Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Toward a Taxonomy of Control Freaks

Coyote wrote about government interference in decision-making here.

He creates a taxonomy of believers in government interference (Control Freaks). Some are conservative, some are progressive, some are pretty much in the center. None are libertarian. I've tried to stay pretty close to his scheme... at first.
  1. Nannies
    Government as Super-Mom or Super-Dad.
    1. Seat Belt Laws
    2. Helmet Laws
    3. Anti-Smoking Laws
    4. Dietary Laws
    5. Gun Laws
  2. Moralists
    Government as the enforcer of moral rectitude
    • Anti-Narcotics Laws
    • Anti-Sex Laws
    • Blue Laws
    • Bans against Artistic Excess
    • Bans against Media Excess
  3. Technocrats
    Want the government to choose among competing technologies and grant a monopoly to the winner.
    • Government Standards
    • Government Utility Monopolies
    • Government Price Controls
    • Government Price Supports
    • Prescription Drugs
  4. Progressives and Socialists
    • Employment and Wages
    • Advertising
    • Social Security
    • Public Education
That's astounding and wonderful. But I really believe that his Progressives/Socialists category reveals more about his frame than about the taxonomy of control freaks. I'd break them up a bit differently and move some things around.

We now present...

The MythoPoet's Taxonomy of Control Freaks

  1. Nannies
    Government as super-mom or super-dad.
    • Seat Belt Laws
    • Helmet Laws
    • Anti-Smoking Laws
    • Dietary Laws
    • Gun Laws
    • Advertising Controls
    • Local Covenants
    • Anti-Alcohol Laws
    • Loitering Laws
    • Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Anti-Harrassment Laws

  2. Moralists
    Government as the enforcer of moral rectitude
    • Anti-Narcotics Laws
    • Anti-Sex Laws
    • Blue Laws
    • Bans against Artistic Excess
    • Bans against Media Excess
    • Faith Based Programs
    • Religious Tax Exemptions
    • Anti-Immigration Laws
    • Defense of Marriage Laws
    • Obscenity Laws
    • Three Strikes You're Out
    • Truth in Sentencing

  3. Technocrats
    Want the government to choose among competing technologies and grant a monopoly to the winner.
    • Government Standards
    • Zoning Laws
    • Government Utility Monopolies
    • Government Price Controls & Supports
    • Prescription Drugs
    • Minimum Wage
    • Employment Laws
    • Social Security
    • Public Education
    • Automobile Inspection Laws

  4. Scoundrels
    We really need a category for the jerks behind those perverse laws that are completely vile and immoral
    • Gerrymandering
    • Tax structure that penalizes work and rewards passive investment
    • Property Taxes indexed on the value of the improved property instead of the value of the land
    • Election Finance Laws
    • Tax Breaks targeted for a single company or individual
The funny thing is now it's possible to describe the conventional US political parties with some combination of these groups. It would certainly explain why with each year of new legislation the US Government is acting more and more as a smothering mom.

Plus a bonus in that it clearly defines the Scoundrels who need to be voted out of office.

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