United States Government Regulation Run Amok
For a while now, the United States of America is no longer termed as a land of freedom. However, the land is still free in the sense that Germans, Italians, and Norwegians feel unobstructed exercising their rights. Nonetheless, this is not what Americans would want to use to mean freedom (Murray, 2015). Sometime back, the U.S. citizens lived their lives the way they deemed right, given they would accord the same right to others. Good government was defined as that which would restrict people from harming others and shall give them liberty to regulate their pursuit of industry and improvement.
The paper aims to discuss how the United States regulations are assaulting the citizens. Thesis statement: Government regulations should promote safety without burdening small businesses and constraining individual liberty.
Government regulations in the United States began in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The regulations were mainly the result of cruel treatment of workers at their work-stations and recurrent accidents at the factories. Initially, government regulations were introduced with the right notion concerning health and safety. As time went by, this ceased to be the case as some of the regulations passed were seen to infringe on the liberty of business operations. For example, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been more than once found to have acted outside its statutory authority such as in the case of North Carolina and electric utility company (Forbes & Jermier, 2010). An integral part of our liberty is freedom.
Since the 1940s, the Congress has been allowed to make regulations that are fair and equitable. A regulation can be defined as a norm that aims to correct a by-product of imperfection. In other words, a regulation can either prescribe or proscribe. A regulation is said to create, limit, constrain a right, allocate responsibility, create or limit a duty. Regulations take different forms, for example, legal restrictions, contractual obligations, self regulations, and market regulations.
The government of the United States has introduced many business regulations to protect the right of the employees, secure the environment, and ensure that corporations are accountable for the amount of power they exercise in the business-driven society (Forbes & Jermier, 2010). Some of the set regulations are more significant than others due to their role in the industry. A number of them deal with advertising, employment and labor, privacy, environment, and health and safety.
The carbon trail of businesses on the environment is regulated by EPA alongside other state agencies. EPA implements laws passed by the federal government through frequent inspections, educational resources, and accountability of the local agency (Miller, 2005).
The Environmental Compliance Assistance Guide has been put in place to assist both small and large businesses with the achievement of environmental compliance (Forbes & Jermier, 2010). Besides, being an enforcer, it also serves as an educational resource.
The safety and health of workers is regulated by the Safety and Health Act of 1970 which demands that employers offer safe and sanitary work environment through regular inspections and a grading scale (Forbes & Jermier, 2010). Companies are necessitated to meet certain standards so as to remain in business. Over the years, these regulations have frequently changed alongside the changing workplace and sanitary standards. In addition, the Act requires employers to ensure that workplaces are hazard-free by avoiding the physical harm and death of employees through the stipulated procedures.
Research Aim and Objective
Apparently, regulations that are a waste of time and money are unnecessary. Worse still are the regulations that are oppressive and prevent people from following their vocation. For example, the regulations that hinder businesses from selecting the right people for certain job openings or operating freely are bad enough. The paper aims to contribute to the structure of government regulations that promote safety without burdening small business and constraining the liberty of Americans.
The United States can no longer be called a free land. This is due to many regulations governing the land. Evidently, today the regulations have become pointless and hamper the U.S. citizens from doing what they please. Government regulations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have gradually taken liberties and are denying businesses the freedom to run freely. It is against this backdrop that the researcher wishes to investigate government regulations running amok. The thesis statement of the paper indicates that the U.S. government regulations are promoting the health and safety of its citizens and businesses, while at the same time they are burdening the small businesses and constraining liberty.
1. What is the cause of substantial government regulations?
2. How and when did government regulations go out of control?
3. How can the broken system be overhauled?
4. Why do some politicians think out of control regulations are appropriate?
5. Does the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require as much power as it is accorded?
6. Does the Environmental Protection Agency need to exist?
Significance of the Study
The research is aimed at shedding light on the substantial government regulations. The reader will acquire knowledge on how and when government regulations went out of control, and how the problem can be corrected. The conclusions reached from the study will serve as a guide for the legislators in restructuring the broken system to ensure that freedom and liberty are restored to the U.S. citizens. Additionally, future researchers will learn of more areas to study in the future.
Government regulations in the United States have steadily taken liberties and impacted businesses negatively. For example, the companies to which the EPA rules apply complain that the restrictions are more than costly and they compromise their profits (DeLong, 2002). Most liberties are reported to have been lost during the industrialization era, and between Civil War and World War I. These periods gave rise to unhealthy working conditions that led to serious accidents that had a negative impact on the U.S. economy and social status. As a result, the government has adopted regulations that are crucial for health and safety.
