In our current political climate much is said about “all” the federal regulations that have a negative impact upon our economy, curtail our liberty and have little or no positive impact on the environment.
Regulations come about when a problem arises and/or special interest groups want to curtail or promote some activity. Congress enacts a law which in effect becomes part of the supreme law of the land. The problem arises when bureaucrats are not allowed to use discretion to make the sensible decision when the regulation does not apply to a specific case or even comport with the intent of the law. How many times have you heard a bureaucrat say, “you are right, I agree with you but the regulation does not allow it?”
Most of us do not bump up against onerous federal regulations. It is the regulations of the county, water district and other local agencies that at times make it costly and time-consuming for someone who wants to open a business, remodel a building, put up a commercial sign, or cut down a tree.
One could argue that regulations began with Adam and Eve, but let’s start with our Constitution. There was a rational argument against ratification of our Constitution. It was said that it would tear down the sovereignty of the states and be destructive to liberty. Ratification of the Constitution was not a shoo-in. The vote was close in many states.
The Constitution endures. It stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. We cherish it because of its broad principles and managing through enacted laws to make adjustments. Above all our government survives because we the people have a reverence for the Constitution and the law.
What specific regulations should be eliminated? What specific tax-supported activities should be curtailed? In our republic, the political process determines whose values shall prevail. Those who want a society solely based upon voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups are called anarchists.
We live in a continually evolving, complex, interdependent society and global village. Our great republic is a work in process.