Saturday, January 24, 2009

"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem."

By Rich Kozlovich

We are an industry that is beset with an overwhelming need for regulations. How did all of this come about? It is bad enough when government bureaucrats make all sorts of demands, but now we are hiring our own bureaucrats to create regulations that will eventually be more egregious than the governments. Recently I commented on Frank Andorka’s blog “One More Thing”, (which I have added to my blog role) regarding these organizations that are setting up standards for companies to become “green” certified. I would like to share those comments with some additions.

We need to go back to 1933. “In May and June of 1933 the Congress and Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the National Recovery Administration as a key measure in a program of national recovery from the depression. NRA demanded that business, though its trade associations, establish codes of fair trade practices which had provisions for minimum wages, determine the number of hours per week an employee could work, insure fair prices for and industry and prevent “unfair” competition within an industry.” (It might be noted that economists now believe that this, along with other such programs extended and worsened the Great Depression)

“The belief was that if an industry couldn’t produce a code acceptable to the NRA administrators that they would impose one of their own.” SCOTUS found this to be unconstitutional two years later. However, the “Trade Associations Industry” as we know it today was created.

“Some believe that the short-lived NRA proved to be a blessing for the pest control industry, because it fostered a national organization which led a mixed assortment of rat catchers and exterminators from novitiate to professional status in a relative short span of years.” This was true, but all of our trade associations (not just pest control) are designed to be handmaidens of government compromise and a easy and efficient way for those with agendas to implement regulations that could never have passed muster if they had been submitted to a vote.

“The Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001.” I have some questions.
• Does anyone really believe that government regulators believe there are too many regulations?
• Does anyone believe that no more will be passed?
• Does anyone believe that some should be eliminated?
• Why then do we need to impose our own regulations on ourselves?
• Would someone tell me what regulations are not already covered under Common Law?
• If they are already covered under Common Law, why then is it necessary to have so many?
• Why do they keep increasing?

Those 78,090 pages only cover federal regulations. That doesn’t even begin to cover local and state regulations. The last figure that I read was about 10 years ago which stated that all of these regulations cost each family in America between 10and 15 thousand dollars a year. Do we really believe that cost is worth it?

Let us not lose sight of reality….regulations are a way around Constitutional protections for those with an agenda. The Fourth Amendment says that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Fifth Amendment says among other things that, “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Yet we are forced to allow regulators to enter our businesses and search through the building (inspect) and go through our records (inspect) to see if we have committed some technical violation. Can anyone explain to me how calling a “search” an “inspection” changes the Constitutional standard? No policeman or investigator in the country can do that without a warrant.

To be Green is to be irrational and misanthropic! This leads me to ask some questions.
Question - Why do we keep failing to realize that there is no way to appease the greenies?
Answer –It is either a matter of complacency, or because of incredible short sightedness and we keep thinking that we can benefit from this stuff.
Question - Why do we want to be green?
Answer – It isn’t just because we have been misled, which we have; it’s because if feels good! We get to go along to get along. We get to be lauded and praised for being on a higher moral plane than our peers.
Question – Is it a failure of information?
Answer - Not for those who have been reading more than just the newspaper. The amount of information on any given subject today is almost staggering. There is no excuse for not knowing all sides of a subject. Everything we are told, everything we see on the news, everything we read in the newspaper or on the internet should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality.
Question - Is it a failure of intelligence?
Answer – Yes and no. Some just can’t grasp what is really happening. Others refuse to grasp what is happening. Those who do grasp the entirety of it all are either appeasers or adversaries.
Question - Is it a failure of courage?
Answer - _____________________________Fill in the blank.

Setting up outside non-governmental organizations who will sit back and determine whether we meet some sort of arbitrary standard for “green” (or anything else for that matter) is an invitation for more and more intrusive behavior and demands to jump through unnecessary hoops to appease these private “for hire” bureaucrats. Eventually each will, in order to appease the greenies, compete to see who can be the most oppressive in their demands. Once certified, you will have to keep making changes to maintain that certification. That is what regulators do. Whether they work for the government or they are “regulations for hire” regulators. They create regulations…because if they don’t….they aren’t necessary and they would have to go out and get a real job.

This is a Paraphrased quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC). “An industry can survive those who are foolish and careless. It can survive the overly ambitious, but it cannot survive those who attack an industry and what it stands for from within. The activists are more to be desired because they present themselves as the enemy at the gate. Although they may use deceit and cunning they are known because they carry their banner openly. No matter how formidable they may be they cannot be as serious a threat as those who wear the garments, speak the language and share the customs of those within an organization while secretly working that which is harmful. They rot the heart of an industry, undermine the pillars of support and infect the industry with their treason to the point that those who see clearly and understand what is really going on are left standing alone. That industry will no longer be able to resist those who would destroy it. Can any crime be feared more?”

When we adopt these programs, whether it is through a private “non-profit” group or through some government agency, or through our trade associations we are just like the Trojans dragging the horse into their city. We become enablers to those who would destroy us.



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