Weekly column: The Constitution applies to both political parties … or neither

Today’s newspaper column, available in print and online at The Ely Times, offers a little lesson in constitutionality to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, proving both parties are equally capable of usurping too much power to Washington.

Republican Romney, who, if he wins, will have to take an oath to uphold the Constitution, went on “Meet the Press” one recent Sunday and blithely promised that, while he would seek to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he would like to keep the part that promises health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health-care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health-care reform that I’m going to put in place,” Romney said on the NBC program. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

Romney also said he would allow “individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like …”

Presumably until they qualify for Medicare.

Never mind that this concept shreds, spindles and mutilates the very definition of the word “insurance” as a pooled risk business and turns it into a scheme for redistribution, it fundamentally defies the plainest language of the Commerce Clause.

You know, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that states, “The Congress shall have power to … regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes …”

Telling an insurance company to whom it must sell its product, and presumably at what price, is not regulating commerce “among the several states.” It is dictating a transaction between private citizens, who should, under the Tenth Amendment, retain the powers not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government.

Read the full explanation here.

65 comments on “Weekly column: The Constitution applies to both political parties … or neither

  1. Rincon says:

    Sounds like Mitt’s a bigger liberal than Obama. Mitt says he will mandate insurance for those with preexisting conditions, but not force anyone to pay premiums. If that happens, I predict an epidemic of young people with no insurance who will buy it only after they need it. Hard to pay for health insurance if only the sick pay for it.

    Maybe we need a third party?

  2. nyp10025 says:

    The health insurance industry is not engaged in commerce?

  3. Eventually, yes, a third party, buy not this year.

  4. nyp10025 says:

    The health insurance industry is not engaged in commerce in 2012? In that case, I guess I better sell my health insurer stock – I have been operating under the misapprehension that those were actual businesses whose stock I was buying.

  5. Interstate commerce?

  6. nyp10025 says:

    I can buy Anthem healthcare insurance in Nevada and Illinois.
    I can buy Aetna healthcare insurance in New York and Georgia.
    I can buy United healthcare insurance in California and Ohio.

    Looks interstate to me.

  7. Yes, but you buy the Illinois version while in Nevada?

  8. nyp10025 says:

    An insurance company, through its subsidiaries, sells insurance all over the country. Interstate commerce. You might object to the government requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions, just as you might object to the government requiring that policies cover prostate cancer or pregnancy. But the business being regulated is clearly interstate commerce.
    Yes, individuals can only be in one place when they buy a good or service that is marketed by a business that engages in interstate commerce. But, so what? A person in Illinois buys a different car than a person in Nevada does not detract from the government’s right to require that cars have airbags.

  9. Vernon Clayson says:

    nyp10025, buy all the healthcare insurance you like, buy it anywhere you like, but in your lifetime you will be covered by what you and your fellow travelers seek, single payer. Another freedom of choice is coming down and there is no turning back, certainly not under the current president, or any future president, and certainly not by the Congress or the courts. It has little to do with health, it has far more to do with money flowing to government. The rat race isn’t over but the rats will win, because they always win.

  10. nyp10025 says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

  11. The car crossed a state line. The insurance policy did not.

    Arguably, Congress could not require an air bag in a car built and sold in Nevada.

  12. Steve says:

    Nyp, you surprise me once again. That is Vernon’s’ way of expressing defeat. You and your rats have won the health care battle. Its only a matter of time before it becomes your dream of single payer health insurance.

    You and your rats are on track to win the war and he is sincere in his hopes that you live to see the outcome.

    I hope I am not young enough to see the outcome because the lead in is not pretty.

  13. Vernon Clayson says:

    Nyp10025 has no idea what I was “talking about”, first thing he should consider is that I was “writing”, not “talking”, how basic is that on these commentaries? The second thing he should consider is that his opinions are those of a far left progressive, AKA known as Marxist, Socialist, Communist, anti-American, etc. Marxism is from the 19th century, one would think it’s hazards and failures would have been recognized by now as a quaint relic better to be forgotten. A large part of the problem is he was oddly considered a great thinker at the time which is enough for most of the so-called intelligentsia since then. His flights of fantasy were okay, I suppose, but other thinkers of the period developed electric lights, telegraphy, steam engines, steamships, radio signals, outlawed slavery in this hemisphere, etc., that advanced civilization. War is a constant, of course, but most are are a tossup between religions and economics. Nyp10025, there is shit and there is Shinola but you cannot polish a turd.

