Freedom regulated away

Freedom regulated away

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2006, 4:44 pm #1

We in the US often refer to ourselves as "the land of the free" and yet I think we are among the most regulated people in the world. In my work I must comply with stacks of regulations from the FCC, the EPA, OSHA, NEC, ACE, even the FAA as well as countless state and county government agencies. And it seems almost every day a new rule, law or regulation comes out.

There is a nearby town that tells you what color you can paint your house and what trees and bushes you can put in your yard. And if all these government rules weren't enough, many people must put up with homeowner and condo associations telling you what to do. I wouldn't be surprised if there are not rules about when you can take a crap and what color toilet paper you must use.

What prompted this tirade? Well last night I was looking for info on a certain electrical device and landed on a UK website that gives advice on home repairs and maintenance. It started off warning do-it-yourselfers to review government regulations before doing any home repairs and referred to a section on this. Well I click on the link thinking 'this should be interesting'- I figured in a very old, highly socialized country like Great Britain you would properly need a permit just to fart!

But as I read through the regulations I was surprised how lenient they were. A UK homeowner is free to build, install and repair many things that here in the states would require permits, inspections or licensed contractors to do. It got me to wondering how we in the "land of the free" have allowed ourselves to become so regulated that we aren't "free" to do much of anything without permission from some government agency.
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peter
peter

March 26th, 2006, 4:56 pm #2

So which facet of the Gov. do you feel has entrapped the American people in this fashion? Which party is it that continually seeks to protect Joe American from himself? HMMMM?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2006, 6:14 pm #3

They all do it Peter. The Republicans were suppose to be for "small government" and fiscal responsibility but they've spend more money and run up more debt then the Democrats ever did- look at the hugh new medicare drug program they started. And it's not confined to a particular party- all regulatory agencies- which are suppose to be non-political like the FCC, EPA, OSHA, NEC, etc are continually coming out with more and more regulations to follow. Don't you think at some point there is enough damn rules?
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Bob
Bob

March 26th, 2006, 6:21 pm #4

We in the US often refer to ourselves as "the land of the free" and yet I think we are among the most regulated people in the world. In my work I must comply with stacks of regulations from the FCC, the EPA, OSHA, NEC, ACE, even the FAA as well as countless state and county government agencies. And it seems almost every day a new rule, law or regulation comes out.

There is a nearby town that tells you what color you can paint your house and what trees and bushes you can put in your yard. And if all these government rules weren't enough, many people must put up with homeowner and condo associations telling you what to do. I wouldn't be surprised if there are not rules about when you can take a crap and what color toilet paper you must use.

What prompted this tirade? Well last night I was looking for info on a certain electrical device and landed on a UK website that gives advice on home repairs and maintenance. It started off warning do-it-yourselfers to review government regulations before doing any home repairs and referred to a section on this. Well I click on the link thinking 'this should be interesting'- I figured in a very old, highly socialized country like Great Britain you would properly need a permit just to fart!

But as I read through the regulations I was surprised how lenient they were. A UK homeowner is free to build, install and repair many things that here in the states would require permits, inspections or licensed contractors to do. It got me to wondering how we in the "land of the free" have allowed ourselves to become so regulated that we aren't "free" to do much of anything without permission from some government agency.
I consider every new law passed to be another bit of freedom taken away. Just as new taxes never get repealed, new laws that state we can't do this or that seldom leave the books. I think its a mistake to have full-time legislators, as they not only become (or just are) out of touch with the lives of their constituents, but they simply have too much time to ponder new legislation. The result is that we get legislated to death.

I think the other contributing aspect of this is that we Americans (many of us) have come to expect that governmemnt will protect us from harm. When anything negative happens, the question becomes, "Why didn't the government foresee this and act to protect us?" The government becomes like the parent, and the citizen becomes the child. Whenever I hear anyone ask such a question, I try to remind them that every time that ask for government to intercede in their lives, additional freedoms are usurped.

(I think a perfect example of this is the sweeping trend toward laws that ban cigarette smoking in public settings. Instead of people seeing that smoking is going on in a place and just not going in -- not going to work there, for sure -- they turn to government and say, "Your duty is to protect citizens. Why are you allowing people to make this choice to expose themselves and others to a known hazard." So, the pols end up passing these laws that further curtail public behavior . . . taking the power to decide away from the individual, where it rightly belongs, and placing it within the hands of government.)

When enough such situations occur -- the govt being asking to protect us from even ordinary events -- then increasingly the freedoms that Americans once enjoyed are gone or severely curtailed.

