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Distinguishing Good Regulation From Bad

According to the liberals, Republicans are to blame for the economic problems America is facing because of deregulation. Because the markets were free to do pretty much as they pleased, the economy failed. So they waltz in to save us all from a free market by enacting rules and regulations to level the playing field for everyone and ensure these economic pitfalls never happen again.

Well, how’s that working out?

Not so well, it turns out.

The liberals claim we simply need to give it more time. But have we seen enough to know we are on the wrong track? The new rules and regulations Democrats have placed on all things financial seem to be stifling any potential recovery. The stimulus was supposed to prevent the jobless rate from rising above 8%, but the Democrats were wrong about that. And Obama was also wrong about the Summer of Recovery – we are now going in the wrong direction and a double dip recession is looking very possible.

The Obama Administration claims their new rules slowed the job losses, but at some point, even without action, the losses would slow and eventually bottom out. The danger now is that the new rules and regulations have actually made things worse and are preventing a recovery. The very rules that were supposed to level the playing field and make sure a similar meltdown could not happen may actually prevent a recovery.

Well, how can we tell if the additional rules and regulations are doing more harm than good? And where do you draw the line between proper regulation and over-regulation?

Consider the following baseball analogy.

There are rules and regulations in baseball, and you must have these rules to make sure everyone is playing the same game. The number of balls for a walk, the number of strikes for an out, the number of outs and the number of innings. These are the parameters within which the game operates. In addition, we must ensure no one has an unfair advantage, so the use of steroids, spitballs and sticky substances are banned. These are all examples of good and fair rules to make sure the playing field is level. And these are all examples of good regulation. The game is decided based totally on the God given skills and talents of the players, and perhaps some luck. Each team has an equal opportunity to win.

Where we run afoul of good regulation and cross the line into bad is when we attempt to level the playing field to guarantee an equal outcome.

The Democrats would see some teams as perennial winners (the rich) and some as perennial losers (the poor).  And it is their tendency to level the playing field as well as the opportunity, all in the name of making things equal. So, the only way to accomplish this is by fundamentally changing the rules.

Some players are power hitters, some pitchers are almost untouchable. Some runners are faster than others. Rather than accept this as a part of life, some are more gifted than others, Democrats are fundamentally changing the rules to handicap those better at the game and artifically prop up the less talented. All in the name of fairness.

Consider the end result of Democrats tinkering with baseball:

The new rules would penalize success and reward mediocrity and outright failure.

Called strikes would be eliminated. If a batter takes four pitches and does not swing, they walk to first base regardless of the pitches. Batters are still allowed to hit away, but a home run awards the other team a run. After all, why should the better hitter not share his good fortune?

So, now that all is fair, what are the unintended consequences the Democrats always overlook?

With this fundamental change, eventually no one would hit the ball. A guaranteed walk is easier and makes more sense under the new rules. A skilled pitcher would become useless and all games would end in a tie. Fan interest would dwindle down to zero no matter how many tickets the government gives away to “stimulate” attendance. The game would be forever destined to obscurity and abandonment.

What the Democrats fail to consider is that even the worst batter on the team has the chance to hit a home run, and the fans hope for a hit. When you take away the risk, the potential and the rewards, the game is not worth playing. There becomes no incentive to excel, to work hard and to even try when we go beyond basic ground rules and attempt to ensure results.

The goal in the economy is to make money. Those that make money spend it. Either through investment or just buying toys. Freely spending one’s money is always preferable to having the money confiscated by the government and redistributed to make the world fair and equal to all.

When you demonize success and tax this success, you put a halt to even attempting to succeed.

Rules designed to level and define the playing field are welcome and necessary. Rules designed to produce a specific outcome, or punish success in the form of taxes, or redistribution will soon put a halt to the activity.

Which is what the Democrats have now accomplished.

When Barney Frank and Chris Dodd began using Fannie and Freddie to allow those that could not afford to own a home to also share in the American Dream, the ripples extended through the economy and led to the catastrophic failures we experienced. When investors bought these bad loans wrapped in portfolios, most were not aware of the toxic content. Those who did know made money by selling worthless investments to others. The inflation of home prices caused by the housing give away encouraged investments based on lies – and vapor – and destroyed an enormous amount of wealth that belonged to people just trying to make a living.

These were not greedy fat cats. They were normal people playing by the rules that they had always played by, not fully aware that the Democrats had changed the rules for some at the expense of others.

The only way out of the financial mess is to purge the rules that Democrats put in to level the outcome, rather than the opportunity. And this cannot happen as long as Democrats are in charge. Their DNA prevents them from admitting they were wrong. This is something only the Republicans can correct. It is not so much that we are heading in the wrong direction as we are playing by rules now that prevent a recovery. And the word recovery implies that we want to return to the former prosperous state of the economy, not a watered down shell of the former economy. The Democrats appear to have a different definition of recovery.

But we must put Republicans in office that truly understand what fiscal responsibility and a truly level playing field really mean. And once the majorities are turned over to Republicans, we must make sure they do not return to their old ways.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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