  14. nyp10025 says:

    1. Vernon – is the single-payer system called “Medicare” unconstitutional? Is it a bad system? What about the single-payor, single-employer system we have for vets’ healthcare?

    2. It is worth pondering the fact that Thomas Mitchell believes that air bag regulations are unconstitutional. Think what that says about the rest of his world-view.

  15. Rincon says:

    The intent of the founding fathers is clear. The federal government regulates interstate commerce because of the difficulty trying to regulate processes that cross state lines with a hodgepodge of state laws. In an age where we can cross a dozen state borders in a day, it’s no surprise that federal regulations are used more today than in the days of the horse and buggy. Clearly, I can require medical care away from home, so if I’m in a hospital in another state, which state’s laws apply? Although the need for federal regulationthis case is arguable, the existence of interstate commerce in our health care system is undeniable.

  16. Any honest student of Constitutional history knows that the intent of regulating interstate commerce was to keep trade wars from breaking out between them the states, not to control every single good or service that goes across a border. But, of course, the control freaks will attempt to justify any expansion of government power as good for society, as collectivists always have. And the liberty our Founders fought for? Sacrificed on the altar of security, as usual.

    It used to be if you wanted the feds to have more power, you’d amend the Constitution, but oh, that’s so hard to do, right control freaks? So just slowly usurp the power and hope the electorate doesn’t notice, or that the individuals affected by the usurpation don’t complain too much. Even then, you could just line up the complainers and shoot them, just as Stalin, Hitler and Mao did.

  17. The serfs like the order, Winston.

  18. nyp10025 says:

    Yes. People who believe our elected representatives have the right to require that cars be sold with seatbelts and that mines haves safety systems in place are really no different than Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

  19. Steve says:

    Winston, you had Nyp cringing with defeat right up to the Hitler and Stalin references. :mrgreen:

  20. Rincon says:

    Winston’s interpretation is not incorrect, just narrow. He said that the interstate commerce clause was made to prevent trade wars among the states. I believe it’s narrow because there is no pressing reason to believe that the states couldn’t work out their differences in trade by themselves, just as countries do today. Nevertheless, I am , willing to run with that narrow interpretation.

    An article online stated Winston’s perspective this way: (The interstate commerce clause was made)”to prevent states from imposing trade barriers on each other.” Then later on, “Each state has its own health insurance mandates and rules. They protect domestic insurers from competition by barring entry to products licensed by other states. Some states require that you pay for more expensive policies with coverage you don’t want, such as acupuncture or chiropractic. The end result is state-by-state health insurance oligopolies. http://www.swifteconomics.com/2010/08/29/the-power-of-the-commerce-clause/

    Although it cannot be called a “trade war”. these state laws do impose trade barriers on other states. If Swift Economics is correct in this assessment, it sounds like this is the kind of situation for which the commerce clause was designed, even with a narrow interpretation.

    The wording in the Constitution itself is also quite clear.

  21. Under the natural law, as observed by our Founders, I as an individual do not have the legitimate power to go into a factory and tell the owner how to build his product. Therefore, I do not have the ability to delegate that power to government. Under natural law, all legitimate government powers are delegated from individual powers. Usurpation is when government either takes a non-delegated power from individuals without permission, or creates a power that no individual holds. Forcing companies to install seatbelts is Usurpation of the Second Kind. No different that what control freak statists like Hitler, Stalin and Mao did…

  22. nyp10025 says:

    That is stupid. First, there is no such thing as “natural law,” and nothing in the Constitution says that democratically-elected representatives must defer their policy-making to such a thing. Second, the Constitution very specifically states that Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce. As Justice Scalia would tell you, when the language is clear, there is no reason to try to determine what what the drafters’ “intentions” were or whether their jurisprudence encompassed “natural law.” Third, the Commerce Clause only applies to federal actions. It has nothing to do with state regulations. In the absence of federal seat belt laws are California and Nevada permitted to enact their own seat belt regulations? Can they or other states require that long-distance truck drivers have certain prescribed rest periods? And, if those powers are somehow denied to them, what is the legal source of that restrictions. Think how absurd it would be if each state could require different kinds of passenger protections but the federal government, constrained by the “natural law of seatbelts,” could not.

