Anyone Mad at Government Part II?

Here’s some interesting information about the government and the oil spill from Mario Rizzo at the ThinkMarkets blog.

When I was a kid, most stores had a policy policy about broken merchandise, “You break it, you buy it.”  This didn’t prevent all things from being handled carelessly, but it sure saved a lot of damage because it made clear who was responsible.  Those responsible parties took greater care in handling the merchandise.

This applies here.  BP broke it.  BP buys it.  That means stopping the leak and cleaning up the mess it has caused.

But, that doesn’t mean that the government should get a free pass.  That would be like letting an accomplice to a crime off.  A good example of how the government has already failed us and yet we seem to want to entrust it with even more responsibility as if that will fix everything.

Thomas Sowell Tuesday

Thomas Sowell’s column today, Degeneration of Democracy, is fantastic. Here’s a key excerpt:

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP’s oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated. But our government is supposed to be “a government of laws and not of men.” If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion– or $50 billion or $100 billion– then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without “due process of law.” Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference. Continue reading

Anyone Mad at the Government?

The topic of discussion on the Chris Stigall radio show was BP and the oil spill.

A caller who was frothing mad at BP, Jerry, blamed lax regulatory environment that led to BP self-regulating, resulting in the oil spill.  Jerry thought this was a good for “stronger regulation” and kept repeating that BP had 97% of the safety violations.

Folks like Jerry baffle me.

According to Jerry lax regulation led to the spill.  So, why isn’t Jerry mad at the government?

According to his own words, the government is directly responsible for this.  He said that the government didn’t enforce regulation.  He said that government had issued a large number of safety violations to BP, but didn’t do anything about them.

I don’t know if Jerry is correct, but if this is what Jerry thinks, shouldn’t he apportion some of his blame to the government for not doing their job effectively?

He holds BP accountable, which I have no problem with, but Jerry not only gives government a free pass for its perceived failure, but wants to give more power to government.  That seems like bad logic to me.

But, this is the pattern that repeats over and over again.  Government interferes to fix some problem.  Some failure occurs which should have been fixed by the government interference.  In reality, the government interference may have caused it, but few people understand that.  They perceive it as another problem of the “market” that needs to be fixed, so they sanction even more government involvement.

It’s a spiral.  Government intervention partially caused the mortgage meltdown and contributed to soaring medical costs.  The fix? More government intervention in the form of new financial regulations and the Obama care.

And nobody seems to consider that these things may cause things to get worse – as previous government interventions have – not better.