Competition and states’ rights
Out on a Limb
Over the years, I have seen much change in the way our society and culture work; that change is at all levels from local community to international relations.
A major cause of this change has been communication. When I was growing up there were phones with a crank on the side, and a real operator would answer and plug your line into the line of whom you wanted to talk to. Now my grandchildren sit and talk face to face with other friends in China or anywhere on earth.
Most of these great advances in communication and other areas came about due to a principle called competition. As an example, we have several restaurants in the area. The competition among them works to our benefit by inspiring good food, good service and good prices. If there were only one restaurant in town it would be a whole different game.
What I see happening in many areas of life is a move at all levels of government to create a socialist type of culture where the officials make rules and decisions that reduce competition and thus reduce opportunity, increase cost to the consumer and depress innovation. Personal property rights are a thing of the past. Between the county, city and homeowners association, you can’t pick your own paint, plant a tree where you want or even park your bicycle where you want. Young people don’t remember a time before plastic when soda came in returnable bottles. Jelly came in glass jars you could use as drinking glasses or use for canning. Flour came in bags made of reusable fabric. We didn’t have such a huge problem with trash and recycling. Discarded glass did not damage the environment.
What about the educational system when the parents and teachers sat down together and ran the schools? Remember the PTA — that was Parent Teachers Association? Neither the district, the state, nor the federal government dictated to the local schools. And hey, those were the students who grew up to build this incredible nation. Now we have the federal government pushing a universal curriculum called Common Core.
About the only place competition still works in the education system is sports. I believe that sports in public schools are way out of hand, but that’s another subject. Schools are becoming an incubator that intends to stamp all kids the same. Incidentally, failure is a great learning experience that is part of competition.
You may not realize it, but I was headed somewhere.
Probably the most brilliant principle established in our founding documents was the concept of state rights. The idea of competition between the states causes innovation in everything from agriculture, to industrial opportunities, to recreation resorts and lower taxes. How many people do you know that are working in North and South Dakota because they are developing natural resources and we aren’t?
In fact, part of the solution to our national problems is to go back to states’ rights. Tell the federal government to obey its constitutional requirements and let the states handle energy production, water rights and all those things not specially designated to the feds. Maybe the states should have their own banks and state money. Maybe federal taxes would drop dramatically. Maybe the Federal Reserve System could eat the trillions of their dollars the feds owe.
Let the so-called United States stop being the dependent states of America. Give us freefrom!
“Out On A Limb” appears on the first Tuesday of the month. Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.
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