    Fourth, it is worth the rest of you thinking about what it says about the philosophy that “Winston Smith” and Thomas Mitchell espouse that they believe that laws requiring seat belts and airbags, Medicare and public universities, mine safety and long-haul trucking restrictions are all unconstitutional and should be abolished and that our democratic society is no different than communist Russia under Stalin.

    On the other hand, perhaps it really isn’t worth spending time taking seriously the views of people who refer to the American people as “serfs,” and who believe, as does “Winston Smith,” that 9/11 was a conspiracy by the US government.

  23. Rincon says:

    So Winston, in light of the fact that the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce without qualifiers, does natural law invalidate the interstate commerce clause under all circumstances?

  24. “They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare…. [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.” – Thomas Jefferson

    The power delegated by the states to the federal government to regulate interstate commerce was to prevent trade wars between the states, just as the with international trade. The federal government has no legitimate power to force companies in the various states to manufacture products according to its dictates that it would in foreign nations.

    Now, obviously this concept has been changed over the centuries, but the fact remains, the Founders’ intent was clear. Read the Federalist Papers and weep.

    NYP, we’ve discussed 9/11 before, and I’ve challenged you splain how a 47-story steel-framed building can collapse into its footprint at near free-fall speed after only experiencing some minor fires. Never happened before or since.

  25. Sorry, “than it would in foreign nations.”

  26. nyp10025 says:

    1. ” Winston Smith” believes that a government that requires automobiles to have safety protections is no better than Russia under Stalinism. I disagree.
    2. Jefferson had nothing to do with the writing of the Consitutution, and his comment is not about the Commerce Clause but about the General Welfare Clause.
    3. Think how absurd it would be if Nevada could require all cars sold in Nevada to contain seat belts, but the U.S. Congress could not. That is where Smith and Mitchell’s jurisprudence leads us.

  27. Rincon says:

    I don’t believe you ever answered my question, Winston. The Jefferson quote merely states that the power of government needs limits. It is the basis for a Constitution that grants the federal government only the powers it specifies. Control over interstate commerce is specified.

    Many people seem to equate states’ rights with individual freedom. Sometimes the exact opposite is true. Try fighting a speeding ticket issued to you in a state a thousand miles away.

  28. Steve says:

    Rincon, there are lawyers that fight those tickets for you now. And if you ever get a traffic ticket in New York I sincerely recommend you hire one of those ticket lawyers. New York will try very hard to screw the hell out of you.

  29. Rincon says:

    Thanks Steve. I hope I never need the advice. But now. you’ve forced me to come up with another example. Luckily there are many. The man that invented the weed whacker unsuccessfully sued Black & Decker for patent infringement and lost not only his profits, but most of his personal money. Turns out that Black & Decker set up its plant in a county known for friendliness to patent thieves. The judge found that since the Weed Wacker was inherently obvious, it could not be patented. He did not explain why it took over 50 years for someone to produce one even though the technology was there.

    For other examples, see judicialhellholes.org.

  30. NYP, I’m so glad you worship at the altar of safety. I, like our Founders, do not.

    “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Let’s say I want to buy a car, but it has no seatbelt. How do I “get them” to put seatbelts in? Well, some would petition government to force that to happen, but I would choose to suggest that the company would benefit financially from the investment. And if the company chooses to not install seatbelts? Well, let the free market deal with that.

    BTW, though the quote from Jefferson was not specifically about the commerce clause, it was the philosophy behind it that was applicable to the discussion. And though Jefferson was not at the convention, he was best buds with Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, and put much effort into “schooling” Madison on correct political principles.

