Friday, July 22, 2011

Safety First

The Nanny State cares about you. The Nanny State wants you to live life without facing any adverse situations….well, without facing difficulties that have not been caused by government. You see, when life throws you curve balls, those are bad. When government throws you bean balls, those are called “shared sacrifices.” The Nanny State is committed to protecting you from every type of imaginable or potential harm…except for the damages inflicted by the government. Even when I personally resent the Nanny State’s annoying meddling in my life, I could, at some level, understand the insatiable desire by the government to control so many facets of my life if they were not ideologically and agenda driven constraints. Many of the limitations and regulations do not make sense from an economic or a safety point of view, but do satisfy some misbegotten ideological purpose.

A glaring example that we have previously discussed on these pages is the banning of the incandescent light bulb in favor of the compact fluorescent variety. For the moment the House has suspended the implementation of the policy, but government never gives in, never gives up. The insanity of an ideological unproven “global warming” scare leading Congress and the EPA to ban a tried and true technology and replace it with a toxic-laden substitute illustrates the folly of much government regulation—particularly the ideological-driven rules. The collectivist attitude is blatantly apparent in this regulatory fiasco….preserve the planet from a theoretical future of global warming, but put individuals at risk with more expensive deadly products.

When any child loses his or her life, it is a tragic circumstance. According to the Product Safety Commission, in the last ten years 32 children have been mortally injured by baby cribs with sliding adjustable sides. With the publishing of the data the PSC has arbitrarily determined that ALL parents are too stupid or lack discernment to choose a crib for their children that is not so risky. So, they have banned the sliding-side infant crib, and forbade reselling of older models at garage sales and thrift shops. We are waiting for a definitive rule that bans “giving” the lethal cribs from one family member to another as has been the historical norm. While 32 deaths are regrettable and heart-breaking, the banning of the crib can, to some degree, affect nearly all of the 308 million residents of the nation.

Unlike the infant crib regulatory ban, RU-486, the “morning after pill,” is ideologically and politically correct. The statists promote unrestrained abortion, and resist any attempt to curtail the deadly industry. It is apparent that ideology trumps safety when the impact of RU-486 is examined. According to analyst David Alton of Great Britain, roughly 5-8% of RU-486 users experience severe complications…including death. So, the obvious question is “why are sliding-side baby cribs banned because of their dangerous potential when RU-486 has a much higher level of malfunctioning?” Clearly the answer is that Big Government and the Nanny State are driven by ideological considerations. Aborted children and their deceased mothers are an acceptable risk to preserve the right to destroy children at will according to the government’s priorities.

As the government and the multiplicity of agencies, bureaus and departments roam the country looking for ways to make my life better and safer, the unspoken factor is that every little regulation that makes my life safer also limits my freedom. Many would argue that the comprehensive examination conducted by the TSA at our airports is necessary to protect us from nefarious characters. We know, however, that their “so-called” random extensive observations have no basis in reality other than mere statistical happenstance. Profiling is forbidden because it may be deemed as discriminatory whereas groping small children and little old ladies in wheelchairs is considered acceptable. Once again, the Nanny State’s efforts to enhance our safety do little to make us safer and do restrict our personal liberty.

Finally, this observation does not involve product safety or the efficacy of pharmaceuticals. I wonder how can a government that is so concerned with the potential safety of every citizen when they interact with the private sector, be so nonchalant about high-level bombing using aircraft and drones? The resultant collateral damage from those sorties exceeds the losses by far from some of the issues they seek to regulate. Does our federal government practice gross discrimination by assuming that Libyan civilians or Afghanis are not as valuable as U.S. residents? Or is it that Nanny State’s real concern is for the power to control us? Our actual safety and well-being are secondary considerations. Every little regulatory element places another nail in our boxes. The motto of the new order is “safety first, liberty never, state forever.” Enjoy your safe trip toward tyranny, because it will be nearly impossible to come back.

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