“It’s frightening when you think that we started out with just ten commandments”

That’s the punchline of a Frank and Earnest cartoon where the two bums are standing in a law library, agog at the vast ranks of legal tomes.

Now it appears that the residents of New York City are getting a feel for all the “good work” their local legislators have done over the last hundred years or so.

Arthur Silber has this story about NYC’s shall we say rigorous enforcement of every law they can dig up in an effort to cover the city’s budget shortfall.

I’ve long believed that legislative bodies should have to spend two-thirds of their time reviewing old laws and deciding whether they should be scrapped. At a minimum it would minimize the passing of more. I read somewhere that in 2000 the California legislature passed, and the appropriately named Gray Davis signed, over 900 new laws.

NINE HUNDRED NEW LAWS IN ONE YEAR.

How is anyone supposed to keep up?

And who the hell is responsible for foisting bills 150 pages long?

If you can’t explain what you want to accomplish in five pages or less, BREAK IT UP INTO PIECES. Or don’t bother.

All I have to say is Ayn Rand was right on this one:

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one *makes* them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on the guilt.”

Atlas Shrugged

Can you say “Zero Tolerance” boys and girls? I knew you could.

(I’ve got to read that book.)

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