Tuesday, April 19, 2011

“Hidden Tax” Forces Companies to Hire Fewer Americans

All right, everybody sing together, in C, a one and a two…

One of these things is caused by the other,

Both of these things just don’t belong.

(Apologies to Big Bird)

There are two seemingly unrelated stories on the economy today. One points out that large, multinational companies are hiring fewer Americans while hiring more foreign workers. The other highlights the staggering costs of regulatory compliance for American companies: nearly $2Trillion dollars.

I used the Sesame Street song for the benefit of the Obama administration, given the overall intellectual weight of their arguments when it comes to our economy.

To me, the fact that one of these is the result of the other is glaringly clear. So clear in fact, that I’m having a rough time trying to explain it. I could just as easily type “Well, DUH” and finish my post right there.

But since Washington is overrun with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, who is firmly convinced that the 111th Congress was doing good things by passing more legislation than any other congress in history, I feel the overwhelming need to explain this to them in small words and short sentences.

She was very, very proud of her accomplishments, as she herself says, “We’re very, very proud of the work that was done by this Congress,” the California Democrat said. “We came here to do a job and we got much of it done.”

Yeppers, if that job was to drag America down under the weight of new and costly laws. If that’s what you intended to do, Nan, then you have every right to feel proud. The rest of us, not so much.

Nancy, you don’t seem to understand how this works. If you realize that every new law that Congress passes reduces our freedom, then, in order to maintain and protect our freedom, you should be reluctant to pass laws. You plainly don’t realize that simple truth. We are free unless and until a law is passed that specifically prohibits a certain action. That’s the foundation that our Founders based our government upon; one simple principle that was once considered popular knowledge for anyone entering politics.

It was standard operating procedure in Washington for a while. Those in power used it sparingly and with great caution. They understood that a small and weak domestic government was essential for the freedom of the people. They operated from the premise that they would not interfere with the daily lives of Americans who were perfectly capable of carrying on their affairs in a mature manner, particularly when it came to business.

But something happened along the way, and this simple, unsaid principle was discarded by unprincipled people who wanted to become career politicians. As surely as a moth is drawn to a flame, American politics gradually started to attract the power-hungry. Such is the attraction, as Plato noted, "Those who seek power are not worthy of that power."

Why? "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

So, in the act of seeking power comes the recognition of the lack of moral and intellectual principles of the power-seeker. Hence the need to be very cautious in choosing our “leaders.”

But I digress.

The previous Congress pursued their agenda with great zeal. There was a 19% increase in proposed rules between 2009 and 2010. And while “only” 217 bills were passed, those laws mushroom into thousands of new rules and regulations that have the power of law. In many instances, these regulations force changes upon the procedures that businesses use daily, costing money to comply with them. If you’re in business, I’m not telling you anything that you don’t already know.

So it should come as no surprise that increased rules and regulations stifle businesses and the creation of wealth. We have entered regulatory lands that our predecessors once feared to tread, and we are paying the price. If we continue down this path of increasing federal intervention, then our new normal will indeed be one of high unemployment, increasing debt, and a national malaise that can only be remedied by a thorough cleansing of the left-wing incumbents in Washington who think their sole purpose in life is to create more government.

We’ve reached the tipping point: as our government grows in size, complexity, cost and intrusiveness, our economy suffers as a direct result.

Today’s post was brought to you by the letter “S.”

As in “screwed.”

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