For those of you old enough -- Do you remember the fun on Fourth of July, when the family would gather to set off fireworks? Every year, we would gather at a relative's semi-rural home to set off anything we could afford. You can't do this now. Where I live, it is ILLEGAL to POSSESS a "sparkler", which is an insignificant firework. I learned this the hard way, as I was charged with a first degree misdemeanor for "possessing fireworks within city limits" (btw, this is the same level of offense as if I had discharged a forearm within city limits). But, if govt doesn't pass foolish laws like this -- "idiot" laws, to go with the "idiot" warnings on product labels -- then pols get accused of not caring about the public and/or being liable for ensuing injuries/damages.

I think this is also what caused "trick-or-treat" to become so watered down. When I was a kid, we started when it got dark and finished by 10-11 PM. Now, kids start begging at 6 PM in broad daylight and the thing ends by 8 PM, just after dark. I'm sure safety concerns topped the reasons for this change, and the kids today (who usually have parents going door-to-door with them -- oh, what fun!) get cheated out of a fun time.

So, we should all be VERY CAREFUL what we ask of government. We may get it.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2006, 7:14 pm #5

Well it's these damn government agencies that bug me the most- and these are people you don't even vote for- but they are always telling you what to do. For example a couple years ago the county electrical inspector came by the transmitter site to approve some new wiring that had been installed by a contractor. While there he noticed some cables that weren't connected to anything. They had been for some equipment that we no longer used and I left them because I figured I could used them for something else later. But the inspector gave me a citation because of some new NEC "abandon cable" rule that says unused cables must be removed so I had to spend a night pulling those cables out- which was a pain to do. Well now I'm putting in some new equipment which could have used those cables- and I will have to bust my butt running new cables to replace them. This is one of many examples I could relate of various government agencies causing crap because of stupid unnecessary rules.
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peter
peter

March 26th, 2006, 7:14 pm #6

They all do it Peter. The Republicans were suppose to be for "small government" and fiscal responsibility but they've spend more money and run up more debt then the Democrats ever did- look at the hugh new medicare drug program they started. And it's not confined to a particular party- all regulatory agencies- which are suppose to be non-political like the FCC, EPA, OSHA, NEC, etc are continually coming out with more and more regulations to follow. Don't you think at some point there is enough damn rules?
Agreed that it is across the board. There is so much red tape one must cut through to do anything in the country that I myself would gladly opt for the south to rise again and seceed. I know I support the trend here in the great Republic of Texas to separate.
The US goverment is truely too far gone.
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peter
peter

March 26th, 2006, 7:22 pm #7

Well it's these damn government agencies that bug me the most- and these are people you don't even vote for- but they are always telling you what to do. For example a couple years ago the county electrical inspector came by the transmitter site to approve some new wiring that had been installed by a contractor. While there he noticed some cables that weren't connected to anything. They had been for some equipment that we no longer used and I left them because I figured I could used them for something else later. But the inspector gave me a citation because of some new NEC "abandon cable" rule that says unused cables must be removed so I had to spend a night pulling those cables out- which was a pain to do. Well now I'm putting in some new equipment which could have used those cables- and I will have to bust my butt running new cables to replace them. This is one of many examples I could relate of various government agencies causing crap because of stupid unnecessary rules.
Do you get paid for installing the cable(just curious)?
The agencies I have to deal with shut down my job sites for weeks on end to ensure that the every bit of "bribe" monies has been paid out for ridiculous permits.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2006, 7:25 pm #8

Agreed that it is across the board. There is so much red tape one must cut through to do anything in the country that I myself would gladly opt for the south to rise again and seceed. I know I support the trend here in the great Republic of Texas to separate.
The US goverment is truely too far gone.
It's not just the feds. I think local government is even worse! Now a days you have to have a permit to do just about anything- and have it inspected afterwards (all of which they charge for). And they have a whole army of inspectors who just drive around looking for "code violations" to give people fines- like having a pickup parked in your driveway overnight.
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peter
peter

March 26th, 2006, 7:38 pm #9

I know what you are talking about, it happens here too!
The problem is that the local agencies purse strings are held by the FEDS. Grants, allotments, general funding in various areas are held up until compliance is gained and the "suggestions" are implimented. So in reality it is just the Feds.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2006, 7:45 pm #10

Do you get paid for installing the cable(just curious)?
The agencies I have to deal with shut down my job sites for weeks on end to ensure that the every bit of "bribe" monies has been paid out for ridiculous permits.
Technically no. The station considers me a contractor rather than a hourly employee. My job is to maintain the transmitter and associated equipment however many hours that takes to do. Usually that's not very long- maybe 15-18 hrs/wk since everything is automated and pretty much runs itself. But if there was a major blow up and I had to spend 60 hrs there I wouldn't get paid a dime more.
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