    I won’t argue with any of you about the current political paradigm of big government that we semi-function under, but I will argue all day and all of the night about what the (most of the) Founders intended. They intended individual liberty and responsibility, with a return to Anglo/Saxon common law, this is understood simply by reading them.

    I leave you with Patrick Henry:

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

    Too bad we didn’t listen…

  31. Steve says:

    Rincon, not entirely correct on the weed eater inventor.
    In fact way off.
    It was invented in 1971 and sold as the weed eater.
    By 1977 weed eater sales were 80 million and the owner sold the company to Emerson Electric.



  32. Excellent quotes, Winston.

  33. Rincon says:

    Steve, you’ve got me tearing my hair out. I can find many references to the lawsuit I named, mostly on blogs, but no definitive, authoritative source. If you search under “patent denied, weed eater too obvious”, you’ll find many references to it, but nothing with any authority.

    I did find two authoritative sources that hint at it, but they don’t give the details.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303763404576416121846117348.html: “Despite his patents on the Weed Eater, imitators soon flooded the market under names such as Weed Whip and Weed Crasher”. Although it does not confirm the entire story, this Wall Street Journal piece shows that the patents did not hold up.

    http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/565/565.F2d.998.77-1685.html: “Count 4 of the complaint charged that the Weed Eater patents are invalid, unenforceable and not infringed, and prayed a declaratory judgment to that effect. When the complaint was filed Weed Eater II filed a counterclaim addressed to Count 4 and claiming damages for infringement.” This was from a complicated motion on a Weed Eater patent suit which was denied, but the details of the suit are not apparent.

    And finally, a sample of the chatter from some web site. There are lots of these: “Historical tidbit: the inventor of the original “weed eater” was denied a US patent because it was “too obvious”. If it was so bloody obvious to combine a tiny gas engine, a bit of heavy duty speedometer cable, some aluminum tubing and a spool of heavy duty monofilament fishing line, why weren’t they being hacked together by hundreds of people all over the place?” (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=004hPg)

    In summary, I definitely repeated this accurately, but I cannot prove that I read it in a reliable source. Hopefully though, the Judicial Hellhole site was informative.

  34. Rincon says:

    The quotes are great, Winston, but it’s a little like arguing with a Muslim that quotes from the Quran (no insult intended). It’s difficult to spar on this turf without an intimate knowledge of the sources of these quotes. Nevertheless, these espoused principles led to the Articles of Confederation, which was deeply flawed. The founders themselves realized that they had been too limiting on government in their first attempt.

    The founders appear to have intentionally allowed the Constitution to be open to interpretation. Its brevity alone shows this. The Constitution says, “The Congress shall have power to….To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes:…” Had the founders wanted to limit governmental power rigidly, they might have seen fit to add a qualifier or two. Instead, they painted with a one sentance brush. Unless we can find limits elsewhere in the Constitution, their words are clear.

    But my question was, “does natural law invalidate the interstate commerce clause under all circumstances?” I’m still curious as to your answer.

  35. Steve says:

    Nah, Rincon you got caught up in patent law. That is a mess among messes. Where you did make a mistake was in assuming he lost all his money defending the patent.

    Patent law is horrible. But the inventor of the weed eater did not die broke and destitute.

    Check out Kodak and its fight over imaging patents with Apple. One judge says the patent is valid but Apple did not infringe it. The next judge says Apple did infringe but the patent is not valid. Then the next judge rules the patent valid but Apple did not infringe and Kodak is appealing again. This even though Samsung and another (I forget just who) paid Kodak for licensing fees retroactively. Round and round and so it goes.

    Kodak is mentioned in the second half. (BTW Bain is saving another company Contec)

    Don’t fall into the patent law wormhole, rather look for how the inventor managed to make a killing in spite of it.

  36. Steve says:

    This bit of your post Rincon is key.

    “why weren’t they being hacked together by hundreds of people all over the place?”

    Necessity, that is the mother of invention. There were many ways to trim edges and weeds, this was simply another among many. Great marketing, low price and ease of use gets them sold to this day.

