Too Much Government Regulation


Think government isn’t broken?

Think government can fix all our problems?

Even if it can’t fix ’em ALL, folks STILL think that government can generally do better than the public sector can do.  Why this is true baffles me.  Some folks claim that corruption reigns supreme in the private sector and is therefore blemished.  Other folks think that profit reigns supreme in the private sector [and I think it does] and THAT makes the system inefficient.

Whatever it is, the idea that government can “do better than the private sector is one of the deepest misguided beliefs in human thinking.  The government CAN’T operate more efficiently than the private sector.

And here is proof via Coyote Blog.

For a few years, Mike Haege’s sister lived in north Minneapolis. He knows the neighborhood at least a little bit, and when a tornado tore through the area on Sunday, May 22, he took notice.

On the news he saw trees strewn about lawns and streets. Then inspiration struck. He wanted to help. His schedule for Monday, May 23, was wide open. And, since he operates Custom Cut, a tree trimming business here, he figured his services could be put to good use.

Now check this out:

“I thought it would be the perfect chance to help,” he said. “I knew there would be people needing help.”

He was right. By 10:30 a.m. Monday, he was signing paperwork with the Urban League to be a volunteer. He signed a waiver, hopped back into his truck and headed off to help out. The Urban Homeworks sent along a couple volunteers with him, too.

Tree trimmers who work in Minneapolis need to be licensed with the city. It’s a regulation in place throughout many cities, and something Haege knows all about. He’s licensed in Hastings and several area cities. Since he doesn’t work in Minneapolis, he isn’t licensed there.

All that was moot, of course. He was just going to volunteer and was not charging residents for his services.

He had brought a bucket truck to get high if needed, and he brought a wood chipper to dispose of fallen trees. He and the volunteers got to work on homes where the resident didn’t have insurance.

“We were removing stuff so people could get out of their driveways and out of their doors,” he said. “The place was a pretty big disaster.”

What happened next shocked Haege.

A city inspector arrived at the scene. She told Haege he had to leave. Immediately.

“You have to leave right now,” the inspector told Haege. “You’re not licensed to be here.”

“I said, ‘I’m just a volunteer,’ and she didn’t believe me.”

Haege went back to his truck and got his volunteer paperwork. Still, that did little to get the inspector off his back.

“I don’t want to see you up here,” she told him.

“She just didn’t believe me,” he said.

A volunteer from the Urban Homeworks, who had been with Haege since he signed up to volunteer that morning, did his best to convince the inspector that Haege wasn’t charging for his services.

Residents then came out of their doors in his defense, telling the inspector that he had just performed work at their house and hadn’t charged them a dime. Still, the defense fell on deaf ears.

The inspector told him to get out of the city, so Haege left with the volunteer. As they were on their way back to the volunteer area, residents waved down Haege, pleading for help. He pulled over and helped get a tree out of the way for them.

Haege had no idea police officers were behind him in a sort of unofficial escort out of town. He said they stopped traffic for about two hours while they figured out what to do with him. At one point, officers threatened to throw him in jail, he said.

All the while, residents continued defending him, screaming in his defense.

Officers told him to leave. They told him he was going to receive a “hefty fine” in the mail, and that if he stopped on the way out, the fine would be doubled.

Un-effin-believable.

The Left would have you believe that “for profit” organizations are just a bunch of greedy money grubbing capitalists who only wanna bilk the poor out of their money.  The fact of the matter is, people who use resources correctly get more resources to use even more correctly.  People who use resources poorly have those resources removed from them and are forced to do something different…..but whatever.  Econ 101 is much less interesting than Zimbabwean Drumming, right?

Anyway.

Here we have a guy, a guy who KNOWS he has skills and resources and is, by the way, a human being with feelings and sympathy and emotions.  He wants to do the right thing.  He goes and DOES the right thing.

And the Leftist government official uses her force of gun and sword to drive him out because SHE knows best.

Liberals…..

