Back in the Day… We Didn’t Have as Many Laws

The last time a study was done regarding laws; there were over 3,000 of them at the federal level in the United States. This study was done over 35 years ago and by some estimates the laws on the books have doubled since then. And this doesn’t even include state and local laws.

Through the years, lawmakers actually took the time to write up, debate, and pass over 3,000 crimes a person can commit. I didn’t know people could come up with that many bad things to do. Well, actually I did, but I didn’t think the federal government would be concerned about all of them.

Because new laws and regulations are constantly being passed while old ones, even if they’re no longer applicable, are rarely taken off the books, we probably have more laws than we do people in some areas of the country.

Back in the day, as long as we didn’t murder, steal, or drive over 100 mph, it was all good. Today we need registration papers, permits, and a lengthy investigation to hang a pair of drapes. How did we get to this point?

Today, elected officials not only like to tell us what to do, but they often take great delight in telling us how to do it, exactly how much we have to pay to do it, and what papers we have to fill out before we can start doing it. Of course there are the dreaded fines and other such punishments if we do it all wrong.

Why do they exert such control over the unwashed masses? Oh, lots of reasons, but it basically boils down to power, control, and most of all, I suspect, because they make a mountain of money through all those pesky fees.

A lot of the money the government rakes in is from fines from all of our nasty deeds. Everything from selling untaxed cigarettes to feeding homeless people is illegal in certain areas. Do we really need armed federal agents arresting people selling vegetables or raw milk without a license?

Drive too fast — pay a fine. Drink a beer when you’re seventeen — pay another fine. You finally gain some maturity, grow up and decide to get married? That’ll cost you too, buddy. Before you’re even married you have to pay a fee for a marriage license. Getting a divorce? There are court costs and fees for that too. The government gets you comin’ and goin’.

I miss the time when not everything we did was taxed or fined or required extensive amounts of paperwork. But that time now only exists, back in the day.

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