Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Laws make problems, not solutions

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 11, 2016)

Every time someone gets a bee in their bonnet over a possible problem, you can be sure a new law will be presented as the solution.

If we have learned nothing else from history, we should have learned laws don't solve anything.

People who dream up laws ignore the reality that others will adapt and change their behavior to get around laws. While trying to avoid being inconvenienced or harmed by a law they may cause unintended consequences worse than the original problem.

The War on Politically Incorrect Drugs is just one example. As centuries-old substances were criminalized, newer, stronger, more dangerous, substances were invented. Stronger so a smaller amount- easier to hide and transport- had the same value as larger amounts of the old substances. Instead of trying to smuggle a bale, smuggle a brick.

Severe laws largely weed out the casual producer and seller, replacing them with people with more to gain or lose; willing to do whatever it takes to meet the demand. If you are forced to habitually break counterfeit laws to stay in business and out of prison, it becomes simple to break the real laws- such as those against theft and murder.

The same goes for anything which is targeted by a law.

Often laws even create problems where none existed before- such as dishonestly named "gun-control laws".

The only thing any anti-gun law has ever done is make it harder for good people to defend themselves from bad people. That's it. They never make good people safer; they remove much of the risk of being a bad guy. The fact that the very ones pushing and enforcing anti-gun "laws" are some of the bad guys should give you pause.

Even things as simple as pollution are made worse by laws. Property owners are often prevented from getting restitution from those who harm their property, because the worst polluters are either the government tasked with legally protecting the property, or its corporate cronies whom the government will grant immunity when they cause harm. At most, polluters will be coerced into paying a "fine"- the vast majority of which simply goes to fund more government rather than compensating the injured property owners.

Until people start seeing made up laws as part of the problem, rather than a solution, I don't expect this to change. Nevertheless, I will shun the law and seek real world solutions until that day comes. Will you join me?


Drug tests. Grrrr....

I hate drug tests for employment. I mean, I seriously hate them.

I can understand why they might be "necessary" in a few, very special cases, but for the vast majority of jobs they are simply intrusive.

I once applied for a job without knowing a drug test would be required. This news was sprung on me during the interview, and they wanted my urine immediately. "Here's a cup; there's the restroom..."

I should have simply walked out right then, but I really needed a job, so I peed in their cup.

But over the next couple of days, the more I thought about it, the angrier I became.

When they finally called and told me I passed the drug test and offered me the job, I declined, and I told them why. Any "boss" who thinks he is entitled to my urine isn't the kind of person I trust, or want to work for.

Soon after that I got a better job I wanted more anyway- without being molested to get it.

I don't abuse drugs, but I also hate drug tests.

If I show up for work impaired, for any reason, fire me. But what I do on Friday night is none of my employer's business Monday morning- as long as I can safely do my job.

I seriously doubt that drug tests would even be "a thing" if not for the government's War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, and the stigma that goes along with it. So many ridiculous policies seem to have originated with evil government programs, and keep being seen as legitimate due to government's "laws"- when otherwise no one would have ever thought of violating people in that particular way. But because The State says it's OK...