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Replace Road Signs. Really?

December 7, 2010

Here‘s an almost unbelievable piece from  ABC online about the US Department of Transportation’s proposed new rulebook on street signs. Local governments are being told to buy signs that have bigger letters, are brighter, and don’t contain the almost universal all-caps format. The Federal Highway Administration’s “target date” to have this implemented is January 2012.

Safety is the Federal Highway Administration’s concern, ABC reports. How many things are being forced on us these days for our own health and safety? Here’s the reasoning of chief administrator Victor Mendez:

If you can’t read it, you can’t see it or you can’t comprehend it, it could be a distraction to you.  You could be in an accident, negative consequences could occur.

Here’s a couple of clues for you, Mr. Mendez:

  • Accidents usually do involve negative consequences. That’s why they’re called accidents.
  • If you can’t see, read or comprehend road signs, what are you doing behind the wheel?

And here’s the irony: those all-knowing bureaucrats who would regulate every aspect of our lives for our own good show remarkably little common sense themselves.

This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans: the article is quick to point out that these rules were written under the Bush administration. It’s also one more indirect confirmation of the fact that the Congress didn’t write those massive health care and financial reform bills: real bureaucracy takes a very long time to write such nonsense.

No, the real enemy is a political class who aspire to be a ruling class and–as it turns out–big business who is complicit with them. The article ends with this tidbit of information:

The American Traffic Safety Services Association — which represents companies that make signs and the reflective material used on them — lobbied hard for the new rules.  And at least one key study used to justify the changes was funded by the 3M Corporation, one of the few companies that make the reflective material now required on street signs.

So while  the Democrats might blame business-loving Republicans for writing regulations favorable to their supporters, once in office the Democrats didn’t throw out those regulations; indeed, they continued them for their own reasons. Both ways the People lose. As Bastiat wrote, both sides reward their friends and punish their enemies. It’s got to stop.

Big Government is the true enemy of the people and it is fed by whoever is in office. That’s why the Liberty movement’s first principle is Constitutionally limited, fiscally responsible, small government.

A big thanks to RT Michel for pointing the story out to me.

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