Whenever government unduly interferes with the market place and picks winners and losers, free enterprise does not really exist. I hear Republicans complain about President Obama and his Wall Street business cronies, picking which businesses will get favoritism. It is all a matter of degree. Republicans who vote for bills like SB 353 are philosophically just like liberal Democrats who use government to manipulate the economy.
When politicians allow powerful interests (such as unions, big corporations, chambers of commerce and other groups pushing their own agendas which are not supportive of true free enterprise) to influence their actions, they hurt all of us.
We need a vibrant economy. We need job creation. We need lower taxes. We need everyone being treated the same by government. We do not need a myriad of tax breaks favoring this company or that. We do not need state and federal tax codes which are beyond comprehension and which cause some businesses to win and others to lose.
We do not need politicians claiming to be conservative and for the little guy while they speed through the legislature laws which are crony capitalism. Capitalism does not really work when it is manipulated in favor of some and against others.
And I have not even mentioned how SB 353 hurts our students and teachers and takes away fundamental rights of citizens to challenge development authorities which give away tax money needed for education.
Our forefathers challenged the outrageous and dictatorial actions of King George III. They wanted the people to be able to carefully guard against the accretion of power in the government. They wanted the people to have the right to seek redress against bad actions of government. They wanted a representative form of government.
It is bad enough that development authorities are a denial of representative government. Appointing members unaccountable to the people with powers only elected representatives should have is bad in and of itself.
SB 353 makes things worse. It takes away the requirement for the involvement of district attorneys in reviewing the bond issues and takes away the right to appeal. If we are going to take away what puny rights to challenge these bond issues that we have, why bother with a rubberstamp judge?
When the unions wanted to protect their members in the 1930s from the appearance of workers moving to the North from the South, many of whom happened to be African-American, they got segregationist members of Congress to pass the Davis-Bacon Act, which manipulated wage rates on federal projects and had the effect of hurting a lot of black workers as well as artificially increasing the cost of federal projects.
One way the unions gained protection through this law is that Congress decreed that the actions of the federal government under the Davis-Bacon Act could not be appealed in court. Whenever legislators pass laws that say the actions of government cannot be appealed in court, hide your children in the house and hide your wallets. Bad things are about to happen.
SB 353 should not pass the House. If it does, the governor needs to veto it. The voters should learn who has supported this bill and remember that when they next go to the polls.
We do not need people in state or federal government who may talk a good game, but when it comes to actions, do not vote to support truly open markets, free enterprise and capitalism.
We do not need an oligarchical society in which a small group of people or businesses or unions or whatever manipulates the government to suit their own ends. And we do not need a government controlled by elitists who think they are so smart that they know better than the rest of us and that by careful manipulation they can control markets and make life better for everyone. Either way, we the people lose.
I think that God wants us to have economic liberty so that we can all use the talents He has given us. I think that devout Adam Smith understood this. If only our business, union and government leaders would educate themselves on liberty and have a true belief in it. The hurts of the world could be largely washed away if the abilities of all people free of unnecessary government manipulations were allowed to flourish.
Attorney Allen Hirons is a former member of the Marietta City Council.