A Philosopher's Blog

Regulation

Posted in Business, Ethics by Michael LaBossiere on January 29, 2010
Leviathan Thomas Hobbes, 1651
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Despite the devastation of the economy by the financial folks, there are still people who are crying out against regulation of the economy. In many cases these people are just spewing words placed into their minds by pundits. They speak about the free market, the invisible hand, and market forces as if these are benevolent deities that will make all things right. Naturally, they regard any attempts to limit these divine forces as socialism, communism, and oppression.

Interestingly enough, many of the same folks who cry for a free market are also a bit obsessed with severely limiting personal privacy and personal liberty. These folks cry out against same sex marriage and cry for the Patriot Act and its ilk. They do not even seem to realize that they are crying for a free society for the money people and a restricted society for all the rest of us.

My own view is a fairly moderate one. While I am not a Hobbesian, I do agree that some people do need to be compelled to behave by the use of force. I also agree with Mill that it is better to have more liberty than less but also that freedom does, ironically, require restrictions on people’s liberty. Put in a nutshell, I think we should restrict people to the degree required to prevent folks from harming each other but that we should not go beyond this. I am, of course, just stealing Mill’s view.

Unlike some folks, I think that this also applies to the market. While some folks cry for a free market, they do not cry for a lawless society. Interestingly, these folks see the need for laws restricting behavior such as theft and murder. They also see the need for laws protecting property and rights. They rightfully regard a lawless society as a place of danger and as undesirable. However, they seem to think that human behavior is magically changed by the market. So, while we cannot allow people to engage in same sex marriage, we can safely allow financial folks to run free and wild. After all, their reasoning goes, the market will sort things out.

However, if the market can do this, then it should also apply across all of life. After all, if the financial folks can be allowed to run wild and free within the magic of the free market, then the same should apply to everyone. Unless, of course, those financial folks are not human beings but some other different race that can do just fine without laws or restrictions.

So, if human beings need laws to regulate their behavior, this also applies to their economic behavior.  Thus, we should no more have a lawless economy than we should have a lawless society. Naturally, the financial folk will complain that they cannot make as much money as they could without such limits. But, I am sure that rapists believe that they could commit  many more rapes if only people did not insist on preventing them from doing so.

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40 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Lots of strawmen here. The argument is not between lots of regulation vs. no regulation, but between smart regulation vs. stupid regulation.

    If you think of how TSA handles airport security, you’ll understand why just adding more rules and procedures does not automatically make things better. You need to add the right rules and regulations…

    • magus71 said, on January 29, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Yes, and I can tell you that, working for the mother of all US bureaucracies–The US Army–that piling on rules is bad.

  2. A.K.A.Alias said, on January 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

    When each side thinks it has the only correct view of what “smart regulation” is, there’ll always be stupid regulation. Inability to settle the such issues even happens when one side has a 60-40 advantage in the Senate. And won the popular vote by 10 million votes. You have those who insist that the world and its occupants are perfect.And that markets, left on their own are perfectly efficient. And those who look on their left and on their right and see imperfect human beings within imperfect systems. Subject to greed. To corruption. Just begging for regulation. Just as with the 2nd amendment debate. Those who believe in no regulation. If you can believe that. Those who believe in confiscating guns. And those in the middle, like Michael and you and me. Who see people and institutions as they are.

  3. magus71 said, on January 29, 2010 at 11:54 am

    This is a stawman argument, as Dick Cheney has pointed out in essays and interviews.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/cheney-dont-bla.html

    “KING: I want to move on to other issues after a break, but before we go to the break, any regrets about the financial bailout package that started in your administration? The Obama administration is building on it. They say they are fixing some things they thought went wrong in the Bush administration, but I know hindsight is easy, but looking back now from outside of the government, was it a mistake? Should you have let the market run its course and let some of those institutions you deemed too big to fail to let them fail? Would that have been a better course than where we are now?

    CHENEY: I don’t think so. And I think you’ve got to remember, we were talking here about financial institutions. And the federal government is — does have the lead responsibility for those financial institutions. That’s what the Federal Reserve is part of. That’s what the FDIC does. That’s what we do with budgets and treasury functions and so forth.

