Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rent Seekers On Parade

"We love captive markets! Make them pay us! It's for their own good!" Sure, they'll tell you they're "merely" authoritarian nanny-staters selflessly looking to protect their fellow man from himself against his will -- not that I'd contend they're not that, too, of course -- but I'm not buyin' the "beneficence" act for a second. This is about preserving their income stream at the cost of your liberty with the force of government. OK, so for the bureaucrats, it's about control. Justifying their fine hats...

Herewith, HB540, 'Relative to motor vehicle inspections,' extending the inspection period from 1 year to 2, before the NH Senate Transportation Committee, 4/7/2011.

This is not about safety. The opposition is to free-market capitalism -- providing what the market wants, rather than what government and its friends want. It's about rent-seeking. It's about protectionism and crony capitalism. This is private business asking government to order you to pay them, for no demonstrable benefit (indeed, quite the opposite), and your government obliging them. "Government force is great. And your constituents love it. Really, they do. Trust us. But they'd never take responsibility for their own safety and preserving the value of their own investments if you don't continue to bring the force of government to bear. They're just too stoopid to take care of themselves if you don't order them to. Well, yes: until they get elected, of course, Senator. Then they're suddenly very wise..." How has the species ever survived...

You know what to do, citizen: call and tell your Senator, tell the Committee members -- go ahead and tell all of them, in fact -- that you are perfectly capable of tending to your own affairs, and assessing your own safety needs, thankyouverymuch. You actually have more invested in your safety, and that of your family, than bureaucrats or rent-seekers do. And you're certainly at least as capable as the majority of US citizens are already acknowledged to be by their respective governments. Hell, more so: you're a New Hampshirite, after all.

Society won't crumble. There won't be carnage in the streets. People will take responsibility for themselves. Life will go on. We even have the data...

Some of prime sponsor Rep. Keith Murphy's talking points:
• Annual inspections are proven to be ineffective and an unnecessary cost of time and money for our citizens.

• NH is one of only three states that require statewide testing for both safety and emissions annually.

• This bill would save our citizens $11 million per year in inspection fees while being revenue neutral to the state. This is a free market, pro-jobs bill.

• Emissions testing would not still be required annually, as some have said.

• 30 states do not require safety inspections at all, up from 19 in 1976. These include snow states such as CT, MI, CO, NJ, WI, MN, etc.

• Five additional states almost never require inspections (MD, NV, DE, etc).

• Of the remaining 15 states, three require biennial inspections (RI, MO), 12 including NH require annual inspections.

• Of five studies done on this topic in the last 20 years, four show that inspections do not reduce accidents. Cars are better-made and safer than ever, which is why the federal government repealed its mandate.

• Of the 11 states that repealed their inspection mandate, not one has ever re-enacted it.
But first, Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, as is often the case, to be sure, sums things up rather eloquently...

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