Now I don't want to get lost in the weeds of things. Not all government intervention is bad and I think most can agree murder is bad, theft is bad, and most other things that infringe on the Bill of Rights are bad.
I'm more thinking along the lines of Taxation, Regulation, and general "interference of the government". When the government starts trying to protect people from themselves I'd argue most of the time it's a big company looking to protect its own interest wrapped in pretty paper.
What Got This Started
Disclaimer, I'm not disclosing the way I think in this post on topics because I don't want the examples I use to make my point as the center of this article, but rather the general idea of most laws and regulations are bad, that just pick winners and losers in life.
I was talking with friends about taxation and how I believe the current tax system is broken and we should just switch to a consumption tax or sales tax. All goods should be taxed the same with an x% tax, whatever is needed to run the current government.
I had another friend take it a step further and say, "why don't we tax the wealthy more and create a luxury tax?"
After all, they can afford it and why should we let them spend billions of dollars on stuff they don't need when other people are homeless or "poor" in the US and can't even afford to live.
Stay with me here because I know we can get lost in the weeds that even the poorest people in the US are the top 1% in the rest of the world and I'm sure there are other items to debate in that sentence and I'm sure someone is probably triggered and just going to the bottom of this post right now to leave me some nasty comment.
What Would a Luxury Tax Look Like?
I posed the question, "What would a luxury tax look like? What is, in your opinion, a luxury?"
According to the definition:
Luxury - The state of great comfort and extravagant living.
Well, wouldn't that mean an A/C is a luxury? TVs, the internet, automobiles, and anything we don't need to live such as air, food, and water sound like a luxury to me.
He responded, "ok what bout anything over $1,000,000 dollars like Yachts and other high price items."
So that got me thinking are we going to use certain items to define what a luxury tax looks like or are we going to use the price because I can easily get around this tax as a wealthy person and as an entrepreneurial company.
If we're going to tax an item based on its title such as a luxury tax on all Yachts why don't I just create a Zacht? A Zacht is different because it's the "economy" Yacht where we are environmentally conscious and only use renewable materials to build the Zacht. What about our brand new, Subacht, which is a brand new Yacht that can now go underwater like a submarine to enjoy your wealth in the privacy of being miles and miles underwater.
What if the Luxury tax starts at anything that costs over $1,000,000. Well If I'm a Yacht manufacturer I start selling all my Yacht's as base models. The top of the line model would sell for $999,999.99, but you could buy this upgraded, "aftermarket" engine for $500,000. I'll sell you an attachment where you can stick 10 of those engines on the back of the boat and can sell you 1 motor a day so we don't break the "wealth tax".
These taxes don't work because, with the help of a few accountants, lawyers, and businessmen, there will always be a loophole that can be found to prevent the wealthy from paying these types of special taxes.
Regulations are Ineffective as Well
Reducing your carbon footprint is the big buzz words in the industries that I have worked in.
What project can we install that will help reduce or limit the amount of CO2 emissions we produce? I don't like these type of regulations because how do you determine what is an acceptable amount of CO2 to define what is acceptable or not.
If you pick CO2 per pound of product produced, then does that really reduce the amount of CO2 produced, because most large companies will then just ramp up productions to become more efficient. When they ramp up production to become more efficient they're actually producing more CO2 and all this does is to cause the smaller companies that can't compete to go out of business.
Well, why not just say companies can't produce more than "X" amount of CO2 every year?
This just hurts the larger companies as they will struggle to get below those values and will probably end up shutting down some production locations while other smaller companies, can actually pollute more.
The smaller companies will have no incentive to upgrade the technology for their production units because they can legally pollute more because they are nowhere close to the cap that is put on the larger companies.
Winners and Losers
Even laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act have unintended consequences that can sometimes hurt the very people they were meant to help.
Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see wheelchair ramps and other improvements made to help the people with a handicap.
I've read, however, where the percentage of companies hiring people with a handicap actually decreased after the ADA was passed, because of the lawsuits that started popping up against companies who were "violating" this act.
So most companies will never admit this, but why risk hiring someone with a handicap that's lazy and exposing yourself to that kind of legal ramification when they're being fired because of their handicap, even though they're the laziest employee you have.
Most of the time the very people you are trying to help are the ones that you end up hurting the most when the government gets involved. While these laws help most people sleep better at night, all they do is create creative loopholes to be found, new legal ramifications to deal with, and end up just creating more headaches that are difficult to deal with.
After all, as a dad who takes his young children out for an adventure at least once a month to go do something fun and give mom a rest, I would love a law that requires all men's bathrooms to have a changing table.
The Only Yacht I Could Afford
I understand, however, if this became law this could possibly create a huge burden on the small business that has the indoor playground I enjoy taking my kids too.
If their current bathroom isn't large enough to install a changing station, they might have to remodel/reconfigure their entire bathroom. I've remodeled bathrooms before and let me say that's not a very cheap expense to be mandated to you.
So, by the government trying to help me to provide a convenient location to change my kids, they might actually hurt me because that indoor play place has to shut down because they don't want to deal with the added expense of redoing their bathroom or being exposed to the liability of not having a changing station.
What's on law, regulation, act that you can think of that also has a negative impact on your life, but was intended to be positive? Let me know in the comments down below. This could either be something that has directly affected you, or you can see on that has unintended consequences.
If you disagree and think I'm just crazy it is ok to let me know in the comments as well!