    Those financial powers and responsibilities belong to the federal government. If the system is bad, if it freezes up, the only one that can fix that is the federal government. That’s different than getting into the industrial sector of the economy or necessarily the housing sector or other parts of the economy.

    And I believe, as much as a conservative as I am in limited government, I did believe that with respect to the financial problems we had, when the credit market seized up, only the federal government could address those issues.”

    Cheney has directly address the accusations that conservatives want no regulation. I know of no one except Ayn Rand and maybe Ron Paul who’ve espoused that.

    • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      No one but Rand and Paul and the half-million voters who support his party.
      From the latimes article ‘In fact Cheney — who acknowledged that President Obama inherited a mess — managed nevertheless to blame the downturn on Democrats, saying Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut blocked reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that might have stemmed the losses.’ Six years. Six years. The Republican party had control from 00 to 06. Practically every other human being on earth knows the financial crisis was much more complex than Fannie and Freddie and Frank and Dodd. Everyone but Cheney. He’s not my go-to guy for facts or opinions.

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        Just watched POTUS speaking at a GOP meeting in Baltimore. From this day forth let us hear no more bullshit about his dependence on teleprompters.

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

        BTW: I’d recommend watching and listening to this: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/01/29/HP/R/28993/President%20Speaks%20at%20GOP%20Retreat.aspx Skip the speeches if you’re short of time.

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm

        Obama should speak without a teleprompter more often–we might get more truth. See last sentence:

        For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your — if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        The opposition party I believe was screwed because it bought into one of its many memes. That Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter. Guess sometimes you begin to believe all the lies you repeat. And it comes back to bite you in the ass.

      • kernunos said, on January 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

        Please enlighten us on how it was more complicated. It was but your reasons should be priceless.

      • kernunos said, on January 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm

        How about all of the ‘I’s in his speaches? Weren’t we taught not to say ‘I’ in Speech and English constantly? His speech in Ohio recently had 131 ‘I’s in it interspersed with a few ‘..but this isn’t about me…’. The State of the Union was about him from all his ‘I’s. He can try and hide the Progressive side but the narcissistic side is oh so much harder to bury.

    • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      Funny you should ask. I’ve just been plowing through a book about this subject. How Markets Fail. You should read it. Here’s a non-Cheneyian view from that book.It’s from a Republican who unlike Cheney probably knows something about the economy. Undersecretary of the treasury in 01-05 John B. Taylor. Writing about the financial crisis:”the fed caused it by deviating from historical precedents and principles for setting interest rates which had worked well for 20 years.” He’s oversimplifying too. But he’s a Republican. So I’ll forgive him. So the fed kept interest rates lower too long encouraging the kind of ridiculous speculation we saw in 06-08. As John Cassidy writes”In a modern economy with a large finanacial sector the combination of cheap money and lax oversight, if maintained for years on end, is sure to lead to trouble.” He says that doesn’t make for a free market.”It is a form of crony capitalism”. You may not agree with the label, but he’s right otherwise. And why the lax regulation? Partly because Glass-Steagall was repealed. Greenspan called it “archaic”. And it may have been. But it should have been replaced with something that isn’t archaic but it wasn’t. Later on Greenspan admitted some of his misjudgments. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27335454/Surely that was one of them. Complex enough for you yet?

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 31, 2010 at 1:09 pm

        “Lax oversight” is not the same as “insufficient regulation.”

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

        No. But insufficient or ineffective regulation can be part of lax regulation. And that’s Cassidy’s point. A quote from his book. “When critics pointed out that deregulation increased the level of system risk within the financial system, Greenspan countered that many financial transactions didn’t need regulating” p.230. It’s in a chapter titled Greenspan Shrugs.Sure, it’s true that many transactions don’t need regulating. Glass-Steagall didn’t regulate all financial transactions. But Greenspan’s answer didn’t address the initial point about the effects of deregulation on systemic risk. The years 06-08 have had something to say about that. Again. It’s not simple. It’s not just that government usually fails at oversight as Republicans claim. Sometimes it’s that the regulations government oversees are “archaic”. Or that the archaic regs are repealed and not replaced because shortsighted ideologues think that regs are too often not overseen efficiently and that therefore there shouldn’t be regulations. That’s simply not logical. Even though it might fit an ideologue’s template.

