May 22, 2010

"Back two spaces" in the board game of life...

A friend of ours, Kirk Kelsen, has written a good piece for the American Thinker, The Speaker Who Won't Speak with the People:

Kirk's attempts to engage Speaker Pelosi's staff in discussing the constitutionality of the health care bill seem naive to the point of being charmingly dream-like. Kirk, she's a demon from Hell, for pity's sake! Asking Pelosi about the Constitution is like asking Grendel to discuss table etiquette for a collation de minuit in a Mead Hall.

But Kirk is just dead-on on the way government regulations morph into government control even in supposedly private institutions. Finicky regulations multiply endlessly, and one says, "What is the purpose of this idiocy?" Well, the purpose is to train us to obedience to the welfare state. And to grind down any energy we might put into questioning the system.

Charlene and I recently applied for a mortgage pre-approval. I submitted recent bank statements, as is usual, and they were rejected! Why? Because they didn't have all their pages. I omitted the page that explains how to balance a bank statement, and also the page that said, "This page left deliberately blank." So, an hour or so wasted finding the statements online and sending them where they should go. My mood, after this and a lot of other hoop-jumpings-though? A kind of dull despair. Reform is impossible—most people can't even grasp what the problem is. (And it is possible that there is no there there. Some regulator may have frowned, and the obedient ant-workers of the "private" sector just imagined that all the pages were required, and spread the word that this is a new "regulation.")

...As massive new regulations blur the division between private business and federal government, choices will become limited to products supplied only by large corporations able to comply.

Or our choices disappear altogether.

Whether for banking or healthcare; or -- if Cap and Trade regulations become law -- selling a home or choosing what to eat, these transactions will be subject to a barrage of applications, either filled out by the citizen directly or shuffled upstream to companies supplying the goods and services we use, everyday. You liked trans-fats? Too bad. New York's Bloomberg regulations are going national.

But we'll get used to it. Engaging in federally restricted activities is like playing a board game: comply, and your application wends through a series of non-negotiable authorizations, albeit at glacial speed. Interrupt the normal process and it could be "back two spaces," so better to keep one's head down. Better, instead (as I did), to sign the Penalty of Perjury statement swearing that I am who I am, and wait for a bureaucrat to agree....

* Update: Interesting in this context are a couple of articles on doctors "dropping out" and working just for cash. Link, link.

Posted by John Weidner at May 22, 2010 9:22 AM
Weblog by John Weidner