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8 comments
  1. This kind of bureaucratic nonsense drives me insane. Some time I’ll tell you what almost happened on my last day in the Army.

    • pino said:

      Some time I’ll tell you what almost happened on my last day in the Army.

      They wanted to send you to Minnesota to clean up tornado damage?

  2. Nice article. I would like to make a point though, there are some industries/projects that should not be in the private sector. The reasons vary but are pretty simple.

    For example, our healthcare system. The purpose of a business is to make a profit, increase the bottom line, make money for their shareholders. Now how do they do that, by bringing in more more income with premiums than paying out in services rendered. The way they do that is denying coverage. Our health, our well being should not be used as an engine for profit in the private sector.

    Another is infrastructure. There would not be a profit in say an engineering company building a dam, or improving roads. Who are they going to charge. Sure there are some roads that can be used as toll roadways but for the most part the purpose of these structures are to improve our communities and as their isn’t any profits that can be made, government is the only suitable entity that can provide this service.

    The new Tea Party’s hatred of government is unfounded and misguided. They like Medicare because they now a for-profit company can’t come and kick them off their plan because it costs too much to keep them. They can’t turn a profit on older people. Veterans like the VA because no matter what, they always have doctors and nurses there to care for them.

    I agree that we must keep government in check, but our fears at this moment should not be too much government, it should be large corporations that are growing out of control. GOP is no longer the party of “small government” or small business. The small business owner does not have access to their representative, it is the CEOs of Wall Street banks or big oil companies.

    I have written several blog post about our new bail out mentality and listed jus the banks in America that have been bailed out since the 1970s using tax payer funds because of risky business practices in the name of making a profit and without regulations to make sure these entities operate in the best interest of of everyone, not just themselves.

    Also, the environmental tragedities that have occurred due to the simple reason of unchecked/unregulated industries who were in pursuit of making a large profit in the quickest way possible and ending up being in the most reckless way possible, i.e., oil spill, mine disaster, oil refinery explosion. All of these occurred during a time when there was the least amount of regulations in decades (the Massey Coal Company had the worst safety record in history/the most # of regulation violations of any companie…and the most profitable).

    There is a place for government just as their is a place for the private sector. One cannot be allowed to operate without someone looking over them and that means regulation. If you think regulation is bad, please read up on China and India (among others). They are the least regulated countries in the world and also the most poluted and among the highest cancer rates/death rates in the world.

    • pino said:

      The reasons vary but are pretty simple.

      Thanks for stopping by Angela. A very well thought out comment; love it!

      The purpose of a business is to make a profit, increase the bottom line, make money for their shareholders.

      This is true. A company works to make the most profit it can; hopefully legally.

      From a isolated corporate standpoint, capitalism and profit can seem to be all consuming and over the top people churning uglies. And I get that. I’ve worked for bosses like that. No fun.

      But. BUT people are people wherever you go. And whatever the the “game”, people play to win. Government work is no different. Instead of money, people churn people for more and more power. Greed is greed independent of the “coin of the realm”.

      The view changes when you consider the macro. Consider a bakery, or, better yet, a series of them. Ideally we want our citizens to have the best and freshest bread with the most choice at the lowest cost. We know that we can’t offer EVERY person his EVERY choice EVERY day, but we’ll try.

      In time, the baker that is best able to create a store that best serves his customers will survive. That baker that sells shitty bread for too much money and offers little in terms of comfort will cease to consume “bread maker” resources. Should we weep for the failed bread maker? Perhaps his family may. And in so much weeping they’ll help him try an auto body repair shop; perhaps THAT’S his calling.

      In the macro world, profit is not a gouging. Not at all. It’s a signal that people use to identify what is and what is not important. When the profits of computer makers exceeded the profits of typewriter makers, people stopped investing in typewriters and began to invest in computers. Same with cars and horses. VCRs and DVD players.

      From a scientific stand point, profit is a tool, an indicator.

      For example, our healthcare system.

