Have you ever seen or experienced something that seemed so unjust it made you say “There ought to be a law about that!” Driving down the road, shopping in the grocery store, waiting in line for a movie, just about any activity where we interact with society is fraught with inequities that need redress. I think of something thing that should be illegal just about every day.
There ought to be a law about changing the price of gas more than 6 times in a year, and make it illegal to change the price more than .01 percent at a time.
There ought to be a law that makes it illegal to drive a car in the left lane except to pass (this is actually an unenforced law in most states).
There ought to be a law that makes it illegal to cut in front of me in lines or on the road. That law only applies to everyone else though.
There ought to be a law about kid’s pants riding lower than the hip. If the waistband is under the buttocks, you should be doing hard time.
There ought to be a law about setting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Give the turkey his due.
There ought to be a law about merchants marking up their prices 200 percent before having a half-off sale.
In all seriousness, there are many things that strike me as unfair that make it easy to say “there ought to be a law,” but in reality legislation is the worst remedy for them. If we pass a law for every bad deal, for every unfairness we see, for every time someone feels slighted, then we have just given our freedoms to the government who would love to tell you how you should live every aspect of your life.
Already we have a new law that was written specifically to address perceived unfairness in the credit industry. The democrats thought it was just terrible the way credit companies took advantage of the average consumer with hidden fees and underhanded business practices such as changing interest rates with no warning. The matter was so bad that they made a whole set of laws about how consumer credit should function that the credit card companies decided to raise everyone’s interest rate to the highest allowed by law and lower available credit. Now there is less credit available for the consumer who now can’t spend as much so the economy slows down which drives inflation up. In the effort to fix one problem, this law has created or exacerbated other problems.
They are taking aim at executive salaries now. Soon they will make it illegal for the senior leaderships of America’s businesses to earn “X” amount of dollars (where X=an amount related to how big the business is). They will have their pay capped. Now, I am no psychologist, but in my experience with managing people, if you reduce compensation, you get less productivity. Imagine who would want to do those jobs knowing that they can no longer expect to be paid for their position.
Now, I am not saying that there is not a problem on Wall Street. Too many businessmen have been caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar, and you just have to mention Enron or WorldComm to get people’s blood pressure up about executive pay. American’s wanted to hang the heads of the major banks who went on lavish junkets and paid huge bonuses to themselves while the company was failing. Yes, it is easy to say “there ought to be a law” about things like that. There is legal redress for that already however. It is in civil court, not necessarily in criminal court (unless in being an ass, those guys did actually break a fraud law or three).
Think about what motivation any worker would have to excel at their job knowing that they cannot achieve more than a prescribed amount. If I know that no matter what I do, I will only get paid this much and no more, then why should I work harder? Where is the value in it? America was built on the sweat of those looking to break a caste system and define their own destinies. People wanted better for themselves than their parents had it. Here, hard work paid off and anyone willing to put forth the extra effort found a reward in their labors. Take that reward away, and the effort goes with it.
No, there shouldn’t be a law about how much you can earn in any given job. The cost of that legislation is too high and will undercut the heart of America. Too much legislation is not a good thing. Big government is big brother. If you don’t like the way a company does business, then don’t patronize that company. Bring about change by communicating with those who you think need a good talking to. Heck, I got good response when I had a problem with a big company after sending just one five-page letter to the vice-president of that company. Do not let congress try to make laws governing the marketplace or salaries.
Except maybe for major sports figures. They make WAY too much money for their own good. And there ought to be a law about how much money pop musicians make. And have you seen ticket prices for concerts? There ought to be a law about that! (kidding…just kidding)