Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Business-Friendly" Government Regulation

Above is a photo (a “screen capture” from Channel 26 in Green Bay) of the poster-child for “business-friendly” state regulatory agencies, Cathy Stepp.  A failed contractor, Stepp became a politician highly critical of the Department of Natural Resources.  So critical, in fact, that her new pal Scott Walker put her in charge of the DNR.  And she promptly named another politician and DNR-hater to be her executive assistant – Scott Gunderson.

The May 6th Wisconsin State Journal carried an article by reporter Ron Seely who exposed one of Stepp and Gunderson’s scams to have the DNR turn a blind eye to a waste-hauler’s excessive dumping of human waste near water wells.  Stepp, of course, accused the paper of sensationalizing the story, but she refused to talk to the paper.

What the hell.  What’s a little pee and poop in the drinking water.  Big deal.  Nobody cares.

Some of the Republican trolls who inhabit the legislature whined about how they thought the DNR was supposed to be a more “business-friendly” agency.  Idiots.

You want a business-friendly regulatory agency?  I give you the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is so business-friendly it turned a blind eye to the entire slice-and-dice mortgage and credit default swap debacle that brought down the economy – and is so clueless and powerless that outfits like JPMorgan Chase are STILL making multi-billion-dollar losing gambles.

I don’t want “business-friendly” government regulation.  I don’t want “business-antagonistic” government regulation.  I simply want regulation to the letter of the law and/or administrative code.

I don’t want to drink someone else’s pee because Cathy Stepp and her merry band of government-haters think the DNR should be more “business friendly.”  If some business is using arsenic to pressure-treat lumber, and is cavalier about handling the toxic stuff, I want it shut down until it complies.  If a paper company is dumping PCB’s into a waterway, I want it shut down until it complies – and then, I want it to clean up the mess it made.

Does the Wisconsin DNR have a reputation for being heavy-handed?  Yes.  They can be real a-holes about things like where you can and can’t build a dock, how big it can be, and how far it can reach into the body of water.  And yes, I remember clearly that when I was a young man, plenty of folks in the Fox Valley, where I grew up, said DNR stands for “Damn Near Russia”, because it enforced all these “rules and regulations” – like how many walleye you could take out of the Wolf River and how many deer you could legally kill.

Only a very shallow thinker would favor “business-friendly” regulatory agencies.  And Lord knows there are plenty of shallow thinkers under the big top at the head of State Street.

1 comment:

  1. Both the Assy. and Senate passed a bill in 2009 that would have forbid the governor appointing the DNR head, among other agencies. That bill was vetoed by none other than Jim Doyle, after he said he wouldn't. Both sides play this game and yes it does suck.