The Redistribution Of Liberty
by JR Dieckmann
Just after 8:00 AM Friday morning in New York, a construction crane
toppled from its 200 foot tower, crushed a portion of the penthouse
across the street, and destroyed about half of the building's balconies
on it's way to crashing to the ground. New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg
called the accident "unacceptable." "What has happened is unacceptable
and intolerable," he said.
A New York City councilman is proposing the shut down of all
construction cranes in New York City and asking for legislation to deal
with the problem. Councilman, Tony Avella stated: "Every crane operation
in the city needs to be shut down at this point until it's fully
inspected. We can't keep putting people in jeopardy. And what has to
happen is some real legislation, not just talk about it..."
This statement came less than one hour after I was talking with a work
associate and told him to watch and see just how long it takes for some
grandstanding politician to propose legislation to address the crane
accident. It didn't take long. The government's response to every crisis
is always the same. Pass more laws to further restrict the freedom and
liberty of industry and the citizens.
Perhaps Avella is not aware that the crane was inspected just last
weekend as the crew raised it. All cranes are inspected by construction
safety inspectors during erection and raising by already existing law.
Developers are already highly motivated to do everything they can to
avoid such occurrences. They don't like lawsuits and they don't like
high insurance premiums. You can't legislate against accidents caused by
unanticipated failures such as metal fatigue.
This was the second crane accident in NYC in less than 3 months. City
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, who represented the neighborhood affected
by the March collapse, said: "People shouldn't live in fear walking near
a construction site -- and certainly shouldn't feel fear sitting in
their living rooms."
I'm not sure there were many people feeling fear while sitting in their
living rooms, but I would respect anyone's right to feel fear while
walking under any construction site. It's not a safe place to be no
matter how much government tries to legislate "safety." People must
already know that, since no one on the ground was hurt other than a
couple of construction workers. Anyone who feels safe while walking
under a construction crane is a fool, and Lappin's statement is simply
Meanwhile, in California, some consider helium filled, metallic party
balloons "unacceptable." The California legislature is considering a
bill to ban the floating air bags on the grounds that they can come in
contact with power lines, causing short circuits, which not only provide
a very exciting electrical flash, but sometimes can cause circuit
breakers on the power lines to trip, dropping power to homes and
businesses in the area. Liberals in California want the government to
The liberals in San Francisco find plastic grocery bags unacceptable.
The government passed a law to ban them without regard for the
additional trees it's going to take to replace them with paper bags.
Some years ago, Tonka Trucks were considered "unacceptable" by
politicians because of the threat of cuts from metal edges. They were
banned by government and now must be made of soft plastic. Many other
products have been banned or made "people proof" out of our government's
tendency to play mommy and daddy to its citizens.
Our politicians have also concluded that light bulbs are now
"unacceptable" and we must replace them all with CFLs. But that is only
because liberal politicians consider coal fired and nuclear power plants
Automobiles that get less than 35 mpg are now also considered
"unacceptable," simply because liberal politicians consider mining our
own domestic oil resources "unacceptable." It doesn't conform to
environmentalists' political correctness or comply with efforts to
combat the hoax of global warming.
They want us to turn our heating thermostats down to 68 degrees and our
cooling thermostats up to 78 degrees because living in your comfort zone
is now considered "unacceptable."
Demanding that our government allow energy producers to provide the
energy needed by American citizens is also considered "unacceptable."
They don't want to hear it.
But all these things are dwarfed by the proposed Lieberman - Warner Cap
and Trade Bill. Lieberman-Warner would embark Americans on an
unprecedented and large-scale manipulation of the national economy that
would depress economic growth and have both short- and long-term
Lieberman-Warner's "cap-and-trade" will hamstring Americans for decades
and severely restrict their freedom and liberty. This is totally
unacceptable to 90% of the American people according to a recent survey
conducted by Wilson Research Strategies for the National Center for
Public Policy Research.
The crane falling in New York was an accident. The crane that fell 3
months ago was also an accident, in spite of the fact that all safety
regulation and inspections were in place. In a perfect world, there
would be no accidents. Cars wouldn't crash into each other; airplanes
wouldn't fall from the skies; trains wouldn't derail or crash; no one
would die in a war; no one would ever get hurt or killed, and
construction cranes wouldn't topple over.
But we don't live in a perfect world and no government legislation can
But a perfect world is exactly what liberals think they can create by
imposing more and more government regulations and laws to restrict our
freedom and liberty, including our freedom to take risks and possibly
injure ourselves. But isn't that a politician's answer to everything?
Pass more laws.
Government regulations and law cannot produce a perfect world, but what
they can do is infringe on the rights to freedom and liberty of the
citizens. Every law enacted by government designed to protect one
segment of the population, does so by infringing on the rights and
freedom of another segment of the population.
Take, for example, California's efforts to ban the party balloon. To
protect neighborhood residents from the possible inconvenience of a
temporary power failure, the government would take away the right of
balloon manufacturers to produce that balloon and the right of the party
goers to enjoy them.
