In my last post I pointed out what smaller government might mean to us and our economy. Smaller government just means turning over basic services to corporations, for-profit corporations. This time, let’s take a look at a fictitious diary of someone who lives in a world where the Teabaggers have held sway and gotten one of theirs elected.
The date is sometime beyond 2014, and the crowd who wanted to “get government off our backs,” the same crowd that railed against any regulations at all, also the same crowd that wanted to do away with regulatory agencies, has gained power and put their wishes into play.
[Scene is a tract home in a major city suburb somewhere in the midwest]
So I went to visit Millie because she wasn’t feeling too well today and thought maybe I could cheer her up some. The dang gas pedal stuck again, and I had to turn the bloody engine off or ram into the cars in front of me. I banged on it a few times and was able to travel the rest of the way without problems except that…
On the way some car cut me off, he had no rear view mirror so I guess he couldn’t see me. Maybe he was distracted by the potholes or having to stop every few miles to pay tolls. Now that there’s no vehicle inspections anymore, well, who’s surprised though. But when another car skidded into me (the pavement was wet from rain), I had to get out and shake my head at his bald tires. I noticed how disheveled my own car looked, what with the paint peeling away from acid rain. They say it’s no big deal, but I can’t afford a new paint job every couple of years!
Anyway, got to Millie’s. She’s not quite up to par yet, still recuperating from when her medical practitioner prescribed the wrong remedy. I wonder if the law requiring licensing of clinics and personnel wasn’t a good thing! But it’s been knocked down by the courts so perhaps it’s not a big deal. Maybe Millie got bad drugs since they aren’t inspected anymore. I doubt we’ll ever know. She told me how she’d gotten sick after making dinner for her family. I guess it was some rotten spinach. Amazing that she even managed to finish cooking, given her electric stove nearly caught on fire. The electrician who installed it must not have been one of the old, licensed ones. Thank goodness she had paid the fire department a yearly retainer, or her house would have been crisped!
I volunteered to get some things from the store for her. On the way there was a detour. Seems like the bridge over the river had collapsed. Inspections stopped a few years ago and I thanked my lucky crucifix necklace that I wasn’t on the bridge when it happened! I finally got to the store but the parking lot was awkward to navigate. Free market carts of all kinds were plopped here and there. Never felt good about buying from these merchants though, they no longer need any license to operate and nobody checks up on what they are selling.
Of course, it was not a lot different in the store. Once upon a time there were health inspectors, but those jobs went by the wayside with the massive deregulation bill of 2013. I saw dirt piled up in corners in the produce section; broken jars sorta pushed to the side in a couple of aisles; there were flies buzzing around fruit, the dairy case felt sorta warm, and some of the packages of meat had torn cellophane. Orange juice and bacon prices had skyrocketed, probably because someone went wild on futures for those items. The trade commission still had laws on the books but simply stopped enforcing them after the last election.
When I got to the checkout the little machine said there would be a $7.50 charge for using my credit card. Congress removed the law that held bank fees in check, but what could I do? I didn’t have enough cash on me.
On the way home I watched the smoke curl up and smother the sky from the nuclear plants alongside the highway. Then I remembered I needed to buy some clean water for drinking, but it was too late to turn around. Once upon a time the liquid that came out of my tap was safe, but no more. At least with so many fewer regulations on the backs of business, we should one day be able to get below 14% unemployment. And sooner or later, industry will realize that it has to monitor its own pollution, right?
Made it back to Millie’s in time to make her a nice cup of tea (I boiled the water for a long time) and then got back home. I wanted to take a shower but I get a rash afterwards. Maybe tomorrow.
Keep this in mind when a politician rails against restrictions, licensing, regulations. Should they truly get their wish, the lives of most of us will suffer in countless ways.