Skip to comments.Sowell: The Left's Gambles
Posted on 12/06/2016 10:32:24 AM PST by jazusamo
Sometimes life forces us to make decisions, even when we don't have enough information to know how the decision will turn out. The risks may be even greater when people make decisions for other people. Yet there are some who are not only willing, but eager, to take decisions away from those who are directly affected.
Something as personal as what doctor we want to go to has been taken out of our hands by ObamaCare. What job offer, at what pay rate, someone wants to accept has been taken out of their hands by minimum wage laws.
Sick people who are dying are prevented from trying a medication that has not yet completed all the long years of tests required by federal regulations -- even if the medication has been used for years in other countries without ill effects.
One by one, innumerable decisions have been taken out of the hands of those directly affected. This is not just something that has happened. It is a central part of the agenda of the political left, even though they describe what they are doing in terms of the bad things they claim to be preventing and the good things they claim to be creating.
Minimum wage laws are described as preventing workers from being "exploited" by employers who pay less than what third parties want them to pay. But would people accept wages that third parties don't like if there were better alternatives available?
This is an issue that is very personal to me. When I left home at the age of 17, going out into the world as a black high school dropout with very little experience and no skills, the minimum wage law had been rendered meaningless by ten years of inflation since the law was passed. In other words, there was no minimum wage law in effect, for all practical purposes.
It was far easier for me to find jobs then than it is for teenage black high school dropouts today. After the minimum wage was raised to keep up with inflation, for decades the unemployment rate for black male 17-year-olds never fell below TRIPLE what it was for me -- and in some years their unemployment rate was as much as five times what it was when I was a teenager.
Yet many people on the left were able to feel good about themselves for having prevented "exploitation" -- that is, wage rates less than what third parties would like to see. No employer in his right mind was going to pay me what third parties wanted paid, when I had nothing to contribute, except in the simplest jobs.
As for me, my options would have been welfare or crime, and welfare was a lot harder to get in those days. As it was, the ineffectiveness of the minimum wage law at that time allowed me time to acquire job skills that would enable me to move on to successively better jobs -- and eventually to complete my education. Most people who have minimum wage jobs do not stay at those jobs for life. The turnover rate among people who are flipping hamburgers was found by one study to be so high that those who have such jobs on New Year's Day are very unlikely to still be there at Christmas.
In short, the left has been gambling with other people's livelihoods -- and the left pays no price when that gamble fails.
It is the same story when the left prevents dying people from getting medications that have been used for years in other countries, without dire effects, but have not yet gotten through the long maze of federal "safety" regulations in the U.S.
People have died from such "safety." Police are dying from restrictions on them that keep criminals safe.
San Francisco is currently trying to impose more restrictions on the police, restrictions that will prevent them from shooting at a moving car, except under special conditions that they will have to think about when they have a split second to make a decision that can cost them their own lives. But the left will pay no price.
One of the most zealous crusades of the left has been to prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns, even though gun control laws have little or no effect on criminals who violate laws in general. You can read through reams of rhetoric from gun control advocates without encountering a single hard fact showing gun control laws reducing crime in general or murder in particular.
Such hard evidence as exists points in the opposite direction.
But the gun control gamble with other people's lives is undeterred. And the left still pays no price when they are wrong.
But, on the other hand, there are some people in Oakland who kind of wish that the safety inspector had stopped by, and said: “This is not safe. You guys can’t stay here.”
Am I my Brother’s Keeper?
Agreed...There are many specific laws on the books that were broken by the owner of that warehouse as well as many other warehouse owners in Oakland.
The news releases from the Mayor on down through the police and especially fire dept that I’ve seen have basically been CYA. Fire inspectors should have shut down those fire traps and didn’t, many paid with their lives for what looks to be blatant corruption.
Their success in making those decisions, while admittedly abysmal, is almost beside the point. The POINT is the theft of the self-determination of others. That's infinitely more important than any tangible possession you might have. If someone steals your money, you can go get some more. If someone steals your freedom, your autonomy, where do you go to get more of that???
That is exactly it. Liberal joints never want to hear anything, bribing officials, and oncenit burns down they start saying “there out to be a law”
This is how I know many liberals who cannot
stop smoking blaming it on government not able to stop them smoking with a ban!
There's a lot of "other hand" regulations, like milk inspections/regulations when formaldehyde was being used in milk a century ago. But, there are too many regulations that cover a small percentage people out of many people who are adversely affected. That is the argument Sowell is presenting. We, as a populace, are adversely affected by over-regulation.