      The government should be concerned with allowing people who want healthcare to be able to get it. That’s it.

      Given that all people get sick and need doctors, the market is appealing-not restricted. Imagine trying to open a book store that only sells German Literature from the post romantic period written in Spanish. THAT i a market that would be hard find many servers. But medical care? We ALL need it. There are a TON of people willing to sell it. And as each tries to offer “better bread” and “fresher bread” and “more choices” they’ll drive their product to be better. And resources will be transferred from the “poor health care seller” to the “better health care seller”. This will happen in the exact same way that bread is sold. And cars. And tropical fish.

      The hard part, the REALLY hard part, is telling someone who decides they’d rather pay $60 for an iPhone data plan that they made a bad choice when they realize they don’t have insurance to cover their broken leg.

      Another is infrastructure. There would not be a profit in say an engineering company building a dam, or improving roads.

      There are some key considerations. Just because the State determines we need a dam does NOT mean the State is best able to build that dam. They can hire a dam builder. They can do this in the exact same way in which they don’t build telephones for all the governor’s men. Wanna highway? Set requirements as to asphalt quality, road width and painting…..then hire TWO companies. One at each end of your road. Pay by the foot. Just you watch how fast those two competing companies build that DAM road!

      the environmental tragedities that have occurred due to the simple reason of unchecked/unregulated industries who were in pursuit of making a large profit in the quickest way possible and ending up being in the most reckless way possible, i.e., oil spill, mine disaster, oil refinery explosion.

      I’m in the business of “crisis management”. The bast way to describe what I do is to say that “I fix broken things”. And those things are networks.

      When my clients experience an outage, I never ever tell ’em it’ll never happen again. In fact, I tell ’em the opposite it WILL happen again. But what I DO say is that I’m here to make sure that the time from THIS time to next is as long as possible. And the time to fix it is as short as possible.

      In short. Were gonna have oil spills. I promise you. We’ll have another. But if you go back through the data and check it….spills are getting smaller and smaller and further and further apart. We’re winning. But they get a batting average.

      Government’s role is to protect Liberty; fraud and property. It is NOT to give people other people’s stuff.

  3. dedc79 said:

    Again I’d be a bit more hesitant to draw broad conclusions about govt vs the private sector based on anecdotal evidence.

    For every instance of someone in the private sector trying to help out only to be blocked by govt bureaucracy , there are other stories of people in the private sector seeking to capitalize unfairly from other people’s tragedies (raising prices drastically on emergency supplies, for example, or taking money to perform services that are never actually performed).

    Where I agree with you is that we need improvements in emergency response. One idea would be to develop emergency response plans that allows private businesses to sign up in advance to be on a list of approved service providers in the event of such disasters. That way, when an event like this happens, a person like the guy described in your story would be able to help out right away without having to deal with a ton of unnecessary paperwork.

    • pino said:

      Again I’d be a bit more hesitant to draw broad conclusions about govt vs the private sector based on anecdotal evidence.

      For sure.

      But it works because we’ve all been to the DMV. Or court for a registration ticket.

      private sector seeking to capitalize unfairly from other people’s tragedies (raising prices drastically on emergency supplies

      I beg to differ on this one.

      June is the start of hurricane season here in Carolina. When a storm hits and were without power, one of the things we need is ice-we often run out. But the government has instituted anti-gouging laws in order to prevent “unfairly capitalizing on people’s tragedies”. But the fact of the matter s, we still don’t have ice.

      Consider this. Today in a normal market, ice is $1.89 a bag. Hurricane Pino comes though and we lose all power, the heat index is 103 and we run out of ice. There are lines, there is rationing and still people, many people, are without ice.

      Now, suppose that there are people who seek to “capitalize” on the tragedy. They do this by watching the weather and ramp up ice production when hurricanes are forecast. Then, they rent refer trucks and drive from Virginia, Georgia and Kentucky to provide ice that people want. What causes them to do this? Price. They do it because they can make a profit. Which, just so happen to work in our favor ’cause we want ice.

