Originally Posted by DuckieHo
What's the point of a government? It depends.... but the enough citizens of the US have already agreed that the government should pass regulation. That's not a short-sighted.....
Well thank you for giving me the opportunity for clarification. Of course we agree that the government should pass regulation on things. My issue is more on what it is that the regulation entails, something the average citizen usually has almost no direct input on. As far as I can tell 99% of legislation goes through without most of us even knowing about it.
And you can't blame the citizen for this issue. Anything that is of a high enough profile to be discussed publicly is going to end up with a myriad of completely unrelated and politically motivated side-notes added on while the bill is being deliberated by congress and the senate. They call them "christmas tree" bills because everyone comes along and hangs a little piece of what they would benefit from onto it before it is agreed upon to pass.
Now I don't say we're completely without fault, but in order for these types of things to actually be noticeable or understandable enough for even a significant percentage of citizens to recognize, we would all probably have to gain the expertise of a law school graduate, and spend an unreasonable amount of time monitoring the day-to-day workings of congress.
So given that, where does it leave us? Basically unprepared and unconsidered. While I will do my best to avoid the moral paradoxes one faces when restricting the actions of their fellow citizens, I think a reasonable medium of assumption is that it should only be done as sparingly as possible, when the benefit is very obviously outweighing the detriment. I'm sure pointing out, as an example, the forgone premise that allowing cellphone carriers to prevent their customers from altering software on the devices which they own is not only acceptable, but that it is also acceptable to make it illegal for them to actually do so, is an example of a time when the benefit to the citizen was completely inconsequential.
Now that extreme doesn't really bear on this discussion, but this is where the short-sightedness I speak of comes in. Is this legislation in this case really, truly, going to benefit the society for being enacted? Well the answer is to be found in the environmental studies conducted by... um... let's see... does anybody really know who's study this is based on? Have you ever even tried to get a definitive answer when looking for the pros and cons of some environmentally-based proposal for regulation that weren't completely obvious to everyone to begin with?
As far as I can tell, environment and sustainability are, nowadays, just token political points that policy producers attach their agendas to when trying to add weight and momentum to whatever intention it is they are really seeking the resolution of. You get 1000 internets for reasonably explaining how this situation is the exception and not the rule.
My bottom line is that it is clear that this particular instance is only going to give the answers to the questions I ask of it here throughout the years of it's enactment. That is if the consequences of it aren't completely overstated, misrepresented, concealed, or otherwise doctored to fit the supposed benefit that it was championed to have. So excuse me if, for no other reason than sheer skepticism, I decide that something like this is not the type of thing that we are paying our officials to be spending their time on. "We" is of course not to include people who have paid them in ways that effectively nullify the concept of public service in the first place.
Of course this all might be avoided if we could manage to pass some regulation about the regulations themselves to prevent those who use them for benefits completely unrelated to the betterment of society. But of course there's nary a day in the history of government where an idea about regulating the regulators isn't met with anything more than complete and total resistance. I wonder why that is?