Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Regulation & Socialization

The Tea Party and conservatives are against government regulation and creeping socialism. It’s been creeping for the last 100 years since Upton Sinclair went to Chicago to write The Jungle, which exposed the corruption and horrendously unsanitary conditions at slaughter houses. There was a poem at the time: Mary had a little lamb/ And when she saw it sicken/ She sent it off to Packertown/ And now it's labeled chicken. The book lead to the Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 and the start of the government’s regulation of the meat industry. We have the author, an avowed socialist, to thank for that.

One neighbor said that they didn’t want the government regulating what they did, including wearing a seat belt in a car. Someone else was concerned that the healthcare bill would lead to socialization. But the thing is, we need both regulation and social programs. The question is where to draw the line.

I’m sure the families of the 29 miners who died in the tragic accident here in West Virginia recently would have wanted safety regulations more stringently enforced. It's the worst mine disaster in the US in the last 40 years, and Gov Manchin is calling for an investigation. The govenor of Virginia just restored a $750, 000 cut in that state's budget for mine safety inspections. He said the accident in WV was 'a wakeup call.' And the people that were cheated by Madoff probably felt their money was safe because regulations were supposed to be in place and enforced. What about the people of New Orleans? Weren’t the levees supposed to be checked and up to a certain standard? So yea. There is stuff that the government regulates.

And what about social programs? Do you know, if you vacation at the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park you’re supporting socialization. These parks are government controlled! And what about all those other national or state parks? Or do you fix the potholes on the road in front of your house? I don’t. The government does. And we all pay taxes that support public schools that educate other people’s kids. And how many Tea Party people get Social Security payments? Nobody remembers the huge controversies in the 1930's to start that program. And who doesn't go to the library? The Public Library is also a form of socialization.

Actually socalization started to creep in two thousand years ago when a man from Nazareth fed the poor and healed the sick.