  37. Rincon, I appreciate your questions. Pls recall that the Constitutional Convention was originally advertised as an attempt to amend the Articles of Confederation, not replace them. Some of the Founders had an agenda to create a new national government, far more centralized than before. If the goal was to protect individual rights and liberties with a minimum amount of government, allowing for self-government, I believe the Constitution has essentially failed.

    As far as the intentions of the Founders go in limiting the power of the federal government, the preamble to the Bill of Rights four years later is pretty explanatory:

    “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution”

    And, of course, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments address which powers are retained by the states and which are delegated to D.C., but those have been roundly ignored in our Big Government paradigm.

  38. No such thing as naural law, nyp10025?? Then you think the sun rises randomly, the earth spins in its orbit around the sun randomly, sap rises in trees randomly, water freezes and melts randomly??? There is an order in the universe that most thinking persons accept and work with. Take any of it away and nothing exists, not even Obama and his ilk.

  39. Rincon says:

    Right you are Steve re: George Ballas. Although he was denied a large potential profit, he was still well off even after the lawsuit. What did you think of the Judicial Hellhole site?

    I have a couple of others for you:
    “When OJ Simpson was sued in civil court over the Nicole Brown Simpson murder case he purchased a home in Florida, under state law your home can not be confiscated by the court in a civil lawsuit.” (http://www.inquisitr.com/182096/oj-simpsons-florida-home-being-taken-away/). So by moving to another state with different laws, O.J. keeps a cool half million dollars away from the Brown family.

    One more: As a veterinarian, I am licensed by the state. If I move to another state, depending on which state, I may be required to take the state veterinary exam. The catch is that, even if I intend to practice small animal medicine, I would be required to submit to examination on farm animal medicine as well. So, to move, I would have to study material for perhaps a year or more that I would never use, and hope to pass. But if I want to start practicing farm animal medicine in my home state, I can hang up a shingle tomorrow. In this instance, a hodgepodge of state regulations greatly inhibits my freedom to move.

    I have to say that this was universal in the 1980’s, which is when I was familiar with the whole process, but it has been improving; nevertheless the following website says “few states share licensing reciprocity.” http://diplomaguide.com/articles/Clinical_Veterinarian_Career_Profile.html

  40. Rincon says:

    Winston, I think we may have to agree to disagree on the Constitutionality issue. I do agree though, that government at all levels intrudes into life in many ways that are unnecessary and often counterproductive.

  41. Steve says:

    Rincon, you are upset that you have to work for your freedom to move. I will refer to Kodak once again. They hold and maintain business licenses in all the states. They did this so they could legally do business in each and every state. It also circumvents the interstate commerce clause. Mostly it makes it possible for Kodak to be wherever they want. They also follow all laws in other countries.

    OJ is a snake with money, all he shows is anyone with enough money will find ways under any system to slither away from responsibility.

    How far do you want to take the idea that some central force must make everything “equal”?

    As for judicial hellholes there are tons of those and even without the gossip behind many of the words in print, audio and video there is enough real confusion when the judiciary legislates from the bench. By far it is California that does this and by far California is the king of judicial hellholes.

  42. Rincon says:

    I guess I didn’t make my goal clear. Conservatives seem to consider state’s rights to be a sort of Nirvana. I was merely pointing out that having a hodgepodge of state regulations can also make live difficult. Government power is government power, and I don’t resent it any less when my state government steps on my toes instead of the feds.

    This whole thing started out about the Constitutionality of federal health care rules. Just as you don’t feel that it’s such a problem for a veterinarian to work (for a year)for his freedom to move, I don’t consider it to be such a problem when the feds make the rules instead of the state. They’re still government rules.

  43. Steve says:

    Then why have states?

  44. Rincon says:

    We have states to maintain state roads, of course. 🙂 We do have an example where states’ rights are far greater than here and the federal government has a far smaller role. It’s called Europe.

  45. “…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” – James Madison

  46. nyp10025 says:

    And that’s why providing federal assistance to victims of natural disasters is unconstitutional.

  47. nyp10025 says:

    There you have it. That is why, at least on most days, you can count on Thomas Mitchell to honestly acknowledge the implications of contemporary conservative thinking.

    Most Republicans don’t have the guts to say what they really think. Thomas Mitchell does.

