Monday, September 12, 2011

The Katrina Paradox

One of the things that I find interesting about our Leftist friends, is their continuing belief in the efficacy of government. This in spite of all the examples to the contrary. such as the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. The old joke was that Democrats promised if elected that they will make you taller, stronger, better looking and get rid of the crabgrass in you lawn. Republicans on the other hand promise the government doesn't work, and when elected prove it.
Most of us have had our own experiences with government that leaves a less than satisfactory feeling about our "public servants." I had purchased a new truck and was given the temporary sticker while the processing for a new title took place. I kept checking the mail looking for the notice that the title was in so I could register my vehicle, but it never came. About a week before the expiration of my temp plates, I called to ask if the title was ready, and the worker there said they still hadn't received it from the car dealer. I asked if I could get an extension on the temp plates and was told that was not allowed. So I called the dealer, and he told me that he had sent it, and in fact had made a copy of the fax that he sent, since this had happened before. Once again, I called the DMV and they had suddenly discovered the title (seems it had been misfiled) and I could get my title done when I came in. Upon entering I took a number and watched. There were three workers for the title section, and one seemed to take an extraordinarily long time with one customer. Maybe he was registering a fleet of vehicles, but I was there for an hour, and he never left. One of the workers was cranking through customers, and I was really hopeful that I would get her, but my number came up with the third teller, who announced that she was going on break, and promptly left. I waited for twenty more minutes until she came back from her break and stated that it was so hot out there while she was doing her errands. Not wanting to take any longer by asking why she couldn't do that on her own time, I let it go. But it was a symbol of government and the private citizen's interaction. We are held hostage to the whims of the bureaucrat who holds all the power, rendering us, the source of all sovereign power as impotent as possible.
When you complain about regulations, you always get the bromide, "What are you, against clean water and air?" As that was all that there was to regulation. Sure, I am in favor of clean air and water, who isn't? But the same regulations that supposedly protect us, are used to shut down a seven year old's lemonade stand, and tacked on a $500 fine on top of that. Or how about the whole drug war thing? When the mayor of Baltimore has his house invaded by a SWAT team, holding his family at gunpoint, shooting their dogs, and all because they went to the wrong house, are also instances of government in action. In Montana, my favorite example is the old "Reasonable and Prudent" law that removed the daytime speed limit. Oh, Woe! the pro limit crowd cried, there would be carnage on the highways! But a funny thing happened: Death rates on the highways went down. A lot. In fact, they stayed below the speed limit rate of deaths until the speed limit was reimposed, and then they jumped back up. Dramatically. So if you want to kill people, lower the speed limit seems to be the lesson to be learned. But we don't learn that lesson, do we?
Also in Montana, we have a requirement that if you want to cut hair you have to have 2000 hours of instruction before you can get a license. North Carolina has a requirement that your barber only have 400 hours of classes. Are the haircuts here five times better? Or is this just a guaranteed stream of cash flow to the owners of beauty schools? How about DUIs? We all want to reduce and possibly eliminate DUIS, but we restrict liquor licenses so that you have to drive to go have a beer with your friends. Why can't we relax the licensing requirements and allow neighborhood bars that you could walk to, and then back home? Because the Montana Tavern Owner's Association has a vested interest in restricting the licenses in order to keep the prices high. And with the Liquor Control Board, don't even get me started on their Byzantine rules and regulations.
There are plenty more examples that could be cited, but I am sure that each of you has your own private experience with inefficient and ineffective regulations and government. And if we get the government that we deserve, don't we deserve better? How many regulations keep us from gaining jobs in the Bakken oil fields that North Dakota feels aren't necessary? Why is it so hard to start a business with license fees, inspections, regulations that you know nothing about? when is enough enough? The idea that government works only for good is a false notion, a fairy tale that needs to be shown for the failure that it is. The government needs to get out of our day to day lives and get back to doing that which it is mandated to do and nothing else. Defense of the country, courts to address wrongs, and little else.

No comments: