Tag Archives: regulations

Better Than Banning, by Eric Peters

Governments bent on denying things to their subjects often find that it’s easier to make ownership prohibitively expensive rather than an outright ban. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

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Bans are problematic when the thing being targeted is already in wide circulation. Gun being an obvious example. They can decree no new sales but what about the ones already sold – already possessed – by literally millions of people?

Door-to-door confiscation risks physical resistance and is logistically difficult regardless. It is much easier and equally effective to not ban possession of guns outright but rather to require that those who wish to continue continue possessing them pay for the privilege.

That they pay a lot for it. Not just once, either.

An annual registration fee, for instance. With the threat of criminal repercussions for failure to pay, if discovered (as during a “routine” traffic stop, for instance).

Also make ammunition expensive – as via heavy taxes. Not illegal, per se. Just generally unaffordable.

Presto! You have banned without actually banning.   

This method will likely be applied to cars that aren’t electric cars and – most particularly – cars that are not modern cars; i.e., those without built-in spyware (marketed as “apps” and “concierge services”) which present the threat – to the electric car agenda – of  being an alternative to them.

The electric car agenda is about more than just electric cars. It is about connected carsand electric cars are the apotheosis of connectedness.

The source of motive power is almost incidental to the fact that the powers-that-be can remotely control a connected electric car. Its range, for example, can be increased over-the-wire via a “software update.” It ought to be obvious what this implies. If the range can be extended, it can also be reduced.

To zero.

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The Late Great State of California, by Jeffrey Harding

Our family left California seven years ago and we’ve never looked back. Lots of people have followed. From Jeffrey Harding at mises.org:

My family moved to California in 1950, part of the post-WWII westward migration. My widowed mother, tired of Boston’s dreary winters, felt the westward pull. My eldest brother, a WWII Navy veteran, had heard good things about San Diego from sailors who had been stationed there during the war. So, California, here we come.

I would like to think those were the golden years, at least for us. California was new, bright, warm, and full of promise. The East was old and cold. And San Diego was thriving. Defense and aerospace jobs were plentiful. Land was cheap, homes were cheap. A building boom met the housing needs for optimistic migrants. You could get things done in California.

It’s not that California anymore. We are overregulated and overtaxed and people aren’t so optimistic. People want to leave.

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The Grass GESTAPO Is Out of Control: 30K in Fines and Potential Foreclosure for a Too-Long Lawn, by Dagny Taggart

We’re closing in on the point where everything not explicitly permitted by the government is forbidden. From Dagny Taggart at theorganicprepper.com:

A few weeks ago, I noticed a woman standing in my neighbor’s yard doing something I thought was pretty damn strange: she was measuring blades of grass with a tape measure.

Then I noticed the city truck parked on the street.

Turns out, the woman was with codes compliance or whatever they call it…apparently, her job is to drive around looking for reasons to harass and extort people for things like tall grass.

When I realized who she was and what she was doing, my next thoughts were “Are there not real problems in this city that need attention? There are people who drive around and measure grass for a living? And these employees are paid with taxpayer money…to extort taxpayers?”

It isn’t like there aren’t real problems in this city. Like most regions in the US, there are things like potholes, traffic light outages, crime, and other random issues that, to a logical thinker, seem more pressing than the height of residents’ lawns.

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Obama’s Forgotten Frauds and Debacles, by James Bovard

James Bovard discovers some chinks in Saint Barack’s halo. From Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

Former President Barack Obama is again busy lecturing Americans on politics. His speeches have contained many snappy lines that would deserve attention if they came from an untainted source. But Obama as president was guilty of many of the things against which he now warns his fellow citizens.

Last September, Obama received the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana. Obama told students that “the biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism” and called for “a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government.”

Obama flailed cynicism as in the glory days of his 2008 presidential campaign. He declared that “making people cynical about government … always works better for those who don’t believe in the power of collective action.” He also warned that “the more cynical people are about government, the angrier and more dispirited they are about the prospects for change, the more likely the powerful are able to maintain their power.”

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Progressivism Survives Trumpism, by James Ostrowski

Other than Ron Paul, there is no major political figure, including Trump, championing individualism and freedom as paramount ideals. The belief in governments’ coercive power and beneficence runs deep. From James Ostrowski at lewrockwell.com:

In my book, Progressivism:  A Primer (2014), I advanced a bold thesis: that progressivism, properly understood as the belief that aggressive state violence in the form of various interventions into the market and private voluntary behavior will improve human life, is America’s ruling ideology, dominating the thinking of both parties and accepted to a large degree by the vast majority of Americans including Republicans.  I provided evidence that no major progressive programs were abolished during Republican administrations, even during periods when the Republicans controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress.  The question now is, has anything changed in light of the election of Donald Trump and subsequent events?

Trump’s own ideology, to the extent that it can be discerned, does not contradict my thesis.  He is a pragmatist with no clear or firm ideology beyond his populism and nationalism.   As explained in my book, pragmatism melds nicely into progressivism as it leads to a desire to experiment with various government interventions that a rigid ideology might preclude.  Populism can be defined as the desire to do what is good for average people as opposed to elites, which, in the absence of ideological libertarianism, could very well involve a variety of progressive programs.  Nationalism is yet another fuzzy concept susceptible to many meanings including a libertarian interpretation.  Trump’s nationalism manifests itself mainly in the form of increased trade protectionism.  Using tariffs and other legal means to restrict and regulate trade with foreign counties is itself a clear example of progressivism.  It is the use of aggressive government force—force against peaceful people–to make human life better.

