A closer look at central planning and regulation

Sometimes when conservatives and libertarians complain about over-regulation or too  much govt planning, it sounds like baseless whining. They never seem to cite the details. Sometimes they’ve been challenged, “Tell me one regulation that has hurt your business!”

The answer is usually a stunned or stuttering silence. Since IFO, in our real life, is a freelance business reporter, we could help them out a bit. We cover a business owner/entrepreneur who doesn’t take bureaucratic bullying quietly. Here’s an OSHA citation he’s challenged successfully so far:

Activity       Opened        RID     St    Type     Sc            SIC     NAICS   Vio
1 314616947   06/14/2011  1054193 OR  Planned     Complete    2421   321999    3
Close Conference:    08/23/2011                        Establishment Name XXXXX

Substance:    8111 Noise, Continuous Or Intermittent (Action Level)

Violation Items
#    ID  Type    Standard Issuance     Abate     Curr$     Init$     Fta$       Contest    LastEvent
1. 01001A Serious  19100095 C01 09/06/2011 10/07/2011 $165    $165 $0 10/05/2011  2. 01001B Serious  19100095 D01 09/06/2011 10/07/2011     $0     $0    $0  10/05/2011
3. 01001C Serious  19100095 G01 09/06/2011 10/07/2011    $0     $0    $0  10/05/2011
4. 01001D Serious  19100095 K01 09/06/2011 10/07/2011 $0     $0    $0  10/05/2011
5. 02002   Other     19100132 D02 09/06/2011 10/07/2011     $0     $0    $0  10/05/2011
6. 02003   Other      19100132 F04  09/06/2011 10/07/2011 $0     $0    $0  10/05/2011

#s 1-4 Number [people] exposed – 2, type – noise, Abatement date: 10/07/2011
#s 5-6 Number exposed – 5, type Other, Abatement date: 10/07/2011

The long and the short of this ‘violation’ is that OSHA inspectors thought our businessman should provide ear plugs and training to about 4 workers on how to use them! He wrote a tough letter to the agency saying essentially, “Try and make me you @$%$#*^ s!”

Another run-in he had with the city where his business (10+ employees) is located concerned whether lumber-drying kilns he had installed were ‘equipment’ or ‘structures.’ Think this is a trivial matter? If they were structures, they required a (very expensive) building permit.

When we were reading the Wikipedia entry on George Orwell’s life, we came across a quote attributed to him, to wit, ” “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” We have no idea how he understood democratic socialism and wonder what he would have made of the EU’s undemocratic socialism.

Look at “The Fruit Police,” by Roger Kimball, Dec. 31, 2003. It is still relevant, perhaps even more so today.  We suggest that you read the whole piece and stop admiring policies that you think make the EU superior to the U.S. He quotes the London Times:

“GOODBYE bendy bananas. Farewell curved cucumbers. So long chunky carrots. The European Union has finally triumphed in its quest to tame nature and keep unusually shaped fruit and vegetables off our shop shelves.

“The House of Lords yesterday ordered greengrocers across the country to obey every EU horticultural regulation passed over the past 30 years concerning fresh produce and conform to the myriad of rules covering size, length, colour and texture.”

Is it any surprise that the EU seems to be falling apart?

Investment lesson: Socialism is neither bureaucratic or democratic, it is craptastic.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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