      • kernunos said, on February 1, 2010 at 1:57 am

        Yes and the Fed was created by a huge Progressive that also created the income tax. Greenspan was an idiot that was asleep at the wheel whilst all the crap was going down. Geitner was the chair for the NY FED seat that dropped the ball also and he got rewarded. Common theme in government to fail and be rewarded. I am not going to get caught up in the Dem/Rep arguement though. Greenspan was and idiot along with Bernanke. Both talked about the stability of the housing market. Bernanke got Time’s ‘Man of the Year’ for incorrect predictions on the economy and has since been rewarded for becoming head of the FED again. The FED had a huge profit this last year. A higher percentage than when Exxon/Mobil were being gutted for their ‘record’ profits. Where is the outrage? The FED’s main job is to protect us from bubbles and huge downturns. They have failed recently time and time again. I am not really disagreeing with you but pointing out how I feel and the reality of the current economic situation.

      • kernunos said, on February 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

        By the way, I’m not sure if anyone would take cheney as an expert on the economy. But I will tell you that tax cuts help the economy and tax hikes hurt it as prven time and time again. Look into government revenue from taxes during the start of WWI and look at revenue increases with JFK and Ronald Reagan with tax cuts. Plenty of obvious evidence. I do belive in regulation though even in a free market. I believe in enough regulation to protect both parties in a business transaction but not too much regulation to make the transaction too burdensome for one side or the other. We have gone far beyond this point.

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on February 1, 2010 at 11:56 am

        “a huge Progressive that also created the income tax.” You had me worried. I thought my memory must be failing me. But no. The income tax amendment XVI has the following history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/61st_United_States_Congress#Constitutional_amendments Progressives created the income tax? Amendments don’t get ratified by progressives or conservatives. Article V is much more complicated than that. Why do I waste my time? Oh well. Ever onward. Tax cuts help the economy. You say. It’s been proven time and again. You say. But not during wartime. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/politics_democratic/99253 Did I say not during wartime? Who thinks Cheney might be an expert on the economy? Go back to the entry at 1/29 11:54. He was introduced to the discussion and presented as a kind of expert there. I will say this. At least he seems to understand the difference between financial institutions and GM. But there was no push on his watch I mean Bush’s watch to replace Glass Steagall with something less ‘archaic.’ Do me a favor. Give us an honest representation of where you stood on Greenspan when he was Fed chairman.Right hand up to God,cross your heart and hope to die. Where you stood on repealing Glass-Steagall when it was done.Maybe you can refer me to a post you wrote then. These days I’m hearing too many Republicans rewriting national history.And rewriting their own history. Poll’s are polls for whatever they’re worth. But in 06 even when his political leanings should have been quite clear to anyone with a brain 52% of conservatives approved of his presidency. After the fact it seems most all Republicans think he wasn’t conservative enough. They think that was his main failure. Eventually you’ll all agree on one story. BTW.Onto a subject with no substance whatsoever. That’s why Krauthammer’s got something to say about it. Your desperation fixation on I I I is amusing.Sounds like a joke I heard once. A president walks into a room filled with his opponents. 1 1/2 hrs later he leaves having handed them their asses. They turn to each other and say He said I a lot. Funny. No?

