I remember all of the times when I hear about other countries - 'lesser' countries, that have thriving black markets. I assume that those cases are because the people value their things more than government currency, but I may be wrong. I felt like we lived in a superior society because we didn't resort to this. In the last few months, three things have come to my attention that make me think that we not only are losing any superiority we may once have perceived for ourselves, but that we may soon be living with a thriving black market society. Consider:
The Comsumer Products Safety Commission, in reaction to the lead found in toys imported from China last summer quietly passed Public Law 110-114 entitled the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that essentially bans ALL items that are made for the use of children under the age of twelve from being sold or resold unless that have been tested for lead and phthlates - and have a sticker affixed proving so. This leaves resale shops, thrift shops and yard sellers with unfathomable amounts of perfectly good reusable items that must be dumped into landfills. The penalty for non-compliance is formidable - as much as $1,000,000.00 per occurrence.
Laws are being considered in several states that will impose sales taxes on individual parties that exchange goods and services for money. This would include yard sales, Craig's List sales, and selling your used lawnmower to the guy down the street. The government wants you to submit paperwork, and give them their cut.
Last month, a friend quietly told me that a compassionate doctor wrote a prescription for her - at a higher dose - for a drug that both her husband and son need to control a hereditary high cholesterol problem. It is the only dependable drug for their problem, and it is 'top tier' on their meager insurance - Nearly $100.00 a month per prescription. With a penstroke the physician broke the law, and saved the struggling family a whole month's worth of gasoline for the family car. With the choice of having money to buy necessities, or severely compromising our health, I can see where this may spin off to more than just an occasional 'family plan' occurrence.
Today I read of a new bill in congress that will severely hamper the small farmer from selling his own goods at local farmer's markets. Say hello to H.R. 875 The Food Safety Modernization act of 2009. What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the "Food Safety Administration." Then they will be somehow inspected, regulated and taxed accordingly - and heavily fined for non-compliance. (oddly enough it seems that the bill's sponsor, Rosa Delauro D-Conn is married to a guy who list's Monsanto as a major client. )
What I see is our government turning us all into a bunch of criminals: Tiffany is going to buy a car seat from Rachel so her baby is in a seat when she gets stopped by the cops, but she won't check for the sticker, and she won't fill out the paperwork and send off the $.87 sales tax. With no way to be sure that you personally are abiding by all of the rules, it becomes moot. Doing what it takes to get along and giving up worrying if it is 'legal' becomes a way of life. The black market in kid's clothing, homegrown veggies and farm eggs, life-saving drugs, and lawn mowers becomes the norm. The government more and more is looked at as Big Brother waiting to swoop down and devour decent people and less like the protector of American justice, safety, and freedom.