Friday, October 15, 2010

The Yoke of Regulation

In response to this article at PJ, I posted a comment:

The entire concept of “regulation” — rules for private action in the absence of a crime — reversed a basic principle of American law: innocent before proven guilty.

Or, to put it another way, no one should be born with a yoke of serfdom, slavery and indebtedness to the government around their neck.

Regulations also reverse the principle that individuals (singly or as members of groups such as corporations) have the right not to testify against themselves. Ie, any kind of reporting requirements under regulatory and tax rules.

Regulations also violate the principle of due process (5th and 14th amendments): the right to a trial, instead of the arbitrary power of a bureaucrat (a member of the Executive branch, not the Judicial!) to determine guilt, assess fines, seize property and impose further restrictions on actions.

Not that you could tell that to the Congress, who enacted the Health Care Act of 2010. Or to Barack Obama, who shut down all oil production in the Gulf.

The entire concept of regulation undermines the very *principle* of individual rights: it is a return to the “divine right of Kings” — the divine right to do whatever they damn well please.

Not that you could convince the Supreme Court, which has concocted an unending series of rationalizations now built into the legal precedent that carves out exception after exception after exception which have allowed regulations to proliferate to the point where they are now destroying our nation and our entire way of life.

This is what the principle of individual rights was intended to prevent: *rights* of the citizens that the government may not *ever* infringe.

There’s a lot to be learned by reading the original Constitution and early Amendments, prior to the corruptions of the late 19th, 20th, and now 21st century, and re-examining current law in that light. For instance:

Article III, Section 2:
“…The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury…”

5th Amendment (1791):
“No person shall be …subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

14th Amendment (1868):
“Section 1. …No State shall …deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

As a rational person who loves his life, liberty and happiness, is there any way to interpret those words to mean we are born with a requirement to obey proscriptions on our actions in the absence of any crime? Is there any way to interpret those words to mean we have placed our lives and fortunes in the hands of a *bureaucrat* who possesses the unlimited power to seize them or toss them away as he sees fit?

Unfortunately, those longing for the good ol’ days of “The Crown” (ie, the State as supreme) have twisted those words out of all rational meaning, and we are suffering for it.

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