Governments throughout the nation produce tens of millions of pages of paper a year. They are parchment Pez dispensers. That sound you constantly hear is millions of trees crying out in terror – and then being suddenly silenced.
Way too many of these pages – are these governments mandating and/or banning things. Way too often, the federal government is mandating and banning things the states are supposed to be mandating or banning – and vice versa.
I kid – there is WAY too much mandating and banning going on. But what is serious – is the proper delineation of the various governments’ roles.
One piece of paper that gets way too little attention from governments everywhere – is the Constitution. Our Founding Fathers laid out a specific, delineated and delimited role for the federal government. Then: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Just about no one in government anywhere pays any attention to this. They are all doing all sorts of things other governments are supposed to be doing.
The Feds are the worst. Their very limited role – has been heinously, endlessly expanded into a $4-trillion-a-year monster that does…just about everything.
But the other governments do occasionally encroach on the federal.
To wit: sanctuary cities. Federal border enforcement – is quite obviously a federal government prerogative. But we have states, cities and municipalities all over – writing their own immigration laws. No bueno.
One of the most misconstrued and abused portions of the Constitution is the Commerce Clause:
“[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce …among the several States….”
The Founders did this – so as to maximize “Commerce…among the several states.” They wanted the Feds to impose very few government impediments – and they wanted the states to impose zero more.
But so many of the states have done so much of this. California is particularly pernicious. In part because they are so ridiculously Leftist – and in part because they are so big they alone can warp the entire nation’s economy.
But all sorts of states violate the Commerce Clause – and create all sorts of problems for all of us.
To wit: gasoline refining: “Gas prices vary in part because refiners have to create more than 50 blends of gasoline to satisfy requirements of certain states, even cities. When shortages occur, local gas prices soar.”
This is titanically stupid. We do not have a massive surplus of refining capacity. In fact, we are almost always running at close to 100%, maxed-out capacity. So when something like this happens:
…we all get screwed. This is the very definition of Interstate Commerce. Gasoline refined in Texas – gets sent throughout the nation. Having states and cities usurping federal authority to mandate ever more blends – makes our capacity problem exponentially worse.
The Feds should set the blend standards – and everyone else should follow Constitutional suit. Things will get a whole lot better, easier – and MUCH cheaper. For all of us.
You know what else is bigger than – and should be beyond – any city or state government’s unilateral authority? The World Wide Web. These networks span the nation – and the globe.
To have every single state, county, municipality, city, town and unincorporated area each think they can each write their own broadband laws would be…more than a mite disruptive.
Nevertheless, Leftist localities all over are here too running roughshod over the Commerce Clause. Imposing on the Internet all sorts of commerce-constricting local laws – well beyond the federal limits.
Darn right these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are trying to stop this. Because this too is titanically stupid.
This is the Web equivalent of forcing ISPs to make dozens and dozens of gasoline blends.
And you say you want more ISP competition? This ever-expanding patchwork quilt of ever-more-government – makes it nigh impossible for medium-size and smaller ISPs to even exist. Because there is no way they can afford to meet all these different government standards.
All of which makes things much worse, harder – and MUCH more expensive. For all of us.
So our recommendation for the Internet – is our recommendation for gasoline (and immigration, and national defense, and a few other obviously federal things):
Get and keep the localities OUT.
The Feds should set the legal standards – and everyone else should follow Constitutional suit.
Things will get a whole lot better, easier – and MUCH cheaper. For all of us.
This first appeared in Red State.