It's time somebody took control of this country again

Monday, March 17, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:19 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As a rule, it takes me about three weeks to recover from the beginning of daylight saving time. It’s something about losing that hour that turns my life topsy-turvy. In the first place, I can’t for the life of me make any sense out of this ritual. There are going to be only 24 hours in a given day no matter how many ways we divide it up. I manage to get myself together just in time for tornado season to start.

I hope we have had enough unsettling news recently for those who believe we need less government to rethink their position. Because the government kept its hands off the energy crisis, we’re dependent on foreign oil, which has risen to more than $100 a barrel. Many Americans are having a problem buying enough gas to get to work.

Because the government stayed out of the banking industry’s business, thousands of homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure.

Because the government failed to require that water supplies be tested, we now learn that pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones, are in the water supplies of more than 40 million Americans.

All those people who believe that if left alone everybody will do the right thing should be convinced by now that they are wrong.

As far as I’m concerned, deregulation is one of the worst things that has happened to the quality of life in this country. Children learn from their parents, teachers and the online media that making as much money as one can is the best course to take in this life. Many grow up believing that they should get as much as they can as quickly as they can. With this attitude being so prevalent, we need government all the more.

For a long time, I felt that some people were sincere in their belief that less government is better. I still believe that. Unfortunately, what these people fail to realize is that other people look upon that idea as a way for them to prosper at the expense of others. They know that the fewer laws there are, the fewer they have to obey, and they have no intention of either doing the right thing or exercising restraint.

I look forward to the day when politicians finally get it through their heads that businesses and professions that fail to regulate themselves must be regulated by the government for the good of society. Does anyone truly believe that the health care industry will work on a plan to see that all citizens can afford health care? Compare the dropout rates of school children today to the days when we had truant officers to check on why students were out of school. Let’s face it: Our society is made up of millions of individuals who will not do the right thing unless they are forced to do so. That’s why the jails are full.

According to The Associated Press story about drugs in the drinking water, one California water supplier said that the reason the public was not informed about the problem was because they might misinterpret the information and become alarmed. The very idea that these drugs are getting into the water system from human waste is enough to alarm people at the least. It seems to me that the public is entitled to know what else we may be consuming from the water.

But what I find truly amazing is the apathy among the citizenry on such issues. I understand that most people feel that they are powerless to change anything, but it’s hard to believe that the fight has gone out of most Americans and they are just willing to accept whatever ills that may be inflicted upon them by their government. Are we getting to the point where some people may have to raise a militia in order to protect themselves from the government and indifferent citizens? Does the fact that I want to know what is in my water make me an enemy of the state?

Another area of concern is the fact that there does not seem to be any widespread effort toward job creation. We have been told that 63,000 workers lost their jobs last month and that the head of Microsoft wants the government to bring in more foreign workers. Is there no end to the indifference on the part of heads of corporations to the plight of the working class? Why on earth would anyone want to bring in outside workers when our own are jobless?

People who understand our trade policies insist that so many of our companies are taking their jobs out of the country because they are granted no incentives to stay and, in fact, often incur penalties. If this is true, this is just another reason why we need to change those regulations that are unfair and replace them with regulations that offer a level playing field for businesses who want to remain in the United States.

So, as far as I’m concerned, all less government does is make it necessary for more government. In the meantime, hopefully, we won’t all be dead by the time we find out what is in the water.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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Ellis Smith March 17, 2008 | 4:32 p.m.

Under government regulations in the former Soviet Union citizens starved to death and were sent to prison camps. Government regulations in South Africa under the former government left black persons relegated to permanent second-class status - or worse. Hitler's Third Reich in Germany had some very interesting regulations, but few that we'd want here. Then there's the former Taliban administration in Afghanistan, whose regulations treated women and girls no better than dogs. In fact in some instances dogs may have received better treatment,

Want more government regulation? Be more than a little careful what you wish for.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock March 18, 2008 | 7:49 p.m.

Um, I am pretty sure the government was in charge of rebuilding Louisiana after Katrina and people are still complaining and are homeless. The government regulated the levies. The government was in charge of regulating the slaughterhouses in California and it led to the biggest beef recall, ever. The government was in charge of Walter Reed and you see how some Vets were treated. The government spends millions on dumb research and pork barrel spending everyday. We elect people on charisma not on brains. Do you really think they can fix anything.

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