In this election year, there is a lot of discussion on the economy, the environment, the terrorist threat, the oil/price crisis, entitlements, and a myriad of other “hot buttons.” What I hear precious little about is what is really great about our country; what is really great about our people.
When we look back on the accomplishments that have come out of the USA we cannot help but marvel at the ingenuity and perseverance of American entrepreneurship. However, when we look back at the golden age of the Industrial Revolution, one thing that stands out as different from today is the lack of government regulation and taxation.
Back when Carnegie, Rockefeller, and the other industrial titans got started they were not hampered with such onerous regulations as Sarbanes Oxley. They were not taxed to the point that exploration and experimentation were activities that could only be undertaken after all of the government regulations and accounting had been satisfied. That was a day when the entrepreneur was able to let his ideas soar.
Today, the entrepreneur is buried under a mountain of regulation and is often taxed out of existence. If this intrepid entrepreneur is foolish enough to take on five or more employees, he comes under the laser beam of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Here is a true story. I know a man who is the safety engineer for a company that cleans meat packing plants. One of the safety requirements of the workers is that when they are working over a certain height off the floor they must wear a safety harness to arrest their fall in case of a mishap. This requirement was/is well briefed and enforced for all employees. During one shift a few years ago, an employee neglected this rule and fell off a catwalk and tragically died. This happened several hundred miles from my friend’s office. My friend was not at the site of the mishap when it happened. Enter OSHA. The OSHA inspector wanted the US Attorney to prosecute my friend for murder because the worker neglected to fulfill his responsibility to protect his own life. Fortunately, the US Attorney did not deem it a credible case and did not prosecute.
This is only one example of the crushing bureaucracy that the federal government has placed on us. There are such examples as declaring a farmer’s field unworkable because a mouse lives there or a forest cannot be logged because an owl has taken up residence ten miles away. The worst case for the United States is banning oil exploitation in that massive wasteland called ANWR. If you have seen photos of this barren frozen desert you would be as aghast as I am.
Our current Democrat-controlled Congress is crushing the very livelihood out of our country. Please do not mistake my ire as to be aimed only at Democrats. There are plenty of Republicans out there who are complicit in this crush. We are at a point where we are going to finish sliding all the way down that slippery slope into a totally socialistic society where the government controls every facet of our lives, or we are going to take it back and re-take our position as the world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. It is time we stop living with our hands out for our daily pittance and take responsibility for our own actions and living. It is time for the federal government to discontinue its evolvement into what Lenin made of Russia. It is time to return to the ideals of conservation of the US Constitution.
As always, I welcome your questions/discussion.