No Planning for Freedom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

John Stossel relays a tale of government intrusiveness that should astound -- although it is apparently par for the course today's regulatory state. Here's a sample:

The inspectors told Marty[, a magician by trade, on one of ten unannounced visits to his home]  that the Animal Welfare Act required him to file paperwork demonstrating that he had "a comprehensive written disaster plan detailing everything I would do with my rabbit in the event of a fire, a flood, a tornado, an ice storm."

The federal forms list "common emergencies likely to happen to your facility ... not necessarily limited to: structural fire, electrical outage, disruption in clean water or feed supply, disruption in access to facility (e.g., road closures), intentional attack on the facilities ... earthquake, landslide/mudslide/avalanche ... "
Our government should worry a tenth as much for the rights of its citizens as it does for the welfare of captive rabbits. If it did, it would confine itself to acting within its proper scope, which would frequently entail acting (and costing) far less than it does now.

-- CAV


Realist Theorist said...

So crazy! A few weeks ago, I read an article about a law in the U.K. that disallows selling a pet to anyone under 16. The "animal cops" actually created a sting operation on a old-lady at a pet-store. They sent a 15 year old in to buy a gold-fish, and arrested her when she sold it to him.

Stossel is good, but candidly I'm often left a bit sad after watching, because it strikes me that his programs have wide audiences, and yet despite his revelations over the years, there does not seem to be any dent.

Gus Van Horn said...


Remember that Stossel is much more a reporter than a strong exponent of a powerful alternative. Note that even in this column, he concedes that "some regulation is useful". That severely weakens his message to most readers who will probably see the problem as being that we need regulatory reform, rather than questioning the whole idea of the government running the economy.

Stossel's relative lack of impact supports the idea that we should be working for cultural change. It is disappointing, but in contrast to what he could have done, it offers a ray of hope.