In New York they are banning 32 ounce soda and ban the use of excess salt by chefs in restaurants under the penalty of a $1000.00 fine. The premise is that person’s health is everyone's concern , and people should be eating less salt drinking less soda.
I just shook my head in disappointment. With all the issues that are facing society, the New York Legislature is flailing at whether a Big Gulp is dangerous. Maybe we do need less salt and sugar in our diets, but that is something that should be left for the individual to decide, not the state. Don't like salt in your food? Ask the chef to make it that way, or eat somewhere else. Don’t want too much sugar; use a smaller cup.
Every day people are frightened about this or that, about crime, about terrorism, about the quality of our food, and so in reaction to that they want more laws passed. Then one day, you wake up, look out your bedroom window, see troops on the corners carrying machine guns, and bread is eight dollars a loaf and you say "Gee whiz, how did we end up here?"
Because you kept passing laws.
Laws don't protect us from the problems of society, folks. And more laws don't solve our problems. All more laws do is pass more power to government and reduce our freedoms. A lawbreaker doesn't think twice about committing crime because of the laws that are written. A terrorist is not going to be stopped by more security at an airport. They are still going to commit crimes, still going to blow up planes. However, now our freedoms as citizens are that much more reduced. Our ability to live our lives freely and move and trade freely is that much more reduced.
Now, I'm not suggesting we go live and work in a lawless society. The basic laws that date back to the Code of Hammurabi are more than sufficient to provide a framework for a working society (murder, robbery and theft etc.). But this constant movement toward more detailed laws and the consequent move toward more regulators and enforcement will not stop crime or danger. Bad things happen to good people and all the laws in the world aren’t going stop that.
What the laws DO is provide a place for the victimized to seek restitution should a crime happen to them. That's where we fall down the most. We don't enforce the basic laws we DO have, and so people are convinced that MORE laws are necessary, when crime continues to occur.
Take for instance the Madoff scandal. What Madoff did was against the law. It's fraud, and theft, and there are plenty of laws on the books against that. In fact he broke many of the securities regulations we had in place. He bypassed regulators’ concerns because he was a convincing con man. There were those that raised the alarm bell but were ignored until it was too late. Plenty of people examined his books in that field, and simply ignored what they were reading. So now there is a hue and cry “We need more laws! We need more regulators!", when in fact, we never enforced the laws we had in the first place.
Complex laws and rules simply make it more difficult for legitimate businessmen to make profits and conduct business.
Society complains about the high cost of insurance premiums- and well they should. But the problem is not the companies that insure us; the problem is the high cost of health care. So what is one of the driving forces behind the high cost of health care? The ever increasing cost of laws, rules and regulations purportedly designed originally to help us-- Obamacare
Laws that prevent interstate commerce of insurance.
Laws that allow lawyers to reap huge rewards for medical malpractice lawsuits.
Laws that require extensive billing coding systems to be developed to serve government Medicare systems.
Laws that bankrupt legitimate market forces to keep pricing down, but maintain the control of government over health care.
When they don’t work, the cries begin. "We need more laws!"
By putting more laws into place, we empower those that need empowering least. Every time we pass a law, or empower a legislative body, or transfer more control, we reduce our ability to live our lives freely, and give the government a reason to expand their power over us.
We passed the Medicare system to lower the cost for seniors and to make sure our elderly were properly cared for- a noble cause. But in doing so we made it easier for government to drive the costs up for everyone else. Yes, older people have little to no cost to their health care relative to the rest of the population, but now we have 20% or more of our paychecks going to pay for Medicare, and swallowing a larger portion of our taxes every day. Our health care costs have a new major driving force pushing prices upward. We borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.
These days, Peter is a bit of a loan shark too. The government has more ability to make the case that they need to have more laws passed to control our health care even more. It’s a vicious circle.
Pass a law requiring helmets and seat belts since injuries cost us money? Made sense at the time. Now you have government wanting to pass laws restricting sugar and fat intake for the same reasons. Pass a law keeping assault weapons out of people's hands? Sure, good idea- but now government wants to pass more laws keeping other guns away from us too, instead of simply locking up people who use an assault weapon to hurt someone else. Put in strict security measures at airports to keep terrorists off planes? Ok, makes sense. Next thing you know though, they are looking at you naked and having you take off your shoes for two hours, to hop on a 30 minute to Vegas, instead of hunting down those responsible. Pass a law saying we need to upgrade our driver's licenses to prevent illegals from being hired? Sure, ok, I'll buy that. Now you have the government wanting us all to own national ID cards and present them upon request, instead of doing the right thing and closing the borders.
"Papers please", an infamous Gestapo line, is now the American way of life.
The empowerment of government in our society needs to end. We need to transfer power back into the hands of local and state authorities, where it belongs, instead of the Federal government. We need to reduce regulations in the marketplace to lower pricing, not increase them. We need to simplify the tax code to make filling our taxes easier and less costly. We need to cut spending and eliminate programs that do not solve the problems of poverty or social indignities.
Otherwise we run the risk of becoming another banana republic, and as I said earlier; waking up one day saying "How did we end up here?"