The people's voice of reason

The Safety Nazis

Some of the biggest public menaces that have developed over the years have been the overbearing numbers and intensity of safety regulations. They have gone far beyond anything we need for reasonable public safety and protection.

America was founded as a free country, where individual liberty is paramount. People would be free to act on their own behalves and look after themselves.

On the other hand, the duty of government is to protect our shores from foreign invaders and protect people from the wrongdoings of other people. Otherwise, its duty is to get out of the way and leave people alone.

It was never meant to protect anyone from himself. A sovereign individual owns his own body and has the exclusive right to look after his own safety. Government has no right or duty to meddle with anyone “for his own good.”

Using government to protect people from everyday hazards is a no-brainer. Life itself is dangerous. There is no such thing as a fail-safe life, at least not a life any reasonably ambitious person would want. People have the right to take care of themselves. Government at any level should never interfere.

The development of abusive safety mandates has not made life any better. Instead, it has imposed financial losses, mental anguish, and resentment. In some cases, it has even been a threat to safety.

There are many free market incentives for safe workplaces. If employees discover certain items that are not safe, they can

complain to their managements and discuss solutions. Nearly always, agreements can be made to correct the discrepancies. In a short time, things get fixed, and work quickly resumes to a normal pace.

That is a sharp contrast to OSHA thugs coming in, imposing heavy fines, and dictating the fixes for a few real and numerous imagined hazards that could cost anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars for compliance, and in the end provide little or no

additional safety. What it would do is cost the company money it could otherwise use to do legitimate improvements and provide more generous paychecks for the workers.

The “war” against drugs—i.e. drug prohibition—has been a total disaster. Like alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s, it has cost many billions, if not trillions, of dollars, and as Ken Burns said, “… turned citizens into criminals, and criminals into kings.” The mass murdering drug cartels are a direct result of this. Our prisons and jails are overflowing with millions of inmates, many of which were convicted of nothing more than “possession of a controlled substance.” When are we going to end this barbaric practice, uncrowd our prisons, and adopt a free market with drugs?

Highway traffic stops are far too numerous. Police and state troopers are seen everywhere pulling people over for minor infractions—few of which are sufficiently hazardous to be justified. Fines for these acts of piracy are usually outrageously high, often hundreds of dollars or more.

“Click it or Ticket” is another abuse. Yes, seat belts do save lives, but that is the responsibility and choice of the people, not our “rulers.”

“Speed traps” have been around for decades, and to this day, they have not abated. On weekends and holidays, when traffic is light and accident risk is at a minimum, the traffic enforcement “Gestapo” is out in full force instead of being where most officers belong at this time—at home spending time with their families.

The Nazi-like checkpoints blocking highways in many states are another serious menace. No motorists can appreciate being arbitrarily stopped so police can waste their time, search their cars, go over their “papers,” and look for excuses to impose citations. For example, a “sobriety checkpoint” set up in Pascagoula, Mississippi a few years ago managed to nail three drivers who were a tad over the legal limit of 0.08. However, the police did issue more than 1000 citations for other trivial “violations.” It is no wonder that more and more people have less and less respect for the police. Don’t they have crimes to solve and other legitimate duties?

What makes these and many other abuses even more oppressive is that the federal government has provided financial incentives to fund them.

Regulations on car manufacturing have gone haywire. Every year, autos become more and more complicated and expensive from multitudes of mandates. “Why can’t I buy a car without 6 air bags?” Nope! Big Brother won’t let you. “And why is my car so fragile? That little 0.5 mph ding cost me over $1000.” Sorry, but your car has to be “crushable” so you won’t die in an accident, never mind that an engine in your lap will kill you anyway. Remember, back in the 1970’s, we had cars that could take a 5 mph impact against a solid concrete wall with NO damage. Behind each bumper, up to a foot of “crush” was provided by two hydraulic cylinders.

But if you want to buy a simple, inexpensive, durable, easy to fix car today, you are out of luck in this used to be free country.

Don’t forget what happened to Volkswagen for emitting a bit more nitrogen oxide than allowed to improve the fuel mileage, even though doctors agree that nitrogen oxide is actually good for our health.

Let’s all pray that President Trump can spearhead a drive through Congress to repeal these and other abusive safety and environmental regulations and mandates.

The views of this editorial may not express the views of The Alabama Gazette.


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