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on February 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm

        k Note.Comparing Fed profits and Exxon profits is comparing apples to oranges. Fed profits are taken by the government after salaries etc. So unlike the Exxon profits which disappear into the pockets of the richest Fed money goes to govt. The real issue as you point out is whether Fed does its job. Would you agree that it certainly doesn’t help to have oversight system if you don’t have the necessary tools? Like Glass Steagall? Or a less archaic equivalent? Maybe THAT’s why they’ve failed recently time and again as you say.BTW Happy to see you’re nonpartisan. That makes two of us. Back on 15 Jan you wrote “the truth is George Bush was a Dem with a few Republican leanings”.This would seem to put the lie to another Republican meme. That America is a conservative leaning country. I’m to believe the conservative leaning USA in 00 split its votes between a left leaning Republican and a liberal Democratic candidate. Giving more actual votes to the Democrat. That’s about 99+% of the popular vote. Yet we lean to the right. Something’s logically wrong here. Or conservatives don’t really know who or what the hell they are. Or conservatives think they know what everyone else should believe. And if they repeat it often enough it’ll come true.Or naybe its the American people who you have such confidence in. The ones who’ll prevent this from becoming a corporate oligarchy in the wake of the recent court decision. Maybe they just don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

  4. kernunos said, on January 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    As far as regulation goes you are being rather general and using many ‘straw men’ as has been stated. We all know we cannot compete with other countries export-wise because it costs us too much to make a product and compete manufacturing wise. Why is this? It isn’t just labor costs I can tell you that much. When I ran my business and I had to completely re-do a stairway because the rise and run was off by a 1/4 inch it cost me big bucks. That is just one silly example of many I can give. Let us take the Energy Tax credit for ‘efficiency upgrades’ on your home. What is the tax credit, $1500.00? Let us say it was $5000.00 for good measure. First off you cannot just go and buy that amount in say…insulation and ‘do it yourself’. That would sure be appealing then wouldn’t it? The problem is that you have to have a contracter who is certified for doing energy auditing first. Not just a regular run of the mill expensive contractor. Now you are spending some good money for extra weatherization. So if you end up spending say even as little as $7500.00(lol) and get an exagerated $3500.00 tax credit was it worth it for the $200.00 a year you just saved in heating costs? So, platitudes and generalities sound great in speaches but when the government gets involved expect a barrel and kitty litter.

    • A.K.A.Alias said, on January 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Anyone who looks to get as much out of a tax credit as they have to put into it to get the credit in the first place is dreaming. Yet. Saving of $200? How much you benefit depends on how long you live. Doesn’t it? Say you live 30 years longer. And we all hope you do.:) You’ve recouped $6000. That, the tax credit,and the add’l jobs created for contractors seem to be omitted from your equation. Don’t forget to read my previous answer to your question about complexity.

      • kernunos said, on February 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        Point is that smart people do not spend a ton of money to get a minimal to no return. Sort of like getting a $5000.00 dollar tax cut when you hire someone new. The tax cut will not get someone to hire if they are not needed. It means nothing anyway if you look at how really expensive it is to hire someone. I know this to be true. $5000.00 will not go far if it costs $10,000.00 a year to employ a person making $12.50 an hour in just workers comp and unemployment insurance.

      • A.K.A.Alias said, on February 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

        Nothing you’ve written counters what I wrote about the example you provided. In your 11:36 post you wrote about the Energy Tax Credit. That credit is still a good idea. You wrote nothing about the hiring credit. Choose a better example next time.

      • kernunos said, on February 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

        Have you had work done by contractors that are energy audit certified lately? I was using conservative numbers. If you do the research the numbers I gave as costs I think you will find are very cheap. The point is that it just isn’t worth it.

    • kernunos said, on February 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

      No, it is a horrible idea.

  5. magus71 said, on February 1, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Obaaaaaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaa!

  6. kernunos said, on February 1, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I…, I….., I….., but this is not about me, I……, I………, I…………, but this is not about me, I…….., I……….., I…………., I……………, I………….., but this is not about me, I………, I……..

    Sort of like watching a train wreck.

    • magus71 said, on February 1, 2010 at 2:27 am

      Yes, I can’t remember how many tmes he said “I”, but it was a astounding number. There was an article about it. Charles Krauthammer has spokn of Obama’s psychology (Krauthammer’s a PHD psychologist) and says that Obama is extremely self-centered.

      It is amazing that he can say one thing and do the complete opposite and almost never get called on it. From his speeches, you’d think he were a Regan cnservative. From his actions, you’d think he were Robes Pierre.