  48. NYP, let’s make this simple and honest: Tom and I and many others believe that the federal government should play by the rulebook that it was created to follow, i.e., the organic Constitution as understood by its creators, and you and others believe the federal government should do pretty much whatever it wants, whether that power was delegated by the states or not, without any kind of amendment to the Constitution.

    Does that pretty much summarize the situation?

  49. nyp10025 says:

    No, it does not.

  50. Nice response, very clarifying…

  51. nyp10025 says:

    You asked a question, I answered.

  52. Well, NYP, you are technically correct. However, after jousting with you for what, over a year, I am interested in your underlying political philosophy, as opposed to your defense of or attack on various specific items.

    As I have stated, I see the Constitution as the rulebook the states created in order to delegate certain discrete responsibilities and powers to D.C. And the rulebook could only be revised by the states. Unfortunately, some have usurped states’ powers by having the federal government do all sorts of things that it wasn’t originally empowered to do, without any amending. Many of those changes were made slowly enough, or during stressful times, that the control freaks got away without much complaint from the electorate.

    Of course, it didn’t hurt when “both sides of the isle” were making the changes, and with the standard partisan mindset of “we won’t complain when our guy is in charge”, instead of being principle-based and recognizing that unconstitutional is unconstitutional no matter whether the R’s or D’s did it.

    In summary, I believe that our natural rights come from God, that they cannot be abrogated without due process, that government exists to protect those rights, and that when government no longer protects those rights, it is our duty to replace that government, one way or another, lest it overtake us. Sound familiar? Like, from 1776?

    So, NYP, if you don’t mind, not to tie you down too much, pls explain your overall view of the purpose of government, where rights come from, where your “tyranny line” is, and when you would say, “enough is enough!” to the feds. Just so that we will have context to refer to in future discussions…

  53. Rincon says:

    Steve, I finally realized why I feel the way I do about state vs federal law. In my business, I run into a lot of regulatory issues. In my part of Illinois, the national building code and Americans with Disabilities Act for example, aren’t restrictive enough, so Illinois piles on its own version, which is much worse. Also, since each town in the Chicago suburbs has its own building code, contractors have to keep track of all of the details of each city’s code. The contractors have to buy a permit every year from each municipality. A contractor working in 25 suburbs must know the differences in code among 25 cities. I could go on and on – oops, I think I just did!

    Maybe it’s better in Nevada, but in Illinois, I would love to have to deal with only federal regulations.

  54. Steve says:

    But you also point out a very strong reason the feds should not be in that vein of state law. Nevada has some very good building codes and the strongest fire codes in the country.

    Note I use the word “strong” in place of “restrictive”.

    The MGM fire taught Las Vegas a very strong lesson.

    In both these states federal law is not as strong as state law. AND people can vote on the state law with their feet.

    Lets look again at your profession. Unless you are only practicing on domestic house cats and dogs you will run into many types of animals from one region to the next. This is a great reason for state regulation of Veterinarians. Even if, and its a really big if, you do limit your practice only to domestic cats and dogs, diseases found in different regions are also different.

    I believe Illinois does not have bighorn sheep or desert tortoises and I am not at all clear on Nevada’s regulation of Veterinarians but like every where there are great ones and not so great ones here. So you know we have some experience with vets, here is my wall of history. They were all great companions.

    Here is an example from my own profession (an earlier version of it) I used to service consumer and commercial electronics. In Massachusetts to service receivers a shop owner is (or was back then) required to have a general class FCC license AND a Massachusetts state license. The FCC test is hard enough and 2/3 fail it many times before earning one. The Massachusetts test makes it look like cake. On top of those one needs a business license. Nevada has only one requirement for this type of business. A business license. Does this make electronics service better in Massachusetts? I say not necessarily, just because some test well does not prove they are honest and have high quality workmanship. But this is very similar to your example. Had I stayed in that field and wanted to move back to my home state I would have had to make my self ready with about a year and a half of prep to obtain the necessary licensing. Of course the bottom fell out of that side of electronics years ago and I am in very different place but still in electronics.

