This Country Has Too Damn Many Regulations? You Decide.
It’s about 4:00am and I’m working with my pictures putting together projects for Nikon and Photo District News. My computer is set up for Pandora and streaming radio. One of my favorite news programs is NPR, and I heard a story this morning I just had to share. When some of you read this you may say to yourself. “yeah, this guy is a radical left winger.” I’ve had freinds call me worse but not much. In all reality I’m seriously middle of the road. You can imagine how being self employed all my life, having come from a family of entrepreneurs, and having a father who ran his own business for 50 years has had an impact on me. For most, that kind of influence would very likely put me in the extreme right camp, but I’ve always tried to think for myself and this story from NPR inspired me to share some of what I think about.
Does the US really have too many regulations? Do we really want any sort of business, me included (being a business man), to have unfettered abilities to do whatever we want?
Believe me, I know we all use and need oil, but to have oil at the cost of losing your own land, not having clean water to drink, air to breath. At what point do we make a conscious decision to make changes that will make sure those necessary elements of life are met? Listen to this story and decide for yourself.
One last thing I want to share. In this political climate full of the rhetoric concerning too many regulations, think about why those regulations may be necessary. An example I often mention when this topic comes up relates to one of my favorite historical legends Jim Bridger. Jim Bridger was one of the American West’s most interesting characters. He lived in the mountains of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and in to the Canadian Rockies, having begun his career as a mountain man at the young age of 18 in 1922. He came from Virginia and joined General William Ashley’s Upper Missouri Expedition that began in St. Louis.
Think about these guys saddling up their horses and trundling a couple thousand miles west. You can imagine there were meandering game trails, river crossings, downed trees, herds of bison, grizzly bears that blocked their path and who knows what other obstacles that made them pause, but not once in their entire journey did they run into a stop sign or traffic light. Never did they have to halt due to the congestion at an intersection – that they proceeded would likely have caused bodily injuries or possibly death. They were free to do as they pleased because there just wasn’t many of them.
Now think about how that would work or rather not work today. In the same landscape that Jim Bridger rode freely across, the Gallatin Valley, there are now stop signs and stop lights. If he were here he could easily make the argument he was losing his God-given rights to move freely where and whenever he wanted, and…. he would be right, but are there good reasons for the regulations that took away his rights to cross the valley at will with no restrictions? I think most people would say yes. Today, if you don’t obey some regulations we all consider essential, you’re going to collide with reality. Reality being another person in a pickup truck, not regarding a common regulation known as a traffic light, the two of you meeting in the middle of an intersection in a catastrophic wreck.
Any law or regulation on the books has removed somebody’s rights in some way. Virtually all are in place because of a growing population. The more people there are the more need for ordinances that keep life sane. So the real question is how many is enough? Only we can decide.