Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Legislation Can and Can't Do

   leg·is·la·tion (l j -sl sh n). n. 1. The act or process of legislating; lawmaking. 2. A proposed or enacted law or group of laws.

     Legislation can fund a defense department.  It can build roads, it can set up rules for business and trade.

    It cannot change what marriage is.  It can pass laws seeking a public acceptance of, and to legitimize,   some relationships----but it isn't the legislature that ever formed the bond between a man and a woman.  That institution way predates any government system or current religion.

   It can protect the rights of parents.  It can protect and respect life and human dignity.

   Legislation cannot change when life begins.  It can be warped and twisted for the sake of convenience, but a unique organism is a unique organism, and if a single celled anything was found by a Mars probe, everyone would be calling it 'life'...

   Legislation cannot mandate prosperity.  It can re-distribute, but legislated re-distribution is such a counterincentive to productivity, it overall brings prosperity down.  Best to just stay out of the way.

   Legislation cannot change the weather.  It can impose carbon credits, punish corporations for being too successful, and remove a nation's competitive edge---but no amount of legislation will change the weather. 

      But they'll still try.


timmer said...

legislation cannot change a particular church's definition of marriage. whether it's one man and one woman. or one white man and one white woman.
legislation can change the government's definition of marriage. a smarter move would be to use a different less hot-buttony word to describe the legal contract between two adults sharing their lives. course no one ever accused legislators of being smart. ;->

legislation can trample peoples' rights and human dignity as well as protect.

legislation can inhibit prosperity. best to stay out of the way - as much as possible. some exceptions would be: forcing artificially profitable corporations to internalize all of their costs instead of say killing people or polluting. and subsidizing things you really don't ever want to be in short supply - like food, but not buggy whips or tobacco.

legislation can't make it rain on tuesdays. ;->
legislation can stop acid rain.

flyingvan said...

Agreed. I think the vast, vast majority have no issue whatsoever with same gender couples enjoying all the same benefits government offers to married couples. I also believe society is better off when couples of any mix make a life long commitment to each other. Promiscuity, straight or gay, causes problems that burden everyone.
The problem comes when a government tells people they have to change their definition of marriage. I'm not clear on why government has anything to do whatsoever with it in the first place.
I disagree with subsidizing things you never want in short supply. That leads to shortages. There IS a good way to do it, though---government can put out an RFP for something and the most competetive company gets the contract ( Instead of handing GM a blank check, go to all the auto manufacturers and say "We want to buy 10,000 trucks". Best proposal wins) Companies fail. It's necessary in the long run.
Legislation can, and should, set and enforce reasonable standards for work safety and emissions.

timmer said...

agreed. pretty much the only thing i think we (the government) should be subsidizing is food. cause food shortages (aka famines) are really really bad.

a properly functioning free market must have certain requirements. one of which is no barrier to entry. and probably the most overlooked (ignored?) requirement is no barrier to exit. meaning we have to let companies go bust. even if they're big and popular and them going under is scary. in the long run, we're better off.