In the midst of the American government deciding how much to increase cut (it’s the “Obama tax cuts“ now) our taxes and who specifically to victimize, I can’t help but become incensed at how far the government thinks it has a right to intrude into our lives. Almost a hour’s drive away from me, in Pensacola a legal battle is being waged which essentially comes down to whether or not the government has a right to force me to purchase health insurance. This should not be debatable, what purpose does insurance serve if we all have to have it?
A favored form of government intrusion is zoning laws. They exist for the powers that be to tell us what we can do on private property. I can imagine a function for zoning laws. You should probably have one if you want to detonate high explosives within a residential district, store nuclear waste, or the like. Private property doesn’t give you the right to pollute or endanger your neighbors. However, why on earth should a commercial building with plumbing be disallowed for residential use? Why should someone not be allowed to farm on their own land? Is not farming the most basic of rights? Yet, at every turn we need the government’s permission to earn a living and provide for ourselves on our own property! This is a completely inexcusable fact. For the most part, zoning laws exist only to contribute funds to the government and to further empower corrupt politicians.
The government is the constant intruder. Depending on where you live, you might have restrictions on your light bulbs, bags, beverages, garage door openers, cars, lawnmowers, firearms, etc… We don’t even know to what extent they restrict a lot of products because we simply lack the ability to purchase them. Often times, we’ve seen moves for or against things with rather short sighted objectives or simple lack of information. We were once told that paper bags were bad, then slowly started to decide it was the non-biodegradable, non-renewable plastic bags that were the problem. Of course we realized this after a massive push to eliminate paper bags. The response? Well of course we have to restrict plastic bags. This type of heavy handed, overreaction is typical of certain types of people and conveniently it is these same types of people that think they have a right to use their vote to tell someone else what to do. As the global warming claims become more dubious one has to wonder how much damage we might have done (you know, using the rain forests for bio fuel and the like) and trillions we might have wasted simply because the government feels it knows better than we do as individuals.
People will make mistakes. This is going to happen. The problem is that when one group of people is able to take the individual rights away, they remain capable of making mistakes, but on a much larger scale (Mao’s induced famine, which killed tens of millions for example). The greatest wrong in this instance being the ability for the government to not only deprive us of our rights, but to force us to bring harm upon ourselves. What greater indignation can we face than that?
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