People with power or with money (whether their own or somebody else's) like to keep it, and like to get more. Even if they hold that power and money for some ostensible noble purpose, they'll spend it all in an effort to keep it. Money and power are their own justification.
We see that when charities, both genuine and fake, use telemarketers to raise money, even at the cost of the telemarketers keeping most of what they raise. We see it when the TSA reacts to criticism of its exercise of powers not with reflection and change, but with a mascot and a PR campaign.
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging the public to create video advertisements that explain why federal regulations are “important to everyone.”
The contest, which ends May 17, will award $2,500 to the makers of the video that best explains why federal regulations are good and how ordinary citizens can become more involved in making regulations. The videos must be posted on YouTube and can be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.
So: federal employees will be spending their time (and your money) evaluating God knows how many videos to pick the ones that best make the public happy about them. Note that the point is not to make the public accept specific regulations based on facts and cogent argument — the point is to make the public accept the process, purpose, and extent of government regulation.
It's pretty much like, say, the EPA spending taxpayer money on ad campaigns to convince taxpayers that they should vote for more EPA bureaucrats at higher salaries. The regulatory state's power is it's own purpose.
So, step up and make a video. But no attacks, please. Stick to the positive message:
Keep it clean. No violence, profanity, sex, or attacks on individuals or organizations.
On the other hand, I think that a skillful filmmaker could produce an indictment of the regulatory state disguised as an informational movie. After all, the feds seem proud about some things that are, to some of us, appalling. As the contest's web page brags:
Almost every aspect of our lives is touched by federal regulations. Even before you leave the house in the morning, government regulations help set the price of the coffee you drink, the voltage of electricity your alarm clock uses, and the types of programming allowed on the morning news.
Your government wants you to be happy about that, and it's willing to spend your money in an effort to make you happy about it.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017