"[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community." ~ Benjamin Rush
I recently read Leslie Carbone's book, "Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform," and while it deals with the issue of taxes and developing a better tax system, it includes some questions that I think are pertinent and should be asked whenever a new law is considered.
I was thinking about this in relation to Issues 1, 2 and 3 on the November ballot, as well as the texting while driving ordinance before Toledo City Council.
What I'd like to know is this: who has asked - and answered - these questions (paraphrased from the book) on these proposals:
* What does the Constitution say?
* What are some of the unintended consequences? Does it promote dependence or laziness? Does it make immoral behavior easier or attractive?
* Does it pervert justice?
* Is it true reform or just tinkering? Will it increase or decrease complexity?
* Is it impartial, simple, transparent?
* Is it a proper function of government? Is it a good idea? Can the government do it well? What is the track record in similar areas?
* Does it inhibit economic growth?
* Is the government likely to keep its promises regarding the matter?
* Will it expand the power of the state? Does it set up a new state apparatus that could do damage to individuals, liberty or freedom - sooner or later?
* Will it erode privacy - financial or otherwise?
* Is it the best solution or just the quickest fix.
And my question: how does the proposal increase freedom, liberty and encourage personal responsibility? The goal, after all, is freedom.
Before you vote on the state-wide issues, ask yourselves these questions. And before Toledo City Council passes a new law, ask the members of council what the answers to these questions are - or if they've even considered these questions as part of their deliberations on the law.
We'll have a better city, county, state, and nation, if we think about these things before, rather than after, laws have been put into place.
And think, too, about this point: when was the last time a government actually repealed a law - voluntarily???? If we wait until after laws are passed, it's too late.