Is BIG Evil?

by David Atherton on May 1, 2014

Is BIG Evil?

Is BIG Evil?

By David Atherton

I do not hate government, it is God ordained. The absence of government is anarchy.  We do not have to look far to see how horrible anarchy is.  I do not hate corporations big or small.  Big can do a lot that Little cannot do.  But, Big is not all peace and light, it has a dark side. The war of words rages. Evil Big Government vs. Evil Big Business.  Let’s look a bit closer at “Big.”

Big government builds interstate highways we all love. It protects us from enemies domestic and foreign. It makes laws and regulations to protect us from abuse. It raises funds to spread the cost of shared burdens and benefits. It does much good.

Big corporations develop products that make life easier, wealthier, and “funner.” Without a thought we board the 747 and travel the world in hours instead of months or years with less danger—even in an age of terrorism. We love and depend upon our computers, cell phones, iPads, TV, electricity and supermarkets, cars, gas and water from the spigots. Big corporations and Big Ag feed the entire world.  Big Trucking and Shipping moves the food from production worldwide to the consumer.  Big Business constantly brings us new and improved goods at better prices. Compare my 1986 and my 2010 computers!

Big environment and Big Government have the bucks to buy land to set aside for nature and for We the People to enjoy.  Big Labor helped make a better life for many who were living in virtual slavery and working in conditions that should be considered with horror. Big Pharma spends billions developing drugs that may make our lives better (thanks Prevacid). Big is not all bad.  Often, it’s awfully good.

The dark side of Big is its disdain for The Little Guy. Big means Big Money, Big Power, Big Influence. Benevolent dictators are mythological.  Big has no soul and will take every possible advantage. Big Business will crush the small competitor. Big Labor will destroy a company to win a small point. Big Environment would take all the countryside and put it off limits. Big Pharma would outlaw any remedy they do not produce. Big Agriculture would outlaw heirloom seeds.  Every Big has a dark underbelly waiting to take control.  But, these Bigs are limited in what they can actually do.  They require a partner with enforcement capability. While I find sympathy with the complaints of many friends over the depredations of Big Banks, Big Oil, Big This and Big That, in the end, the most dangerous Big is Big Government.

“Government makes laws, regulations and rules to protect society,” we say. Review every legitimate complaint about any Big, and behind the scenes you will find a government connection enabling the action.

What?  GE paid no corporate income taxes on BILLIONS?  Why not?  Friends in the Congress passed special loopholes and The President signed the bill.  WHAT?  Big Ag is suing a farmer to keep him from using seed he took from his own plants on his own land?  No reasonable citizen would ever agree this is right, but the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is enforcing laws passed by Congress.  Make a list, check it twice, see who has been naughty or nice.

Each time there is a piece of coal, you will see a law or a regulation or a court decision reinforcing the abuse.  Each of the Bigs depends on Big Government to push its goals be they good or bad. While money and power go together, actual power exists only in the hands of the Government which has the power to fine, imprison, tax, confiscate, punish, abuse and reward.  It often unjustly does all of these and many more at the behest of the other Bigs.

The “Evil” of Big is not in the state of being big; it is in the abuse of being big! 

The connection between Big Money and Big Government is where the danger lies.  Even more so is the lack of light on those relationships. What are the solutions?

Light and Accountability.

Light.  It may be a bit schizophrenic, but I do not support limiting campaign donations by either individuals or entities. That is a subject for many pages of discussion, but not this essay.

I do believe in bright shining lights be they powered by solar, nuclear, coal, oil or natural gas furnaces. Every contribution to any official or candidate needs to be posted on line within 48 hours of obligation—not receipt. Do not like what The Koch’s or Soros supports? Create a stink. Democracy never reeks of perfume.  This should go for golfing, trips and other perks financed by Big Money. With the exception of budgets pertinent to National Security, budgets should be wide open for review.  Always follow the money.

Accountability: Alphabets, EPA, OSHA, FBI, CIA, DNR, and many, many more at all levels of government are pretty much immune from punishment for abuse.  They can fine, jail, destroy property and frequently do so.  I have no recollections of anyone being punished either individually or corporately for abuse they committed under the authority of their organization.

