Less is not always more

As my wife and I were returning by train from "The City" last night (if you need to ask "which city?" you don't live on the east coast), we were listening to a group of teenagers. It was satisfying to actually hear them discussing the presidential election. Some of their comments on positions were simplified to the "bumper sticker" (a.k.a., "Karl Rove" slogans) level. One lad stated thet the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans was that the GOP wanted less regulations a' la smaller government. (He backed his claim by saying "liberals" wanted more because they are on the left and, if you move all the way to the left, you get communists...who want total control. Wonderful sophistry...] I wanted to comment on that idea, but they got off the train before I could speak with them. The "fine tuning" would have been that the GOP wants less laws affecting business. Hence "RR" gutting the FDA staff and firing all the air traffic controllers... and "W" cutting staff such that there is one person in one lab checking all the imported toys (now, are you still surprised by the lead in toys?). The idea is free enterprise should be allowed to lead to monopolies (check out AT&T now as compared with before it was broken up...see any differences?), not to mention thiose pesky USDA inspectors that just slow down the meat to our tables. And, who cares that Exxon-Mobile makes obscene profits while the economy goes in the can? Less government is a noble idea...except, in a complex modern society, citizens can't test for tainted meat, lead in toys, counterfiet drugs, and drug safety, in general. Just as we can't build our own roads and install sewage lines; some government is a necessity! The choice of which laws are passed and enforced is the crux of what we should be watching... we could just need more FDA inspectors... Of course, when it comes to personal liberties, "father knows best" is the theme of the "small government crowd. Can't have laisse faire in our lives, can we? We need to be told what forms of sex to have and with whom, who we can and can't marry, and whether a woman can control her own body. Oh, by the bye, if you check the government website, it will tell you the proper way to dispose of an American flag is to burn it. Screws that amendment, no? And, to think I believed water-boarding was a summer sport...