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The great exodus out of America’s blue cities, by Kristin Tate

People are getting fed up with the high costs, taxes, crime, grime, and homelessness rampant in many of America’s cities, most of which have been run by Democrats for decades. From Kristin Tate at thehill.com:

Am I the only one in my spinning class at Equinox in Manhattan who’s fed up paying $200 every month for a gym with clean showers, $3,000 in rent every month for an apartment without cockroaches and $8 every morning for a cup of coffee? Am I the only one moving through the greater part of New York City boroughs and seeing an inexorable march of urban decay matched with the discomfort of crowding and inexplicable costs? I know I am not.

New York is the most expensive city in America. Its lower-cost neighborhoods are riddled with crime and homelessness. Its public schools, some of which are among the worst in the nation, look more like prisons than places of learning.

With between up to 50 percent of their paycheck going to a combination of federal, local and city taxes, not including other consumer taxes baked into every aspect of their consumer practices, residents don’t even have the comfort of knowing that their tax expenditures are going to the improvement of their lives in the city. New York infamously misuses the hard-earned tax revenues of its citizens in ways that scarcely benefit them.

Eventually, city and state taxes, fees, and regulations become so burdensome that people and corporations jump ship. More people are currently fleeing New York than any other metropolitan area in the nation. More than 1 million people have moved out of the New York City metro area since 2010 in search of greener pastures, which amounts to a negative net migration rate of 4.4 percent.

The recently passed tax bill, which repeals the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, will only speed up the exodus. Thanks to the bill’s passage, many New York taxpayers will save little or nothing despite a cut in the federal rate. The state’s highest earners — who have been footing an outsized share of the bill — will pay tens of thousands of dollars more in income taxes in 2018. In New York alone, loss of the SALT deduction will remove $72 billion a year in tax deductions and affect 3.4 million residents.

To continue reading: The great exodus out of America’s blue cities

Obama Sets New Record for Regulations – 81,640 Pages in 2016, by Joseph Jankowski

Here’s an Obama record he will probably not brag about. Then again, he might. Just to give you some perspective, it would take you 600 times as long to read this year’s regulations than it would take you to read Prime Deceit. That’s assuming the regulations were the same page size as Prime Deceit’s, and that they were just as easy to read (not!). From Joseph Jankowski at planetfreewill.com:

The Obama Administration has just shattered the previous record for pages of regulations and rules published by the Federal Register in a single year.

According to a report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Obama’s presidency produced 81,640 total pages of regulations and rules for 2016, surpassing the previous record the administration set in 2010 by 235 pages.

President Obama’s Federal Register added 572 pages on Thursday (Nov. 17) alone!

Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute warns that Obama’s manufacturing of regulations is not over. With the amount of time left in the year, the current pace of rule passage could bring many thousands of more pages.

“No one knows what the future holds, but at a pace of well over 1,000 pages weekly, the Federal Register could easily top 90,000 pages this year. The simple algebra says that at the current pace we’ll add 11,190 pages over the next 44 days, to end 2016 at around 92,830 pages,” said CEI’s Wayne Crews.

“This is astonishing and should be of great concern, and intolerable, to policymakers.” Said Wayne Crews. “It is remarkable enough that the all-time record has been passed before Thanksgiving.”

Crews called on President-elect Donald Trump to make good on campaign promises and cut regulations.

“President-elect Donald Trump could take a page from President Reagan, who brought page counts down from Carter’s 73,258 to as low as 44,812. We don’t need a pen and phone, we need a meat axe,” he said.

Regulatory reform is going to be a major focus of the Trump administration, according to the President-elect’s transition website.

The Trump administration’s efforts to combat the regulatory state “will include a temporary moratorium on all new regulation, canceling overarching executive orders and a thorough review to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and bloat government.”

To put into perspective what type of effect the regulatory state has on the American economy, a 2014 report by the National Association of Manufacturers found that regulatory costs on all firms exceed $2 trillion annually and disproportionally affect small businesses.


They Said That? 11/24/14

From the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):

In a statement, the FAA said it is working to “integrate unmanned aircraft into the busiest, most complex airspace system in the world—and to do so while we maintain our mission—protecting the safety of the American people in the air and on the ground. That is why we are taking a staged approach to the integration of these new airspace users.”

The Wall Street Journal, “Drone Flights Face FAA Hit,” 11/24/14

“Staged approach” is a euphemism for taking six years and counting to promulgate the regulations that will supposedly provide the foundation for the commercial use of drones. It won’t be much of a foundation. According to the story, the rules will apply to all drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Their flights will be limited to daylight hours, will be required to remain below 400 feet and within sight of the operator, who must be a certified pilot of manned aircraft. In other words, the regulations will kill a nascent industry before it ever gets off the ground. Canada, on the other hand, will issue a blanket approval this month of all drones weighing less than 4.4 pounds “as long as they comply with certain safety standards, such as altitude limits and no-fly zones around airports.” First Keystone and now this—the country that powered the Industrial Revolution now waits on bureaucrats and politicians to decide the fates of businesses and entire industries.