Knock the white hats off the regulation-busters

Before we put white hats and halos on the people who are clamoring in concerted din against government regulation, I suggest a look back. Without labor legislation (government regulation), would we go back to a 10-, 12-, 14-hour day, and the 7-day week? Shall the child labor law be abolished because it is government regulation?

Shall the prevailing wage be reduced to whatever the whip-cracking employer is willing to pay -- not, however little he can get away with?

Another stock market "crash" could very easily have occurred, almost on the 50th anniversary of the first one in 1929. Without "government regulation" it, and probably several others, would now be history.

Very rarely nowadays do banks fail. Fifty years ago, without proper government regulation, it was an every-day occurrence. Nowadays, should a bank fail, the depositors have a fair amount of protection through the federal "depositors" insurance -- a government regulation.

How willingly have the automobile manufacturers complied with pollution control requirements? These same people are still stalling on compliance with fuel economy requirements. Other features that would help save the lives of the occupants of these cars have deliberately been left off until court suits have forced their installation. Changes in design to protect the occupants of the automobiles have been made with all deliberate delay.

Some of the vociferous oil companies do not tell us that without government regulation the oil wells in this country would have been pumped dry long ago. Those same white hats would probably still be flaring the natural gas in the oil fields if it were not for government regulation. Without regulations, oil well drilling sites (holes) would be abandoned without plugging, clean-up, and site restoration.

Strewn over the hills and hollers of the Appalachia coal country are permanent physical monuments to the lack of government regulation in scarred land and scarred coal miners.

Other white-hatted halo clutchers have fought to the bitter end government regulations against the indiscriminate dumping of industrial wastes. They have also released and continue to release dangerous smoke stack pollutants into the atmosphere. Some of the people have advertised their smoke stack emissions control equipment as if they invented the idea as well as the equipment. The fact is they stalled as long as possible, and continue to stall meeting the requirements.

Without government regulation, our relatively clear skies would be much hazier and miles long smoke plumes would be much more common.

Without government regulation, the work places for the millions of the industrial labor force would be much more hazardous to health and dangerous to life and limb than they are now.

Government regulation has been made necessary primarily because of the failure of industry to provide willingly for the health, safety, and welfare of people and the environment.

On the other hand, I find it somewhat onerous to be defending government regulation. I certainly sympathize with the person or organization who must become involved with the bureacratic process.

The chief trouble, as I see it, with government regulation is the ineptness, inefficiency, and indifference of the government employees. These people too easily forget whom they really should be working for, who pays their salaries, and their proper role in the regulatory process. It is not the regulations that should be weakened or abolished, it is the system that needs to be improved.

Work efficiency studies, true merit pay raises, and supervisors with guts enough to supervise and to eliminate the inefficient, inept, and indifferent employees -- these are some of the changes needed in all government.

The corporate propaganda machine has succeeded in making "environmentalist" a cuss word. The same sort of effort is now being directed at government regulation, with considerable success. I buy no part of their pseudopatriotic prattle. I protest strenuously any attempt to weaken government regulation.

The only thing that matters is people. Throwing out government regulation would do nothing for the quality of life of the people.

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