      Enough profit seekers and the price of ice stabilizes and everyone who wants ice can get it. For those that can’t afford it…..they are no worse off than they otherwise would have been; they don’t have any either way.

      But stop the price signal, that mechanism that tells ice makers we need ice, and there is a shortage.

      taking money to perform services that are never actually performed

      This is fraud. Fraud is a criminal act not isolated to capitalism or a free market. Cops commit fraud. Governors commit fraud. Teachers commit fraud. Grocery clerks, yes, private citizens, commit fraud. You will not find a single conservative that advocates protecting fraudulent businesses simply in the name of “free market”.

      One idea would be to develop emergency response plans that allows private businesses to sign up in advance to be on a list of approved service providers in the event of such disasters.

      Another idea would be just to let neighbors help neighbors without a list. I do it all the time.

  4. dedc79 said:

    see the problem with that is that your neighbors house is destroyed too in this scenario. All the houses in the area are gone. And there are people who have it in mind only to come and help, and there are others who flock there to take advantage.

    It’s all well and good to say the govt should just step away and let people help out. In practice it would be a worse mess. Because a few people volunteering to help is no replacement for government assistance. There is little to no financial motivation to help, some will do so out of the goodness of their own heart. The govt does so because that’s the govt’s job. The govt sticks around after popular attention fades and moves on to the next natural disaster/crisis.

    • pino said:

      Because a few people volunteering to help is no replacement for government assistance. There is little to no financial motivation to help, some will do so out of the goodness of their own heart. The govt does so because that’s the govt’s job. The govt sticks around after popular attention fades and moves on to the next natural disaster/crisis.

      It’s a false promise. These people would be better off knowing that the government isn’t coming. It’s fine to wait a week, maybe two. Then you say, “One more day….”. Soon, it’s five years:

      It took Charles King and his family just a couple of hours to leave their house in New Orleans on Aug. 27, 2005, but they have been struggling for five years since then to find home again.

      King, 48, his wife Rosalind, 47, and their 14-year-old son managed to flee New Orleans amid bumper to bumper traffic, heading north to Baton Rouge. The family took shelter there, initially staying with relatives and starting what would become a burdensome routine of jumping from one temporary residence to the next.

      Two weeks later, the family moved on to Houston, along with tens of thousands of others displaced from the Gulf Coast.

      King needed to earn a living for his family and believed the best place for him to do that was back in New Orleans. So by February 2006, he decided to make his way back to the city alone, leaving his family behind in Houston

      it was King who, nearly half a year after Katrina hit, became the first member of the family to lay eyes on the mobile home in which they’d lived for 20 years. To his horror, he found that water had settled two feet from the ceiling, destroying everything inside and rendering the home itself uninhabitable.

      Now, five years after their home was destroyed, the King family is among hundreds of residents who still live in emergency assistance trailers, waiting for grants to come through so they can move into a permanent residence and have their lives return to some degree of normalcy.

      This man needs to have a conversation with someone who is going to provide him a real hard dose of reality and honesty.

      This is the new normalcy.

      The sooner Mr. King is told that, rages about that, goes home and contemplates that and finally comes to peace with that, the sooner he’ll be able to adjust and begin his life anew. Until then, he’s still living the life he began 5 years ago; it’s not healthy.

      Government creates a dependency. Often a dependency that turns into a feeling of entitlement. No one can say that the proper role of government is to buy new homes for people who live 5 feet below sea level on a gulf coast that’s know for hurricanes. The role of government is to provide legal relief in the event his insurance company attempts to defraud him by not paying. Or by allowing Mr. King to sue in the event a contractor bilks him of his money.

      But this is demeaning. The whole of this man’s life is dependent on what he thinks the government will deliver. He’s not a man. He’s more of a pet. That, to me, is the greater tragedy. Greater even than that of having all he owns taken away by a storm.

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