I want to discuss the use of laws and fines as Public Safety measures.
In a free society, the public service arm of government agencies keeps the public informed. Once upon a time when these agencies were trusted, the public was offered enough information to act responsibly and protect themselves accordingly. The safety of each individual was where it belonged- in their own hands according to their own perception of risk.
Once the government started instituting laws to ensure ‘public safety’, the citizens’ ability to judge ‘what’s good for us’ was interfered with and slid toward the idea that ‘government knows better’ attitudes. “One size fits all” became more palatable to the public and government intrusion into personal freedoms got a lot of traction. We all deep down know ‘one size’ never fits all but who wants to argue with something called “safety”? Now, whether you know it or not, the government has taken the role of a ‘parent’. “For your own good” is their excuse to impose their will. Then the government started agencies monitoring all things (it deemed) ‘for our own good’. Keep in mind, these agencies were not elected. The public was now cut off from any direct say on the implementation of regulations. Regulation is another word for control. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the government has unimpeded control of everything you do. We’ve given “them” the muscle to do it too.
You may be one (of many) who say, “Well, I think ‘safety’ is a good thing, so I don’t mind.”. I want to examine if ‘safety’ is the real impetus for most of regulation. I also want to ask you, “Who knows better about your individual situation, you or the government?”. Are you a good person? I think most people are good and wouldn’t intentionally harm a fly. (Have you noticed ‘bad’ selfish people don’t follow laws?) Why then are you comfortable with government telling you that freedom is too dangerous for you use?
If the government were actually serious about every single person’s safety, why are safety infractions mostly subject to fines? I don’t know about you but a ‘fine’ tells me that I can go against ‘safety laws’ for a price. There’s an uneven, ineffective, process going on that ultimately enriches the government more than it causes total safety. (Total safety isn’t a thing I hope you know.)
If you’re wealthy enough, you can be as irresponsible (in the eyes of the law) as you wish. Guess what? Good people like yourselves already operate with an ‘eye’ on keeping us safe with or without laws. 😉
Personally, during my childcare years many other providers imposed a fine for frequent tardy ‘pick-ups’. I did not do that. I understood reasonable delays, BUT, if being late became a pattern, I told those parents that we needed to renegotiate our contract to allow for more overall time or for termination of my service if they no longer fit into MY schedule. To have instituted a ‘late fee’ meant that “you can be late for a price”. Being late interfered with my family’s routine and wasn’t going to be ‘for sale’!
BTW-If imposing safety on everyone were Constitutional, it would have been mentioned. It’s not. But being free to protect yourself from danger and also to be protected from unelected governmental intervention is clearly there. Even though the Constitution is being overwhelmingly ignored at our peril these days, it still is the ultimate “law of the land”.
I believe it is the only thing standing between us and our chaotic demise as we slip into totalitarianism. I’ve never cared to tell others how to live but I am not going to ignorantly give up my own freedoms to a group of people who don’t know (or care) about my family as much as I, without objecting to it.
Have a nice day!
8 thoughts on “Fines aren’t about Safety”
My favorite thing lately has been the “need” to protect us from “disinformation” and “misinformation.” I would rather err on the side of hearing everything and making up my own mind about what is truth and what is bullshit, than have some “official voice” tell me that something was true or false, or prevent me from hearing something because it constitutes mis/disinformation.It’s bad enough when government does it, but when private companies appoint themselves the sole arbiters of truth… Instagram and Twitter are both doing something I find both offensive and hilarious, telling me that a story has been “proven false” by their “independent fact-checkers” (in the case of Instagram) or that there’s “more to the story” that ostensibly “proves” that what was posted was untrue (in the case of Twitter). I want to tell them “thank you, I’ll take that under advisement” and then go ahead and believe what I want to believe… I do that now, but there’s no way to tell them that…
Controlling ‘information’ and speech (at the behest of government in most cases) is blatantly unconstitutional. The fact that a preponderance of the public isn’t up in arms, is a credit to our (Marxist) public education system. They’ve done their job well, I’m afraid. Also, the ‘common’ belief that EVERYTHING is a ‘right’, is also to their credit. Thanks John.
The Covid crisis brought out the worst of government as an overprotective nanny state. “We are doing this because we want to keep you safe”. My pet peeve is local by-law officers now look more like a swat team then a neighbourhood friendly government body. They have morphed from slightly overweight friendly, apologetic individuals dressed in ordinary everyday clothes to a black clad, muscled, army with a continuous frown on their face, as if they are going into war with their neighbours.
It’s the difference between sneaking up on us, and now, feeling effectively untouchable. Our rights were being stolen for years, but Covid just allowed government agencies to take them outright. The overall ease with which people were frightened into submission, has emboldened them into the open. More to come…
Also, thanks for your thoughtful commenting and frequent visits. 😉
Susan, I hear what you are saying and I always advocated that when citizens let the institutes and agencies on “auto pilot” then what you describe happens.
Allow me to dedicate to you the following words by Mark Twain:
“Each of you, for himself or herself, by himself or herself, and on his or her own responsibility, must speak. It is a solemn and weighty responsibility and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government or politician. Each must decide for himself or herself alone what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man, to decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor. It is traitorous both against yourself and your country.
Let men label you as they may, if you alone of all the nation decide one way, and that way be the right way by your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country, hold up your head for you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Beautiful words that I’m pleased you shared! Twain was a brilliant man.
My angst is a frustration that others won’t speak or even think about what’s going on. I don’t seek anyone’s applause or approval on my own position. I find the silence on the topic disconcerting. Furthermore, many of those who choose to speak attach news reports instead of thoughts. That alarms me. Thanks again.
I don’t know what you’re trying to say.