Alexis Garcia has this excellent piece at PJTV about the regulatory plight of a small business in Chicago.
After watching it, I believe the problem is much larger and more fundamental than silly rules about where a coffee shop owner puts chairs.
It is no surprise that a city like Chicago, taken over long ago by a variety of leftist camps — and embodying the progressive ideals of the left — might tell a coffee shop owner where to put his chairs.
Ideas have consequences. The explosion of regulations is a consequence of the leftist and statist bent of American institutions, not just bad decisions by regulators.
The problem isn’t the regulations. The problem is the leftist philosophy that spawned them.
But alas, in many places, the victims love the abuse. The left has not only marched through the institutions, it has marched straight into the heads of the majority of people who live in places like Chicago, Montgomery County (Maryland), San Francisco, and hundreds of other places. Citizens there like regulations. Perversely, many want more regulation, and more taxes.
These days, it seems if you want freedom to run your business, you need to plop down on a little-travelled county road in South Carolina or Virginia.
Over-regulation is also a political question. The people being victimized could band together to oust the politicians over regulating them. But in places like Chicago, that won’t happen. The political outcomes that give rise to over-regulation reflect the statist philosophy that is pervasive throughout the institutions. It isn’t just the code enforcement department. It is the schools, those dependent on entitlements, the government and academia.
The advocates of big government rule the field, the air, the sea. Only small pockets of resistance remain.
Over economic regulation is a symptom of a deeper malaise – a long leftward march through all institutions. When the opponents of regulations seem quirky or quaint, you know the advocates of statist control rule the field. The long march through the institutions has provided an environment where swarms of outlandish laws and regulations are commonplace.
The laws exist because the victors in the philosophical and political battles get to write them. Unraveling these commonplace regulations may be a task so mighty as to now be beyond the reach of conservative countermeasures.
Sure, small victories can be won here and there.
But undoing excessive regulation won’t be achieved by ad hoc attacks on a few dozen examples when millions of others remain on the books.
The task is far bigger. The task requires a shift in the prevailing philosophical winds. The task requires repeated political victories by opponents of the leftists who have bestowed the regulatory state upon us. Whether America still has enough fight is the question.
(Cross-posted at Rule of Law.)