People fight wars against tyranny and to gain freedom, then spend the ensuing years making laws that take that freedom away. I heard that a long time ago, and don’t recall the source so I can’t properly cite it, but it is oh so true. Our system is set up to elect lawmakers year after year and they dutifully go off to our City halls, County seats, State capitals, and Washington DC, and create laws. When they can’t make laws fast enough, or want to avoid the work and political heat for creating them, they simply authorize administrative agencies to create regulations. I heard a story about a cab driver in Singapore, when asked how things were in his country, who said “fine…for everything you do, there is a fine.”
When is it enough? When will our lawmakers look around and say “Ya know, I think we have enough laws. Let’s just do nothing.” The obvious answer is never. There will always be some interest group, or some politically strong faction, who will want to impose their idea of what is good for the rest of us on all of us. The lawmakers will pass the laws, slap themselves on the back for doing good, then go on to their main business; getting reelected. That is, after all, what they are really interested in. Just like the rest of us, they want the steady income and benefits that their job comes with.
When does it stop? The next revolution. Sooner or later, all the laws and regulations that accumulate become our own self-made tyranny and a large enough group will revolt. I am not advocating violence. I hope any “revolution” in the future can be done peacefully. But even if it is peaceful, the result will be a new order with new lawmakers. And so it will start again. We do it to ourselves.