ARCHIVE - JUNE 2017
Issues, News & Views
THE PERNICIOUS ADMINISTRATION STATE
2017/06/16 - Every empire in the history of human civilization eventually met its demise. In fact, in the broader scheme of things, they don't even hold their grip on the top rung very long - maybe a few centuries at most.
Around 1000 BC the Hittites gave way to the Assyrians, and then in succession the baton was snatched by the Babylonians, and from them the Persians, and then the Greeks and then the Romans.
Why did every empire fall by the wayside? Was it famine, flood, plague, or other natural disaster? Or was it conquest? Or was it just lethargy at the core? Isn't it always complacency? Either directly, or a softness that invites conquest, an unpreparedness that makes an empire vulnerable to the whims of nature?
More recently, the Spaniards were top dogs in the 16th and 17the centuries, followed by Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The 20th Century was the American Century, and Pax Americana continues. Yes folks, this is what peace looks like.
Given that every other world power before us fell into decline within a couple of centuries, why shouldn't we, as we approach our 250th birthday, wonder whether our days too are numbered? Should we not wonder whether the writing is already on the wall, as it was for the Babylonians?
Why would we think America can last forever as the dominant global power? Why should we not expect to meet the same fate as every world power that has gone before?
America's new found greatness came from creative destruction, from casting aside Britain's stifling moribund institutions, while retaining its culture and values. The Declaration of Independence was an indictment against King George III personally, and against the system of government that put him in power.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote of King George, "he has erected a multitude of offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass the people and eat out their substance".
Jefferson was clear in pointing out how the King's Big Government was eroding people's political freedom - harassing the people - and eroding the people's economic freedom - eating out their substance.
The founding fathers saw King George, his tyranny, the monarchy, and the ever-expanding administrative state as the antithesis of the culture of freedom and liberty that had developed.
Indeed, the very same year that Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, a document espousing political freedom, the Scottish economist Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, a book about economic freedom, explaining how peace and prosperity is the natural outcome of free market capitalism.
The founding fathers set us on a course of peace and prosperity by declaring independence, eliminating the "multitude of offices" erected by King George, and instead adopting the political and economic freedoms advocated in the Declaration of Independence and the The Wealth of Nations.
Unfortunately that spirit seems to have been lost by many.
Over time our elected officials have themselves erected a multitude of offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass We the People and eat out our substance. The DC Swamp has recreated what King George built and our Founding Fathers destroyed. It is time to drain the swamp.
Less and less of our economic production is being directed towards goods and services that people actually desire. Less and less for innovation, more and more for regulation. Our resources are consumed in compliance and enforcement, not in constructive beneficial economic production. Our business enterprises now produce paperwork to serve the administrative state.
People and companies incur costs in complying with regulation, and government incurs costs and debt - or imposes taxes - to enforce those regulations.
Think of a football game or baseball game, where the flow of the game is bogged down by endless reviews and replays. When rules take over the game. When the game becomes about the referees and umpires, no one wants to play or watch anymore.
At some point there is simply too much regulation, even good regulation.
Sure, there is a lot of bad regulation out there. Ill-conceived regulation, or poorly designed, or sloppily drafted, or badly implemented, or draconically enforced regulation. Emotional, vindictive regulation. Regulation driven by a narrow, intense idealogical agenda. Think Dodd-Frank, for example. Or Obamacare.
But even good regulation has its limits - the economic cost far exceeds the good it does. And it's not that any single regulation is bad, but that the combined effect grinds constructive activity to a halt.
It's demoralizing. People who are trying to construct and produce are beat down each day by regulations, and then taxed to death if they have anything to show for their struggles. It's drudgery. They throw in the towel.
It is probable that proponents of regulation simply have not grasped the widespread damage they inflict by adding ever more red tape, without ever eliminating any. Just adding ever more regulation.
More and more of our economic activity get directed toward rules - making rules, keeping rules, breaking rules, enforcing rules - and fewer of our resources are directed toward the actual activity being regulations. Regualation becomes an end, not a means.
The environmentals, the social justice worriers, the safety nazis, the nimby's, you name it - they strangle the economy. They don't mean to, it's just what happens. Jobs move out, workers follow the jobs, and economic destitition moves in. The people who remain have nothing to do, become bored, and fall into drug use, abuse, and addiction. Opioids, pot, alcohol, whatever, who cares...
And all this regulation is done in the name of helping people. When, in fact, it actually destroys people - the unintended consequences of Big Government. Reverse outcomes. Destroying people in the name of helping people.
We are being regulated to death. Eventually America will fade to grey like Britain and Spain, and it will have been taken down from within, by overregulation, by the nanny state.
But it needn't been today. We can renew our nation by tearing down that multitude of offices, the Big Government tyranny erected by liberals and progressives. We can Make America Great Again.
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