According to the research, the regulatory bureaucracy of the U.S. has an enormous power (Murray, 2015). What is worse, the regulators can destroy your life and business very fast, while you have insignificant recourse. This means that the damage on the economy by power is a commonplace complaint. Of importance is the fact that the burgeoning regulatory state leads to the loss of liberty and causes fear.
It has been reported that agencies infringe businesses on their duties. However, this has been vaguely hinted at using ambiguous words of the law. The truth is that most agencies interpret regulations out of existence. For example, OSHA announces its intent to approve a regulation that would interpret a statute of limitations as useless (Murray, 2015). This comes after an appellate court declared the move illogical. A clear indication is that agencies ignore important ambiguities in regulations to be later redressed through agency construing. A good example is the case when a court allowed an agency to compel the rewriting of a huge number of product labels because the agency regulations suggested so and their logic was reasonable. The agency avoided finding a public rulemaking for this requirement; they denied manufacturers the right to comment on it; and a review of the regulation by the office of management and budget was circumvented (Murray, 2015).
Studies indicate that the reasonable although wrong yardstick is the result of impartial judges not deciding the meaning of the silent or ambiguous federal regulations. This approach has seen vast power being transferred to the agencies such as OSHA (Murray, 2015). As a result, there are statutory ambiguities and silences everywhere. Agencies boast that the expense of proving them wrong and unreasonable is huge and very few citizens and organizations can make an attempt. Therefore, agencies are at liberty to casually deprive citizens of their freedoms through construing. Additionally, the approach encourages agencies to issue vague regulations that they later resolve politically.
Evidently, the problem of preventing people from practicing their occupations to the best of their knowledge is not only common in the private sector but the public sector as well. For example, teachers in public schools have to work with regulatory regimes that prescribe the curriculum and how it has to be followed. This strictness has seen most of the best teachers leave their positions in public schools (Murray, 2015). Besides, workers in government offices work under strict job descriptions that even instill fear to the workers.
The most notable problem created by the complex regulatory mazes is that in an attempt to correct the contingencies, they lose track of their initial objective and make matters worse. A good example to explain this is the 1979 Kemeny Commission’s postmortem on the Three Mile Island partial meltdown (Murray, 2015). The commission concluded that when regulations happened to be voluminous and complicated as those that were in place at that time, they would have a negative impact on nuclear safety.
Further, in 20I3, EPA forced the closure of the only lead smelter in the U.S. This had a huge impact on ammunition production, and it resulted in job cuts. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the company decided to shut down the smelter not because it was forced to but because it refused to install pollution control technologies required to lessen lead and sulfur dioxide emissions as necessitated by the Clean Air Act (Wolverton II, 2013).
The argument sounds sterile. However, the truth behind the story is that the closure of the lead smelting plant is an unconstitutional step that the federal agency has taken, and it will impinge on the ammunition manufacturing capability of the nation (Wolverton II, 2013). The question would be why the Missouri lead smelting facility allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to run them out of business. The answer would be extortion. The Don Rue Company, which is the owner of the smelting plant, stated that the fine imposed on them and the required upgrade to the plant were financially risky and unattainable (Wolverton II, 2013).
The government of the U.S. well understands that a gun is nothing without ammunition. This came in the middle of the government’s project to arm federal agencies and empower them with military grade vehicles and weapons. The closure of the Doe Run plant by the Environmental Protection Agency is an indirect assault on the right to keep arms. It can be interpreted as another move by the agencies towards disarmament of the U.S. citizens (Wolverton II, 2013).
As reported by Paul (2011), the Environmental Protection Agency has done more harm than good since its inception in 1970. Paul argues that the agency’s regulations cost over 5% of the nation’s annual domestic product. This is equal to the costs of homeland security and defense combined. Notwithstanding, the expansions of EPA regulations have increased the unemployment rate in the U.S. by 33% (Paul, 2011). The abuse of power by the agency in enforcing its regulations denies the citizens and business experts their constitutional rights.
Studies indicate that there have been numerous reports filed on individual rights being infringed by power-hungry and abusive Environmental Protection Agency officials. For example, the regulations have hindered the ability of most landowners to manage their private property as they deem right (Paul, 2011). Also, it has impaired job creation. Evidently, the U.S. citizens are suffering from the overstretched regulatory agencies.
