In 1776 the great United States was really not the bold strong country we enjoy today and the world did not recognize us as being that great. It’s strengths were derived from the independence of the population and the ingenuity of the inhabitance who were allowed to develop methods to improve their own lives and thus grow a nation. Some succeeded, many failed but almost everyone had that opportunity. The country had strengths but the sovereignty of the states to control much of their own destinies led to a unique government that emphasized regional development and culture.
Even though we had forged a nation after throwing off the yokes of Great Britain, it wasn’t until 1898 that the United States was viewed as more than a great agricultural experiment. In that year the United States defeated the old European empirical country of Spain, freed Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico from Spanish rule and thus thrust the United States into the spotlight of a world power.
Soon after the Spanish American War the United States opened its’ own eyes and saw oppression within its’ own shores. Several powerful industrialist built their fortunes on the backs of a needy labor force. So powerful were these men that they had total control over their industries and products. Teddy Roosevelt broke up these monopolies and smaller industries took root as power began to shift from individuals to government control. This growth of control continued until today and the term “regulations” is now used to identify government control. What began as a necessity to break up monopolies and thus allow free market conditions, the multitude and magnitude of these regulations is now strangling the ability of America to use its creativity to continue to build the commerce that crafted our nation.
A certain amount of regulation is required to inure the safety of a country’s inhabitants. Too much regulation and a county is unable to affectively grow itself. Case in point is the Soviet Union. Regulation was needed to get the country out of an aristocracy that had lost control to provide for its’ citizens. After 60 years of tight control the country began to crack. Finally in the late 1980’s centralized planning and control collapsed overnight, communism crumbled and capitalism ensued. Price control coupled with regulations that tell us how to live all aspects of our lives plus a feeling that a centralized control point is better equipped to tell Americans how to live their lives is strangling the life blood out of this nation.
Last year I wrote on regulation and the impacts to our country. It was hoped that the regulation pendulum would begin to swing in the direction of de-regulation. Unfortunately it is getting worse as we are seeing more and more centralized control coming from Washington. I just heard of a food market in South Louisiana that was advertising a gallon of milk at $2.38. The company would lose money on that gallon of milk but would bring customers into the store with the hope of selling other goods to the visitors. This an ingenious marketing strategy with one problem; regulations control the price of commodity products such as milk so the store may not be able to sell milk at this low price. Now who benefits from this regulation; no one. The store did not get the customers into the business and the customers have to pay a higher price for milk. You are about to see regulations hammer gun laws within our country while our ability to get a simple loan to build or improve a business is becoming more and more prohibitive. These shackles must be relaxed and in some cases demolished.
What happens when regulation is removed? In the telecommunication industry, operating in a deregulated market leads to higher broad band speeds, cheaper service and better service and allows small companies to grow into industry leaders. Removing regulation in the airline industries in the 1970s immediately led to lower costs and thrust the industry into a market environment. This morphed into an industry that has made it possible for mainstream America to opt for air travel in lieu of rail and car transport.
Until we move back to a more market strategy and get away from a centralized managed approach to commerce and living, we will continue to lose market share to emerging countries in Asia and South America.

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