The 8th amendment says there shall be no unreasonable fines, yet unelected agency members levy hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against individuals and small companies simply for questioning their authority!  This is why when abuse occurs, it is so necessary to go after the specific players and entities within Big Government with a Big Hammer.

When these agencies and individuals begin serving their cousins in the other Bigs, true abuse occurs.  When this abuse is permitted to continue or is not punished when it is stopped, it will quickly pop up in other spots.  We MUST hold Big Government and its workers accountable so when they think about persecuting someone, they also think about their Big Hintermosts and are acting in good faith as opposed to fulfilling the bidding of another Big or a personal agenda.

Three recent Big Abuses highlight the issue.

–The Supreme Court considered by unanimous vote the EPA to be way out of control in the recent case of their condemning a building lot in a subdivision because it was “wetlands.”  Did anyone get fired?  Did anyone get fined?  Did anyone reimburse the many tens of thousands of dollars it cost the people they persecuted?  Did the EPA have to pay the cost of defending itself?  Not hardly.  Sadly, the ruling only said the Sacketts had the right to fight the EPA and Big does not like being made to look stupid. This battle is far from over. (search Sackett vs EPA.)

–The treatment of those who provide raw milk and raw milk products to those who are willing consumers is beyond belief.  Regardless of where we stand on the actual issue of using raw milk products, unelected bureaucrats in the government’s persecution of those openly selling them, often legally, should terrify us.  Ron Paul has an excellent essay on the subject. The case of Vernon Hershberger in Wisconsin is a prime example of the over-reach of Big Government; in large part on the behalf the 30 billion a year Wisconsin Big Dairy industry. Even though Mr. Hershberger won 3 of 4 counts, did anyone in the government get fired? Fined? Censured?  Did anyone have to pay Mr. Hershberger for the food intentionally destroyed? Pay the cost of his defense? Things do not happen in a vacuum.  Someone in Big Business pulled someone in Big Government’s strings and the machine came out in force.

–Feral Pigs in Wisconsin. Feral pigs can be hugely destructive. So can feral cats, dogs and a host of other animals.  When you start naming certain types of pigs being raised for sale on people’s farms as feral pigs, you are out of line.  If they are not running loose on public lands, by definition, they are not feral.  If a specific farmer has a habit of letting his pigs run loose on government land, take action.  BUT if your Big Buddies in the Big Pig Farm business do not like the competition from the little farmers doing specialized pig breeds, you pass regulations which do not require actual elected officials to get involved, then come after the little guys with 700,000 dollar fines (10k per swine).

Asked why the fine, the response was “we fined anyone who QUESTIONED the ruling!”  No laws were broken until they made a regulation which they did not even have the authority to make to criminalize what was not a crime or even a danger.  Sadly, the DNR was only required to leave this specific farmer alone.  When will Big Government be truly slapped so they think twice before abusing their power?

For an excellent blog check the second link which points out the connection between Big Government and Big Pigs.  (Note, the suit was actually brought by the farmer against the DNR.)

In the end, We The People are responsible for the government we have.  When we sit quietly by and watch abuses happen, the abuse only increases. We owe it to our children and to ourselves to watch all the Bigs closely and to watch the enforcement arm, Big Government, the closest.  We watch best by going to the polls in November and putting our watching to work.  We have a duty to hold our representatives responsible for the behavior of the unelected officials they empower to work for us.  Complacency is the friend of Big. Let’s kill this friendship.

David Atherton

Dave Atherton spent his second birthday on a ship in Manila Harbor. Throughout his early life, 21 years of military service and five years of Civil Service, he has lived in six different countries and ten states. He has sold real estate in Washington State for the last 18 years. He loves reading, writing and not so much 'rithmatic. Hobbies current and past are polishing stones (like turquoise) and making Indian style jewelry; simple wood working, gardening, and selling "stuff" at craft and gift shows or flea markets. He is currently contemplating his transition to retirement which is defined as "doing something else." In his spare time, he scribbles and runs a daylily nursery with his wife.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

  • freedomwithtruth

    Very well said, David. It’s not right wing or uber left, but very common sense-ish.

Previous post:

Next post: