Imagine the passenger liner Titanic’s gaping crack and sea water spewing in at a fantastic rate. Knowing there aren’t enough life rafts the crew determines to stay alive by plugging the holes as best they can. “It is simply what we must do” they tell each other as clothing of every type is shoved here and there, an improvised brace fixed opposite one hole to counter the water pressure, in the next compartment desperate stacking of cargo cases in vain as the laws of physics do not yield. They do reduce the inflow a bit as each effort has some minor relief.

Often I see this futile scene as a metaphor for the compilation of statutes today and their inherent tangles.

Unlike the laws of science, we see glue being applied everywhere. One element gives reason for eminent domain, another piece gives reason to abuse it. So some further tweaks are done to make it more perfect. Always striving to make it better, a mantra that goes unsaid.

There’s the money issue; instability in banking created a need for central banking so things would go smoothly and to protect the customers. Year after year we see the constant chinking, each time consumers already lost something but always one more regulation, one more patch closer to perfection. Right?

I’ve chatted with people who want their own band-aid, such as a law that allows marriage for their slice of society, but can’t see that this is only one more patch on top of the racial patch decades ago. Freedom to marry isn’t just allowing one more guy into the country club. They’ll gladly pay the fee to be in the club that doesn’t really want them when true freedom is to not give money to your former oppressor.

And so it goes with every other facet of the system: Foreign policy not working, well then more aid and more military spending must be the prescription. Stock market bubble shocked you, let’s direct efforts toward home building while we know the population is shrinking. Ready another piece of paper so we can encourage lending to people who really aren’t good risks. Staples and paste are the remedy. We know none better.

Is the US on an exponential path to utopia?

Imagine if this path actually achieves the goal, maybe some sixty years from now every demographic has been sated, all the children are cared for, roads are smooth and taxes are finely tuned so that everyone is pleased.

Yeah, I too heard the screeECH of the record needle there… it is never going to happen like that. There will be no band-aids repairing the Titanic. You can keep trying, you can keep it floating for some time but eventually the ship will list due to water leaked inside or the weight of some layered patchwork quilt outside.

Take the IRS code or instance, I dare anyone to find a tax attorney who understands all of the tax law. It started in 1913 and fit in one small book. Today it is 3.7 million words. Even the IRS is baffled by their own complexity and admit it changes every day!

I read somewhere that over 70% of laws and regulations have been created in the past 40 years. If the best society can be requires more text than is already on the books then how will anyone know when the apogee has been reached and to add more to it will be to degrade the lot?

Is this a case for just rebooting and boarding America II, is it a case for right sizing government in some manner so it is only doing the essential functions of military protection and courts while money and foreign policy are left laissez-faire or does it show the futility of even that? Maybe there is a flotilla heading to a more tropical clime than these Star Line behemoths dare to cruise?

Your comments are always encouraged.

 

United States Code

people flock to The United States Code as it nears an ideal stage