Regulatory Abyss

Commentary by  Keith Allison, D.Dn.

© 4 June 2002 – All Rights Reserved

            According to the United States Department of Defense Training Manual DOD GEN-9, “Both communism and democracy accept the fact that the economy is an important center of social power. But, free societies believe in a free economy – that is, one in which most decisions affecting production and consumption are made by private individuals rather than by an all-powerful state. Such economic power tremendously increases the internal authority of a political system that has no Constitution or political restraints upon it in the first place.”

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

            Those are powerful words, insightful words contained in the second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence; words the people of this republic, not a democracy, live by. As stated by the Founding Fathers, these are God given rights, rights acknowledged within the Declaration of Independence as being above the ability of mere mortals to grant or deny. These are not privileges contemptuously bestowed upon our citizens by civil servants, they are not rights to be manipulated or taken back according to the whims of government; nor are they subject to periodic re-interpretation by public officials for the sole purpose of complying with a particular government agenda.

            Despite the apparently inspired insight of our Forefathers, overly restrictive regulatory schemes are not only subverting these God given rights, they are destroying the nations entrepreneurial spirit and divesting this nation of one of her most important assets; the free-enterprise system upon which this nation was founded.

            The right to labor and dispose of the profits of ones calling, profession, trade, or craft, is an unqualified constitutional right, and has been determined to fall under an individual’s Right to Pursue Happiness. The right not only protects laborers, it has equal application to those who erect conglomerates, employ laborers, or management personnel. Under constitutional mandate, there are no provisions for our republican form of government to hold unilateral dominion over the nations citizens or the conduct of private enterprise. Even though this unalienable right to labor as one wishes is firmly established under constitutional and common law, government regulators are denigrating this right, and the civil liberties of the people. This is being done with the full knowledge and cooperation of all levels of government.

            As a result of unbridled corruption and official contempt for constitutional law, our nations regulatory system is a shambles. Though limited by constitutional authority to protecting the public health, welfare, morals, or safety, it seldom serves that purpose. Instead, it has become little more than a system through which public servants and special interest groups maintain a stranglehold on the American economy, and our free-enterprise system. Through inordinately restrictive regulatory covenants, government controlled agencies, boards, commissions and departments, abuse their constitutional and regulatory powers. That power is great, and is commonly used as a noose around the throats of individuals and the crafts, professions, occupations and trades they practice. Those who occupy seats on regulatory boards, often utilize them to intimidate and coerce unquestioning obedience to anti-competitive agendas. By circumventing common law through the use of administrative action, accusations of unprofessional conduct and the resultant loss of their license, await those who refuse to comply with their illegal demands.

            In Washington State, businesses and professions are required by law to be regulated at the least restrictive level consistent with their potential for harm to the public. The state maintains three levels of regulation; full licensure, which through its educational requirements is the most restrictive; certification, with but minimal educational requirements is lower; and registration, whereby the applicant is merely required to inform a state agency of what they will be doing, is the least restrictive.

            The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 18.120.010 Purpose – Criteria states, in part, (1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish guidelines for the regulation of health professions not licensed or regulated prior to July 24, 1983, and those licensed or regulated health professions which seek to substantially increase their scope of practice… The legislature believes that all individuals should be permitted to enter into a health profession unless there is an overwhelming need for the state to protect the interests of the public by restricting entry into the profession. Where such a need is identified, the regulation adopted by the state should be set at the least restrictive level consistent with the public interest to be protected. 

            (2) It is the intent of this chapter that no regulation shall, after July 24, 1983 be imposed upon any health profession except for the exclusive purpose of protecting the public interest. All bills introduced in the legislature to regulate a health profession should be regulated by the state only when: (a) unregulated practice can clearly harm or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public, and the potential for the harm is easily recognizable and not remote or dependent upon tenuous argument.

            RCW 19.02.020(2) and (10) – Definitions tells us: As used in this chapter, the following words have the following meanings. (2) “Business License Center” means the business registration and licensing center established by this chapter and located in and under the administrative control of the department of licensing. (10) “Regulatory Agency” means any state agency, board, commission, or division, which regulates one or more professions, occupations, industries, businesses, or activities.

            By official definition then, when a person or business is in possession of a license to conduct a particular business, it means the government has given its permission and blessings to perform that function for the convenience of the public, and the economic benefit of the owner(s). And according to officialdom, if government does not confer that “privilege,” then the business is being conducted illegally. In the state of Washington, that permission is granted solely through the issuance of a Master Business License and Registrations from the department of licensing.

            Unfortunately, like the system that allowed Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards to sell gambling licenses, this regulatory system too is rife with racketeering and agendas that do little more than limit competition, and drive up the cost of services and merchandise to the public.

            The nations regulatory systems are constitutionally prohibited from obstructing or prohibiting business activity for any other purpose than protecting the public health, welfare and safety, and purportedly provide legitimacy to a business or enterprise. However, our regulatory system is corrupt, and is one that elected officials apparently wield little, if any, control over.

            Although empirical reports have proven that denturitry presents no potential for harm to the public, in 1994, members of the Washington Denturist Association brought Initiative 607 (I-607) to the citizens of the state. Proponents of the licensing scheme demanded that anyone who wanted to become licensed under their initiative must first agree to “donate” at least $10,000.00 to their licensure efforts. They also stated that those who refused to comply with their demands would be denied future licensure.