  7. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Reposted from above. I got no response. Thought maybe you lost it among the yammering I-I-I’s.

    kernunos “a huge Progressive that also created the income tax.” You had me worried. I thought my memory must be failing me. But no. The income tax amendment XVI has the following history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/61st_United_States_Congress#Constitutional_amendments Progressives created the income tax? Amendments don’t get ratified by progressives or conservatives. Article V is much more complicated than that. Why do I waste my time? Oh well. Ever onward. Tax cuts help the economy. You say. It’s been proven time and again. You say. But not during wartime. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/politics_democratic/99253 Did I say not during wartime? Who thinks Cheney might be an expert on the economy? Go back to the entry at 1/29 11:54. He was introduced to the discussion and presented as a kind of expert there. I will say this. At least he seems to understand the difference between financial institutions and GM. But there was no push on his watch I mean Bush’s watch to replace Glass Steagall with something less ‘archaic.’ Do me a favor. Give us an honest representation of where you stood on Greenspan when he was Fed chairman.Right hand up to God,cross your heart and hope to die. Where you stood on repealing Glass-Steagall when it was done.Maybe you can refer me to a post you wrote then. These days I’m hearing too many Republicans rewriting national history.And rewriting their own history. Poll’s are polls for whatever they’re worth. But in 06 even when his political leanings should have been quite clear to anyone with a brain 52% of conservatives approved of his presidency. After the fact it seems most all Republicans think he wasn’t conservative enough. They think that was his main failure. Eventually you’ll all agree on one story. BTW.Onto a subject with no substance whatsoever. That’s why Krauthammer’s got something to say about it. Your desperation fixation on I I I is amusing.Sounds like a joke I heard once. A president walks into a room filled with his opponents. 1 1/2 hrs later he leaves having handed them their asses. They turn to each other and say He said I a lot. Funny. No?

    k Note.Comparing Fed profits and Exxon profits is comparing apples to oranges. Fed profits are taken by the government after salaries etc. So unlike the Exxon profits which disappear into the pockets of the richest Fed money goes to govt. The real issue as you point out is whether Fed does its job. Would you agree that it certainly doesn’t help to have oversight system if you don’t have the necessary tools? Like Glass Steagall? Or a less archaic equivalent? Maybe THAT’s why they’ve failed recently time and again as you say.BTW Happy to see you’re nonpartisan. That makes two of us. Back on 15 Jan you wrote “the truth is George Bush was a Dem with a few Republican leanings”.This would seem to put the lie to another Republican meme. That America is a conservative leaning country. I’m to believe the conservative leaning USA in 00 split its votes between a left leaning Republican and a liberal Democratic candidate. Giving more actual votes to the Democrat. That’s about 99+% of the popular vote. Yet we lean to the right. Something’s logically wrong here. Or conservatives don’t really know who or what the hell they are. Or conservatives think they know what everyone else should believe. And if they repeat it often enough it’ll come true.Or naybe its the American people who you have such confidence in. The ones who’ll prevent this from becoming a corporate oligarchy in the wake of the recent court decision. Maybe they just don’t know what the hell they’re doing.
    If what I’ve written is correct, no need to respond. If it’s wrong respond only to the parts you think are wrong. We’ll assume everything else is correct.

  8. kernunos said, on February 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    With Progressives and income tax I was referring to was the revenue act of 1913. I am very aware of the history of the income tax but how you think that this is not a Progressive idea to have a graduated income tax is beyond me. This is where the modern style income tax started. Wilson increased the lowest bracket from 1%-25% and the highest bracket from 25%-75% around the beginning of WWI. this quickly dropped yearly revenue to the Federal Government from income taxes from around $1.2 billion a year to roughly $150,000,000 million a year. Shortly there after the tax brackets were readjusted to 25% for highest and 6% for lowest. this brought revunue back up to roughly $350,000,000 million a year. JFK cut taxes and revenue increased 11% to the IRS. Reagan cut taxes and rvenue jumped by over 40% to the IRS. Please don’t waste your time though.

