Thursday, February 02, 2023

The weight of the government

| May 14, 2008 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

Woe be the business that incurs an industrial accident resulting in a fatality, for this triggers an immediate response from the OSHA or MSHA people who swoop in like avenging angels.

Whether investigating a fatal accident or making a routine inspection, these people invariably exhibit a pompous air of superiority; the result, perhaps, of the arbitrary power they wield, as well as the conviction evident in most government workers that the government can do anything better than free enterprise. The evidence suggests the opposite, but these folks have been imbued with the government mentality and actually believe that were it not for intervention by government agencies, our society would soon fall apart.

Using common sense, logic, reason, historical data, math or any other criterion you choose, the government does a poor job when compared to the private sector. All government programs have several things in common: they cost an obscene amount of money, they are relatively ineffective and they can invariably be characterized as straining the knat and swallowing the camel.

The escalation of government meddling in the affairs of free enterprise in our country has resulted in our going from first place in nearly every category: education, health care, innovation, infrastructure, justice, solvency, invention, literacy, wealth, and global competiveness to a sorry position now where our very survival as a nation is somewhat less than assured.

Costs of incessant rules and regulations imposed by government on business as well as the cost of supporting these government drones that produce nothing has finally raised the costs of our products so high we are no longer competitive in the global market.

In the case of OSHA and MSHA, I will argue that these agencies do more harm than good. By assuming the responsibility of making the workplace safe, they have created a false sense of security for the worker and removed an awareness of hazard on the part of that worker. Secondly, the fines imposed as well as the costs of complying with the myriad “safety” requirements, (some of which actually create hazard rather than remedy it) all adds to the cost of doing business. To pay for these costs, more widgets must be produced per hour which raises the risk of accident.

The signs of eminent collapse are everywhere: rampant inflation, devaluation of the dollar, crumbling infrastructure, escalating debt, declining literacy, growing poverty, mounting bankruptcies and foreclosures, climbing rates of crime and incarcerations.

What does the government propose for these problems? More government! More departments, more bureaucracy, more commissions, more committees and more rules and regulations. Government is not the solution, it is the problem!

It’s bad enough that the working class support this nonproductive colossus our government has become, but the idiotic rules and regulations that continue to emanate from this behemoth are even more of a burden. For the most part, legislation today is designed to benefit not the middle working class, but the upper and lower class.

Our representatives are obligated to the bankers and multinational corporations that financed their election campaign. They are also responsive to the huge segment of society on welfare and to the senior citizens whose giant voting power commands their attention.

I believe it is a tragedy that the beautifully designed constitution of our nation with its limits on federal power has, insidiously acquired the characteristics of age — old socialism. The liberties we once enjoyed have been consumed by a giant, ever-expanding government that can be likened to a black hole. We have not been sufficiently diligent and have allowed our government to evolve into an oppressive, inefficient and inept giant.

William Payne