The Tyranny of Despots and Buffoons



By:Dr. Charles Ormsby – March, 2012

Can’t they just leave us alone? Why must they constantly meddle in our affairs?

They are like overbearing busybodies with a congenital case of ego elephantiasis. Or is it arrogance elephantiasis?

As children grow up they eventually outgrow the need for parental guidance. The timing of this process varies for different youngsters, but regardless of individual differences, society has agreed that at 18 years of age children are emancipated. Oh, except when the government extends child support to age 23 or requires parental medical coverage until age 26. I guess 26 is the “new 18.”

That is except when it comes to sex education and access to contraception. Then 14 is the new 18. Wow, 12 years of sex with no responsibility. What a country!

Whatever age is chosen for entry into adulthood, youngsters should not celebrate prematurely. What they will soon find out is that while they have left the relatively benign dictatorship imposed by most parents, they have entered a regulatory jungle that is so impenetrable that there is no hope of ever sorting it out.

They have jumped out of their incubator and into a rat’s nest.

I have never fully appreciated what makes young adults cover their precious bodies with tattoos, puncture various body parts, and/or color their hair like a neon sign.

I used to think these adolescents were the least intelligent ten percent of the new generation, but I’m now reconsidering that conclusion. It is just possible that they are the most perceptive ten percent and that upon entering the adult world they are the first to figure out what a bizzaro world they are condemned to inhabit. The less perceptive ninety percent figure it out so slowly, if they figure it out at all, that the insanity seems normal.

There is not one reader of this article that knows more than one hundredth of one percent of the laws that they are subject to, and that includes lawyers and judges. In fact, I suspect I could have said one thousandth of one percent and still have been correct, but who would know or could possibly know?

Beyond opening the gates to the arbitrary and capricious enforcement of these unknowable laws, the regulatory maze has the more profound effect of destroying initiative and entrepreneurship.

How many enterprising individuals would like to embark on a business venture only to be dissuaded by the maze of regulations and associated legal impediments?

For the few that are brave enough to venture into this jungle, how many fail and lose their life savings because of the costs of compliance (including the costs of hiring compliance “experts”), taxes, inspections, or the fees/penalties imposed by worthless bureaucrats?

One shouldn’t ignore the fact that these bureaucrats are typically a bunch of buffoons who couldn’t run a lemonade stand. But we should give them some credit: they are smart enough to never enter the dreaded private sector and stick to the safe, union-protected, can’t-be-fired, pension-laden public sector. Something about the fleas from a thousand camels comes to mind.

The government hacks will tell you that their regulations are there to help the little people and protect the common man from mean, profit-thirsty corporations.

It might surprise you to learn that the exact opposite is the case. The regulations are supported by the larger corporations to protect them from innovative, upstart competitors. Once a corporation reaches a certain size, it can afford a resident staff of lawyers and accountants who, along with computers, software, and an IT staff, can deal with the complex regulatory environment. They can also afford the lobbying staff and political grease needed to tailor regulations to their advantage and to the detriment of any insurgent competitors.

The regulatory maze is like a deep moat filled with alligators surrounding the castles of big business. Businesses who collude with the government to deepen their moat and reward the government for doing so with bribes and political donations are corrupt. To the extent that they use government to suppress the rights of others to compete – thereby gaining unearned advantages in the marketplace – they are participants in a criminal enterprise. To the same extent, they are not capitalists. They are crony socialists (See: Another Socialist Lie: Crony Capitalism, Valley Patriot, January 2012).

Once the government sets up shop to sell favors and special advantages, it is not surprising that others decide to seek the same privileges. The list is long and growing: unions (public and private sector), public education (both K-12 and higher education … which is getting lower every year), welfare recipients, not-for-profit corporations, members of licensed professions (from doctors to manicurists to tattoo artists) and, finally, quasi-government enterprises such as the post office, Amtrak, and GM, just to mention a few.

Come to think of it, I don’t want to be left out. I think we should pass a law to license professors of mathematics. Just think of the danger to the public if I fail to properly teach calculus to my students: Airplanes will start falling out of the sky, bridges will collapse without warning, and electrical circuits will catch fire (like in the GM Volt)! Clearly this is unacceptable. The public must be protected.

Of course, I wouldn’t support such a law for my own benefit. The law would be “adopted” for the public welfare and especially for the innocent children.

Yes, the government is largely composed of tyrants and buffoons, but those that vote for politicians who promise to maintain the status quo have a streak of the very same characteristics. They have a tyrannical streak because they are voting to perpetuate unearned privileges, and a buffoonery streak because they think such advantages confer a net benefit when, in fact, they lower the general standard of living and reduce the liberty of us all.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.” But it is the one we have today.

From now to November is our time to fight despotism.

Make those who fought for your freedoms proud. Don’t sit this one out.