Tuesday, January 27, 2009


So many people are unemployed in this latest financial crisis that has arisen worldwide. It gives people problems they sometimes don't have the resources to cope with. For example, today a man killed himself, his wife, and his family after he had been laid off and his wife had lost her job. I guess he just didn't know how they would survive or otherwise what to do, so he took the drastic measure he did to ensure they wouldn't have to face what was coming down the pike without jobs. That's trouble with a capital T.

However, above and beyond the personal level of the tragedy and the trouble the man faced, our society faces widespread problems that affect everybody. It is an issue --- unemployment --- that we must all, in some degree or another, deal with. Not only must we face it individually, but we must also face it collectively, as a nation, even as the world.

For much of my thirty-five-year career as a civil servant, I felt like the administration and Congress failed to adequately fund the enforcement of its laws and regulations. In fact, in retrospect, it is likely that I felt that government never did adequately fund enforcement. At least, not in the venue I worked in.

It always seemed so odd. With respect to what I did --- tax audits and matters relevant to them for the Internal Revenue Service --- revenues generated from adequate funding for enforcement always exceeded by far its cost. Now, I realize that that isn't necessarily the case with respect to enforcement of all laws and regulations within the government

For example, enforcement of the laws applicable to a National Park don't generate revenue above and beyond the cost of its enforcement. That just doesn't happen --- except perhaps in rare circumstances --- in that particular scenario. However, with respect to enforcement of the laws and regulations pertaining to investments and banking, I believe the current situation proves that the expenditures are minimal compared to the costs of not enforcing the laws and regulations.

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