    An FCC license is required for all who work on transmitters. And this is rightfully so. In the Northeast many signals cross state lines so the feds have a need to see they do not step on or jam one another.

    I voted on Massachusetts state law with my feet. 30 years ago.

    There are places for federal regulations and places they do not belong.

  55. Steve says:

    Another way to say it.
    Henry Grattan “Control over local affairs is the essence of liberty”.


  56. Rincon says:

    I do see your point. I also realize that the Constitution is our guide and unless we amend it, lots of power goes to the state and local governments. My point was that state and local authorities inhibit our freedoms as much as the Federales; therefore, I don’t see states’ rights as a guarantee of greater freedom. This is especially since I come from a state having the honor of having jailed four out of the last 6 or 7 Governors.

    I believe we are universally overly restrictive in licensing peoples’ professions. Is electronics repair so demanding that 2/3 of the people that want to enter the field are not qualified and should not have the freedom to make a living that way? No wonder there aren’t enough jobs 🙂 Whether it be the states of Feds, I would like to see them lighten up a bit on this.

    For the record, the differences in animal diseases among the various parts of the country are miniscule compared to the differences between large and small animals, yet a small animal guy can hang out his shingle for large animals as long as he doesn’t cross state lines.

    I see the MGM fire a little differently. I think fire safety is pretty much the same all over the country. Just as we don’t agonize over the deaths of some without health insurance, I’m not sure that a single fire should make fire safety different in Nevada than in Missouri. It’s still necessary to follow the Constitution though, so I don’t advocate change here either.

    I like the pet wall. The coloration of the cat is great. You didn’t dump a bottle of ink on the poor thing, did you?

  57. Steve says:

    That was Sprite. She died of cancer around her eye. The white furred cats (albino?) in the desert suffer from exposure to the sun according to our vet. http://roosnmore.com/
    They still maintain their practice in Las Vegas. http://www.animalkindnessvet.net/
    We got our current cat from Dr. Val and Meesh is almost the same coloring as Sprite. George Carlin was right.

    The description of state over-regulation is why I made the vote with our feet reference. I speak from both action and experience.
    As for the licensing regs in electronics Nevada has none. But there are not enough people in this field, so demand for my talent is high and if Kodak does not make it out of ch11 (who would have ever thought that would happen…) I see other jobs in the offing pretty easily. Maybe in biomed…
    Thing is our schools are not producing these talents in anywhere near the numbers needed to keep this country running once we are all into retirement. As an example 6 years ago we were hiring and I knew a guy who would fit perfect. We hired a 60 year old man and he is now at retirement age and still working. I believe if he wants and if Kodak does not make it out of ch11 even he will be hired into a technical position. I have heard of 72 year olds being courted into working again because companies cannot find younger electronics people available even in this economy. Though I have no proof of that.

    The MGM fire difference is it threatened the majority industry in Nevada. It was a foregone conclusion Vegas would lead the country after that. Fire safety is the same, fire regs are not.

  58. Rincon says:

    Very sad to hear when we have so many unemployed. I wonder if there’s a shortage in Massachusetts and if they’re still flunking them right and left.

  59. Steve says:

    I think you misunderstand, for technical people the demand is high and the supply is short.

    New college grads are taking jobs flipping burgers while a shrinking supply of technical people are in demand to repair and maintain the equipment that supports the store.

  60. Rincon says:

    Perhaps I did misunderstand. So either the 2/3 that flunk are college students or they’re technical people, and can find jobs anyway? Either way, there is no question that we’re turning far too many college grads with the wrong majors and too few people with technical knowledge and skills.

  61. Steve says:

    Yes there are lots of electronics jobs that do not require any certification. Lots of companies build things which are serviced only by the company itself. The certifications I refer to are for business owners and any tech working on Transmission equipment. 2/3 fail several times but all can take the test as many times as they need. Kinda like a Bar Exam.

    A resolute YES to your second half and people like me are the direct beneficiaries, technical people remain in high demand.

  62. Rincon says:

    Nice to hear that you benefit, but sad that things are being run so poorly.

  63. Steve says:

    I built my first crystal radio in 6th grade. Middle school (jr. high) I wonder how many kids do that today.

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