Case in point, a minority of people who want high fences and netting placed under the Golden Gate Bridge at high cost and detrimental to the beauty of views there. Only a few people over months jump out of thousands who daily walk that bridge. The needs of a nutcase outweigh the needs of the many? All while there are no gates at subway platforms to prevent people who fall on the tracks and get killed, by the dozens every year. No seatbelts on school busses, with a large loss of life of kids every year; but regular folks have to wear seatbelts or pay fines.
When it comes to minimum wages, you are not forced to take the job. If you need money, sometimes its better to take what you can get at the moment, rather than not be able to get anything. Then you move on and up to a better paying job elsewhere. When I was a teen, I got $1.10 an hour and I was satisfied working for that. Then I moved on and made much more later.
The left owns pay for play.
The left just paid a very high price for a lot of their twaddle - they lost the Presidency, both houses of the legislature, and a lot of governorships. And they lost their rising stars in the 2014 clean-up. They only have 74 year olds and 18 year olds in the running any more. Haha.
The left must be made to pay a price.
Permanent loss of political power.
Not if you are holding a gun to a potential employer and telling him not do what your brother wants and needs him to do, no - you are not.
Why should any of this be the business of government?
That would have easily handled by a law requiring insurance for any property owner before renting space, especially residential space. Insurance inspectors would have properly rated the cost of the insurance based on the construction they found on inspection standards of what had been built inside that warehouse and its relative safety and risks they would be assuming. The rents would have been priced out of the range of people to live there due to those poor construction standards. The free market can take care of such abuses if properly applied.
Similarly, the DMV in every state should be replaced by again requiring drivers and automobiles to be insured before being allowed on the road. If you can find an insurer willing to insure your driving skill behind the wheel with enough indemnity for any damage you may do, then you can drive. A private insurance company should also be willing to cover your vehicle for any damage it may incur while being exposed to such damage.
With today's technology, a vehicle should not even start without proper insurance in place, showing that the acceptance of responsibility has taken place. When it is, an LCD screen License plate would illuminate showing it's valid, ID, etc. It could only be driven by its registered drivers, temporary drivers such as mechanics, valets, etc, for limited distances, or authorized borrowers of the vehicle.
“Three cheers for the minimum wage laws!” (So say the unions.)
Exactly...Minimum wage increase = union wage increase = union dues increase.
I beg to differ. What is a Keeper of his brother? A prison has keepers. A zoo has keepers. A plantation has keepers. When you are you brother's keeper, you are running his life for him.
Some keepers are mean and abuse the people they keep. You describe such a keeper.
Some keepers are nice and care for the people they are keeping. For both, the unpardonable sin is to try to leave the plantation and escape the control of the keeper.
Katrina example. Saturday a full week before Katrina hit 20% of the people in the bottom of the city were illegal Mexicans. Sabado Gigante, the #1 TV program in Spanglish, put on the US Weather Service which predicted 100% chance New Orleans would be flooded. The host, Rubio's friend, said "Get the Hell out of Dodge". Allegedly 100% of the illegals town. Not a single one could be seen in the dome.
In contrast, many heard the same weather forecast and ignored it. They waited for the mayor or governor or president to provide chauffer service to get them out of harm's way. Since that service was not provided, the natural born citizens did nothing.
One demographic group expects to take care of themselves. The other demographic group expects big brother to take care of them. Of course, some people want to Americanize the demographic group that avoids control by big brother.
We could also mention that later, when Bush praised Brownie, Bush lied and said "Nobody knew Katrina would flood New Orleans" when in fact the big brother's national weather service accurately predicted it with 100% certainty a full 8 days prior to it happening. So much for trusting my brother to take care of me.
The question is where to draw the line. I would think that the line should be drawn at the point where your actions negatively affect someone else in a serious way.
And your point is? There are an i finite amount of things that “could” have been prevented had the government taken a specific action. If I wreck my car by driving to fast I can wish a cop had pulled me over. If I get sunburn I can wish Imwas warned. If I get sick from eating shampoo I can wish Imwas warned...oh wait I do get warned for that.
Do we really need the government warning us to keep us from harming ourselves?
How about an individual exercising common sense and good judgement? Why does anyone need to be told that a jam packed, filthy, dilapidated building is unsafe? Answer no one needs to be told. Those unfortunate people could see the risk and chose to enter inspite of it.
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