“There oughta be a law!”

 

{June, 1985, Adview Magazine}

 

 

A society cannot long survive if most of its members are criminals. The social fabric is held together in great part by the respect a society has for its rules. When the rules become so numerous and complex that virtually every member of the society has violated the rules, respect for the rules rapidly deteriorates.

 

We are now in danger of becoming a society of criminals --- not because we are not as ‘good’ as we used to be, but because we have indulged ourselves in legislative and regulatory profligacy. Life can no longer give us a knock without a legislator trying to prevent its recurrence with a new law.

 

It is not bad enough that each new law brings with it the demand for additional tax money to pay for the increased bureaucracy needed to enforce the law; the real crime is that each new law brings with it the increased likelihood that there will be more criminals. Few among us have not violated a traffic law. Who can engage in business today without violating a wage law, a tax law, a zoning ordinance, or a building code?

 

New laws breed new criminals. The obvious criminals are those who from ignorance or necessity violate the laws. The less obvious criminals are the regulators themselves. Bureaucrats are human beings, too, and they will violate some laws by failing to enforce others. They may look the other way if the ‘criminal’ happens to be a friend. They may, sometimes, even accept small tokens of appreciation for being sympathetic to a violator.

 

New laws are motivated by our desire to perfect the world. We see someone suffer from someone else’s misdeeds, and we instinctively want to pass a law. We forget that man is a sinner and will, from time to time, harm his fellow man no matter how many laws we may pass. We also forget that the more laws we have, the more criminals we create. In the end, we are the victims of our own benevolent impulses.

 

We should strive to overcome the temptation to perfect the world. Even if we are all sinners, we need not all be criminals.

 

 

   -Contact Me-

 

 

We all see things in different ways. Help me to see things your way. I welcome  your questions and comments.   

 

    --- Jesse Shearin

 

 

 

 

P O Box 641
1609 Church Street
Scotland Neck, NC 27874

 

Telephone: 252-826-3767

 

Email:

jesse@jesseshearin.com