Another example that shows the breach of power by the federal agencies is the case of John Rapanos (Lee, 2015). Mr. Rapanos was prosecuted by the federal bureaucrats for shoveling dirt around his home in Bay County. The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers reported that Mr. Rapanos was polluting the wetlands by leveling the soil on his land, and they filed charges against him (Paul, 2011). Following the migratory regulatory rule, the Army Corps argues that any remote wetland can fall under the federal jurisdictions since there is a tentative possibility that a water molecule from the wetland may reach another navigable waterway. The nearest water to Mr. Rapanos property was about 20 miles (Paul, 2011).
According to Edit (2000), the Occupational Health and Safety passes regulations that are impossible to implement. Similar to EPA, OSHA also fines businesses for reasons beyond their limit. For example, a federal safety agency, Waukesha, Wis (AP), proposed a fine of $42,000 against a Waukesha Scrap Yard because there was an employee who was killed when he was stuck by a forklift truck (Paul, 2011).
Evidently, the federal agencies have too much power at their disposal, and as a result, they cause harm to common citizens. For example, OSHA has authority in more than eight million workplaces. The agency can only call upon one inspector for 3,700 of these workplaces. On the other hand, EPA has the authority over workplaces and every property in the U.S. (Paul, 2011). The problem is that it has a large proportion that it hardly inspects. In 2013, it only inspected 18,000 workplaces. This is a small proportion to its mandate.
Conclusively, although the focus has been on regulations in the workplace and running of businesses, the truth is that these agencies not only infringe on the freedom to practice individual vocation. Whether people are trying to be good ambassadors of their property, raise their children, practice their religious faith, or cooperate with their neighbors to address local problems, the agency bureaucrats always interfere. Due to the immense power, the agencies have the regulatory target while people are left helpless as they cannot fight back to live freely.
The paper investigates the circumstances behind the U.S. government regulations running amok. For the study, the data will be obtained from secondary sources such as journals, books, articles, and reports from the federal, local and state agency websites among other existing literature. The researcher aims to use the Google Scholar tools and the APUS library to obtain the data. Additionally, the researcher will investigate the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. The data to be obtained from these sources will be used to determine the dependent and independent variables.
The data collected from the research will be analyzed using the qualitative approach. The qualitative approach was found suitable for the investigation since the study does not intend to analyze any numerical figures. The findings of the data analyzed will be described in words. It is expected that the chosen approach will give the audience a deeper understanding of the concept.
To facilitate the rationale of the results in an attempt to establish the reliability of information as well as whether it mirrors the reality, the researcher has used triangulation that collects data from various sources, such as documents, journals, and other internet sources, and offers rich, broad description so as to convey the results.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The paper encompasses a discussion on how the U.S. government regulations, particularly the Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Protection Agency, have run amok. As can be seen above, although the regulations were introduced for the right reasons, they lost track during the industrialization era and World War I. The regulations were introduced as a result of the harsh treatment of workers as well as the multiple accidents in factories. Apparently, the agencies have too much power which they tend to abuse while delivering their duties. To meet the objectives of the study, the researcher will use secondary sources of data collection. The study will use the Google Scholar and the APUS library as the primary tools of data collection. The research will also investigate the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. Since the research will not use numerical figures, qualitative data analysis will be used.
The frequent abuse of power by the OSHA and EPA is notable across the country contravening the lives of the U.S. citizens (Murray, 2015). In the beginning, property rights were accorded an utmost importance and regarded as essential to the protection of liberty. It is recommended that legislators introduce strategies and policies to restore the value of personal property. Additionally, the legislators should address governmental overreach. The proposed action is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the federal regulatory procedures (Paul, 2011). If the regulatory process is open to the public scrutiny, the government agencies will be controlled and held accountable by the U.S. citizens. The move is a common-sense restructuring that is meant to heighten the congressional liability, enhance the regulatory procedures, and protect the businesses and American citizens from the limitations being placed on their private and economic activities. The new strategy is meant to ensure that the EPA and OSHA agencies are prevented from destroying businesses, the U.S. economy, and the way of life of the citizens by enforcing unnecessary regulations. Apparently, the destructive and abusive regulations must be stopped at all costs.
With imposition of regulatory abuse by the agencies, most Americans agree with the fact that the size of the federal government of the U.S. must be reduced. Studies have revealed that the U.S. citizens are treated as subjects of an administrative state rather than citizens of a nation that upholds freedom and liberty of its people (Paul, 2011). It is believed that implementing the proposed strategy will help lessen the power of the agencies and their officials and empower appropriate persons who will allow the American citizens to act and run their businesses as they deem right.