            The denturist’s intent to maintain control over who received a Washington State Denturist License is obvious. According to their association newsletters, those who complied with the extortionate demand were given the questions and answers to the National Indian Denturist Licensing Examination. They were then instructed to meet at the Spokane, Washington area home of Gary Fox, where they would each go over the questions and answers with the proponents of I-607. Next, they were “tested” at the Northwest Denture Clinic, a denture clinic owned and operated by Ron and Eric Hansen, located on the Nooksack Indian Reservation in Deming, Washington. After completing the fraudulent examination, the candidates were awarded the requisite National Indian Denturist License. As soon as I-607 was enacted into law and signed by the governor, they were to display their license to the newly established Washington State Board of Denture Technology, and they would in turn be awarded an official Washington State Denturist License through a reciprocity clause in I-607.

            No matter how one views the scheme, it is, in essence, no different than the one used by ex-Governor Edwin Edwards, when he accepted payoffs from his friends, manipulated the riverboat casino licensing process and sold them Louisiana State Gaming Licenses. For his involvement in the scheme, Edwards was convicted and sentenced to prison.

            United States Representative James A. Traficant was convicted of Racketeering, Bribery and Fraud for receiving free labor and materials from construction businesses in exchange for intervening with federal regulators and for other favors; requiring a staff member to turn over $2,500.00 from his monthly paycheck; seeking to persuade the staff member to destroy evidence and provide false testimony; using staff members to do work on his boat and farm; filing false tax returns; and related bribery and mail fraud.

            And yet, even though the proponents and participants behind I-607 were involved in essentially the same activity involving an illegal licensing scheme, ex-Governor Mike Lowry; current Governor Gary Locke; Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire (of tobacco lawsuit fame); Secretary of the Department of Health Mary Selecky; ex-Secretary of the Department of Health Bruce Miyahara (he appointed proponents of the I-607 scheme to the denture technology board);  various other bureaucrats; Representative Mary Skinner; Representative James Clements; Representative Joyce Mulliken: Representative Barbara Lisk; Senator Alex Deccio; United States Representative Richard M. Hastings; United States Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell; ex-Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney (now a deputy U.S. Prosecutor) Jeff Sullivan, and many others, have each refused to investigate or consider prosecuting the participants in this matter.

            For decades, the weapons industry has contributed immensely to our economy, and the protection of this nation from adventurous despots. During times of conflict, arms manufacturers have been called upon to supply weapons to this nations citizen army in furtherance of these goals. They were given the task of devising and constructing superior weapons of war, arming our military and providing arms and weapons technology to our allies. And under authority of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, these same industries armed the civilian population during times of war and peace. Wartime technology was soon applied to civilian arms, and highly accurate and powerful weapons were earmarked for hunting and self-defense. Those arms were sold for the purpose of hunting, target shooting, self-defense, or simply because someone might enjoy collecting them.

            While such weapons were not marketed for the purpose of killing, injuring, or harming the civilian population, that segment of society that cares nothing of the law, put them to that use. The 2nd Amendment specifically forbids government from enacting laws that deprive American citizens of the right to keep and bear arms; and the Courts have recognized citizens right to self-defense. Even so, a few legislators and other zealots are intent on destroying that right.

            Firearms are not the only method used for slaying innocent citizens. Anyone may pick up a knife, hammer, bow and arrow, ice pick, baseball bat, or other implement and stab or bludgeon anyone to death. Although innocuous appearing garden implements have been used to impale or decapitate individuals, these items of mayhem and mutilation do not receive the same scrutiny or heinous reputation as firearms.

            With little more than cash in hand for a down payment, almost anyone may purchase an automobile. It matters little where driving experience is concerned, but this does not hold true for a law-abiding citizen buying a firearm. If a citizen wants to purchase a firearm, fanatics have demanded the implementation of laws and regulations that make it increasingly more difficult for anyone to purchase or own a firearm.

            We don’t hold automobile manufacturers responsible for deaths caused by negligent drivers, but members of government and the legal profession feel justified in harassing weapons manufacturers and sellers for the misdeeds of others. Where government and the legal profession are concerned, personal accountability has little application in firearm related deaths.

            The same holds true for the tobacco industry. Smokers and non-smokers alike know the hazards of smoking. But, rather than hold individual smokers accountable for exercising their right to freedom of choice, the government and legal professionals use their enormous power, and blame the tobacco industry for smoker’s health problems. If tobacco companies are indeed at fault, why then, does government not share in the guilt? After all, is government not the entity that has licensed these industries to manufacture and distribute their products? Through onerous taxation, government has profited immensely from the growing, manufacture and distribution of tobacco and tobacco products. Is the enormous amount of revenue government receives through taxation more important than the public health? Under the constitutional requirement of protecting the public health, welfare, morals and safety, it appears that government has fallen down on the job.

            A discussion such as this is not complete unless one questions the authority of any government entity to destroy a legitimate business; particularly when government has licensed such entities to provide a service or product to the public. Is government truly interested in protecting the public? Or, is it their intent to whimsically dictate what government determines to be socially acceptable at any given time?

            According to judicial dictate, political speech is protected. I suppose this is because politicians are notorious liars and cannot be expected to speak the truth. Therefore, the utterances of government officials may legally be false and misleading; but under these same government edicts, private business dares not deceive the public. Under socialism, Big Brother is the singular arbiter of mans fate.

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