In New York, some politicians want to deny developers the freedom to
complete their projects on schedule and on budget by shutting down their
operations while submitting them to more useless inspections and
legislation that will do nothing to prevent the kind of crane accident
we saw on Friday.
Laws intended to protect people from risk do so by infringing on the
freedom of others. This is not to say that we don't need safety
regulations on industry; we do. But this must not lead to excessive
legislation and restrictions on industry every time an accident occurs.
Before grandstanding politicians start writing new laws to protect one
segment of the population, they should consider how their intended
legislation will steal freedoms away from other segments of the
There is no better example than the laws being passed allegedly to
protect the planet from global warming. The freedom of Americans to
maintain their standard of living; to drive the cars they want; to
control their own thermostats; to use whatever light bulbs they want;
and to enjoy all of the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the
Constitution are being seriously infringed upon to satisfy the desires
of radical environmentalist groups who oppose industry and affordable
Environmentalists have every right and freedom to live the way they want
They have no right to impose their will and lifestyle on others as they
are now doing with the help of a liberal congress and government
regulations. The rights and liberty of the majority of Americans are
being stolen by government and given to the few to appease their
distorted and irrational belief in global warming.
Likewise, the rights and liberty of Christians to freely speak and
demonstrate their religious beliefs in public are being stolen by
government and given to Muslims who seem to be offended by anything that
does not support Islam.
In education, the rights and liberty of parents to raise their children
with proper and moral values are being stolen by government and given to
public school educators with quite different sets of values. Government
wants to raise your child in their image, not yours, and your only
recourse is to remove your child from public schools.
What I find unacceptable are morons like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi,
Harry Reid, and a long list of others being allowed to make laws for the
rest of us to live by.
The kind of overbearing government we see today was never intended by
the founders of our country and framers of our Constitution. They very
explicitly wrote into that document guarantees that the American people
would remain free of excessive government and restrictive laws. Congress
was never intended to become a club house where members could turn every
crazy idea they come up with into law without regard for the limits
placed on government by the Constitution.
Consider the high price of gas today. Congressional politicians on the
left like to point fingers at the oil executives and accuse them of
obscene profits but what about the high price of tickets to sporting
events or just a movie? What about the obscene profits being made by
Hollywood producers and actors as well as athletes who contribute
nothing to society beyond entertaining people with nothing better to do
than kill time watching others do what they do. Yet they make more money
and profit than the oil executives who
Congress is badgering over a lousy 4% profit on their production of the
life blood of the country. Hollywood invests $100 million in a movie and
takes in $800 million. That's an 800% profit! Where are the calls for
excessive profit taxes on Hollywood producers, actors and sports figures
whom make millions for simply playing with their balls?
But it's not just the oil companies that the liberal controlled congress
hates. It's most any corporation or industry that believes in capitalism
and profit making. Excessive regulations and taxes on business imposed
by government, plus the high cost of labor unions, has driven much of
American industry out of the country.
Manufacturing industries must now compete for sales on the global market
due to Fair Trade agreements. The problem is that costs imposed by
government and labor unions make American made products too expensive to
compete in a global market. In order to compete for price, the jobs have
to be outsourced to countries like China and India.
The economies of China and India are growing at alarming rates due to
the industrialization that we have given them. And because of that
industrialization, they require more energy to run their growing
manufacturing plants to produce the goods that are then exported to
America and being demanded by their own people who now have more money
to spend. To power their industries, they require more oil which has now
made them strong competitive buyers in the oil market.
This has resulted in demands for oil now exceeding the supply and
driving the price up at the gas pump. Essentially, we have given our
manufacturing industry to China and India, and we are now paying for it
every time we gas up our cars. Liberals in Congress wants to take away
what money the oil companies have left and tax them more which will only
result in even higher prices at the pump!
I find this totally unacceptable. I find this Congress unacceptable, I
find this entire growing behemoth of a government unacceptable. But then
I'm not a government politician, so it really doesn't matter. If I were,
I would pass legislation against big government and require government
to obey the Constitution.
America was never supposed to be about the government. It is supposed to
be about the people and their freedom and liberty to build their lives
as they see fit without overbearing government supervision and
restrictions. By taking away the freedom of industrious and successful
Americans to benefit those who prefer a nanny government to take care of
them, our government is engaging in the redistribution of liberty along
with its socialistic redistribution of wealth.
Our only recourse in putting America back on the right track and
restoring our constitutional freedoms and liberties is to remove those
politicians from office who do not respect the freedoms and liberties of
the American citizens, but instead see themselves as dictators over the
We don't need more laws to infringe upon our freedom. We need a complete
reform of existing laws and proper enforcement of those laws which
support the citizens' right to freedom and liberty according to the
Constitution of the United States of America.
I recommend that Congress take a couple of years off from writing new
laws, and work instead on the problem of reforming and cleaning out the
excessive amounts of existing laws, and restore freedom and liberty to
the citizens of this country which they have been stealing away, piece
by piece. The redistribution of liberty in America is not what America
is about, and never has been, until now.
Whatever it takes......