it lacks the fierce entrepreneurial spirit that has imbued the people of America with the indomitable will to achieve, and instead drowns the people in a deluge of government regulation and ever increasing demands for more and more taxes, a crushing burden on citizens and the economy. Beginning to sound familiar?

The citizens of Europe have been beaten down by political and social class systems that our forbears left behind for the new world. That’s what socialism does… it destroys, it never builds, it takes and never gives. It destroys the heart and soul of nations.

Our mercifully brief encounter with socialism, a la Barack Hussein Obama and the DeMarxist clown college, has America up on its feet and raging. The message… and it’s resonating throughout this land… is that we will not tolerate ‘government as usual’. Politicians of all stripes have been using America and Americans as their own private fiefdoms for far too long.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s as good a way as any to describe the mood of the country going into the 2012 elections. If the ObaMarxists thought they got their clocks cleaned in 2010… well, as we used to say in the Corps… Stand By…

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

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