  9. kernunos said, on February 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    A perfect example of too much regulation is this. Honda made a car called the CRX in the mid 80’s to early 90’s. The car got 50+ mpg highway and was very inexpensive. The new ‘Hybrid’ CRX coming out, will get 37 mpg highway. It is not as inexpensive. You do not feel that this is due to too many regulations? It obviously is.

    • A.K.A.Alias said, on February 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm

      Likely’obvious’ to an inhabitant of RepconWorld.In the real world we might ask a question or two. For example. What were the regulations designed to regulate? Perhaps you have a set number of regulations in mind for each individual business and financial entity? 3 regulations for the auto industry? 8.5 for the Big Banks? 2 for gun dealers? I assume you agree with everything else in my 10:36 post. But that’s assuming you read it all. Including the last two sentences

      • kernunos said, on February 4, 2010 at 2:18 am

        How is this a response to my CRX example?

  10. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    k: In response to your 2/3 5:22 post.Here’s what you wrote on 2/1 1:57 .”Yes and the Fed was created by a huge Progressive that also CREATED THE INCOME TAX.” I repeat, the Progressives didn’t create the income tax. The 16th amendment made it possible. I deeply apologize if I failed to read your mind. Actually my apology isn’t deep at all.You should have written ‘the graduated income tax’. And you should be very well aware that there is a difference between ‘income tax’ and ‘graduated income tax’. You write ” how you think that this is not a Progressive idea to have a graduated income tax is beyond me.” Something’s beyond you. But it shouldn’t be this. Because I never said the graduated income tax/that’s different from income tax mind you/ wasn’t a progressive idea. Reread my 2/1 11:57 reply.

    • kernunos said, on February 4, 2010 at 2:24 am

      …and the 16th Amendment was started in motion by Taft, and idiot, who was backed for president by roosevelt(a Progressive). His suggestion was to tax corporations at 2%. Ahhh, but you open up a Constitutional Convention and all kinds of crappy things happen. Taft was followed by Wilson(the Presidential father of modern Proggressivism) and income taxes were soon put into play as was now allowed by the 16th Amendment. There was NO income tax after the 16th Amendment in 2009 until 2013 when the Amendment was ratified. There was a Progressive in office that started the income tax at that time. I’m not even going to count what happened in the late 1860’s.

  11. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    First. A car being ‘less inexpensive’ or more expensive in 2009 than it would have been in 1990 shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you. Just about everything’s more expensive now. Let me rephrase the other part of my post. What exactly were the regulations that affected the fuel efficiency of the CRX? Were some of them necessary for safety purposes? Did those add weight? What other changes in design including interior decor and options and size may have affected weight and therefore fuel efficiency? And more pointedly what regulations were aimed at smog reduction?My car has to pass a yearly emissions test. The test has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with dirty air. Smog. There’s not much argument about the harmful effects of smog. Although I’m sure some deadbeat would say it’s okay. He wants to live in a city forever shrouded in smog.Again, it’s not RepCon world out here. It’s way way way more complicated than “too many regulations”.

    • kernunos said, on February 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      Yes it is very complicated in DemPro world isn’t it? Yes you are correct, it does have to do with safety and to a very small degree emissions. Emissions equipment weight is very small. Deaths don’t really seem to be going down on the highways though. All of the vehicls are getting much heavier so even though airbags, crumple zones…etc have been improved upon it is very hard to overcome the mighty power of physics. By expense I abviously meant in comparison with the times. I have a job and cannot write all of the specifics in a blog just to satisfy a picky Liberal for his gotcha moments. Europe does not have to live up to the same safety or emissions standards. Their vehicles conserve more natural resources and do not seem to have a higher fatality rate on the roads. My point is that through the regulations the US government has put on auto companies ie … as close to zero emmisions as possible, make as safe as possible and yet be successful enough to pay the taxes to us still mentality makes it really tough. They have to do this while making the vehicles desireable enough for the populace and still cheap enough to afford. Of course, add in the awful management and you have a good old concoction for failure. Like it or not too many regulations make it more expensive for us at the bottom and impossible to compete in a global environment. I wasn’t even going to talk about how expensive labor unions have been to the process. the new Ford Fiesta Diesel will get over 60 mpg highway in Europe but due to ‘regulations’ it is not cost effective to bring over here and regulations would bring that mileage down in the 30s-40s. I thought we cared about gas mileage here in the US? Maybe I should buy an electric car at twice the cost and think I’m not adding to pollution. lol.

  12. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    k ‘There was NO income tax after the 16th Amendment in 2009 until 2013 when the Amendment was ratified.’ Someone call 911. Did you just have an aneurysm? :(
    The year was 1913. The 16th amendment ‘started in motion by Taft, and idiot’ was ratified by 3/4 of the states. That’s 36 states! Isn’t that an adequate democratic majority for you? Doesn’t it meet Article V requirements? Even more states jumped on the ratification bandwagon later. 42 states in total. All idiots in the eyes of the inhabitants of RepConWorld. What a cramped world that must be. Suggestion.You should work to get the 16th repealed. Yes I never denied the progressive role in the passage of the 16th. But 42 states ratified it. They weren’t all progressives. The graduated income tax. To me it makes more sense than anything else out there at present . I won’t stand by its current complexity. It could use considerable reform. As for the 16th. If you don’t like it get it repealed. As for the graduated tax. You don’t like it? This is a cumbersome ship of state. The Constitution doesn’t accommodate quick change very well. Turn the SSUSA in the direction of something better. Obama wasn’t able to end the recession and solve unemployment in a year or less. You’ve said you could. So changing to a new tax system should only take you 6 months at most.

  13. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    k Your 6:14 post.Deaths aren’t going down? Is that total highway deaths per year or total highway deaths per thousand per year. I’d wager the number of deaths on average has dropped. Also consider population and number of drivers has increased since 1990. You can’t always look out the window and assume that what you see represents the whole picture. Nothing picky about my questions. You presented increased cost as one of two proofs that we have too many regulations.Bad on you. Your second reason was decreased gas mileage. I provided multiple reasons for that. Including some very good regulations. It is NOT at all clear from your 5:32 or your 2:18am post that the increased costs and lower gas mileage are due to too many regulations.Consider this possibility. There could still be too few regulations. We could remove all the regulations you feel are bad and replace them. With an equal number of important life saving regulations.Would you be satisfied then. Or would there still be too many? Again. There are other reasons that go far beyond simply ‘too many regulations.’ Case closed. Afraid I’ll have to challenge your comparison between US and European fatalities. Please google international injury and fatality statistics. Choose the safecarguide.com link. Scroll down to the red and green charts. Look at stats for wealthy nations. Tell me what you see there. You may have something more current. Provide it if you do. My time’s precious too.You’re not the only one who has to work for a living. What real info do you have on Euro emission and safety standards vs ours? Any real proof that they save more natural resources? Are population size, geographical size, and relative miles of high speed highways taken into account? You’re going to put it out there? Back it up.Meanwhile,here’s a challenge. Here the rubber meets the road. Plan a cross country trip with your loved ones in a compact car. Follow a major interstate. But first strip the car of the safety requirements that wouldn’t be there if there were no regulations. Even replace the frame if necessary. You’ll likely have a car auto makers would produce. If their self interests were unregulated. Kinda of like Pfizer making Vioxx. Or GE killing a river. Now have a happy journey. But watch out!! Tractor trailer!! Too bad. Two year old Billy is thrown through the windshield. The steering wheel punctures your chest. Multiple rollovers and everyone else is killed. How many of those safety measures were among the ‘too many’ that made the CRX a heavier less-fuel efficient car?

  14. A.K.A.Alias said, on February 5, 2010 at 12:13 am

    k at 6:20 If you don’t give me cause to argue I won’t. Just back off that ridiculous idea that progressives were responsible for the 16th amendment. That they suggested it has only a little to do with its passage. Republicans have pushed The Family Marriage Amendment almost every year since 02. A year they controlled both houses. They couldn’t get the support required by Article V. If they had, THEN the bill would have to go to the states to be ratified by 2/3 of the states.If that process would be completed I could then say that Republicans suggested the bill. But I sure as H couldn’t say they were responsible for it.


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