EPA

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Pointing out that most of the clean-ups happened at the state level before we had an EPA, and many of the EPA failures may be true, but they will get you disinvited from many granola munchers parties in the People's Republic of Hollywood (or California). But heck, I care about the facts and how to really help the environment, more than watermelon agenda of using the environment as an excuse to create socialism. Not because I hate clean air or water, I think both are great. I just think that people need to understand that without a bureaucratic federal monstrosity, we'd still have state and local improvements (maybe more), with far less cost. Most companies don't clean up because of fear of the EPA, but fear of their customers or legal liability if they get caught.
Issue Lie Truth
EPA The EPA is this great and noble institution that protects our environment, if it wasn't for them, we'd live in squalor and pollution. Most of the cleanup work had been done by the states long before 1970 and the creation of the EPA. In fact, the rate of cleanup slowed after the EPA was created. Once the fed was doing it, most of the states and municipalities felt, "I gave at the office".

I'm not someone who thinks the government is all bad, nor is it all good either. Controlling something through government is just a way to replace a commerce based process (free market), with a political process, and increase bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is not all bad either; just a series of rules, processes, hierarchies that slow down progress (red-tape), but increases visibility, accountability and order. Most of the time, these things cost more than they help, the help is visible and the costs are buried, and the accountability gets buried. But in all things there are balances, and they're usually not completely on one extreme or the other.

History

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Here's a few articles related to the EPA:6 items


Volkswagen emissions scandal -
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The first episode of Dirty Money was fascinating. It interviews the key people involved, talks about the issue, how it happened, how the government stumbled on the truth, and in only 7 years, got around to doing their jobs (partly because of VW's stonewalling and distractions). It even accidentally mumbles that the other auto-makers were doing the same thing. The only thing it left out is "why?" Why would VW take this risk?

You're spoon-fed the ideas that it was just greed and arrogance that caused the callous disregard for the planet. And I'm sure greed and arrogance were part of it. But it forgets to hint at the truth: the regulations were unmitigated bullshit. The truth was it was because CARB and the EPA set unreasonable and unattainable standard, and so VW had a choice of surrender a market, or cheat. You might not agree with VW's decision, but if you don't know why they did it, then you don't understand what happened. This documentary (and most of the media) leaves you ignorant of why, while feeling like you know more than you do. It turns people into progressives: arrogant, ignorant and sanctimonious (or worse: willing to lie for their cause).
Suffocating Liberty - the cost of red tape -
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Each new tax, law or regulation, comes with costs (compliance, non-compliance, enforcement and punishment). We 174,545 pages of regulations with over 1,040,940 restrictions. Our tax code has over 73,954 pages. Our federal legal code has over 23,000 pages and over 4,450 federal crimes (in 2008). Double that for statutes, case law, and regulatory provisions. Then there’s another 300,000 criminal punishments within the discretion of administrative agencies. Then you have to add in the state and local laws, regulations and taxes on top.
Secondhand Smoke - Since the left's war on smokers wasn't working fast enough (despite exaggerations and fear mongering), and they had used Junk Science against smoking, they could also use Junk Science (the EPA's now debunked "study" on secondhand smoke) to warn the public about the dangers of Secondhand Smoke. (Later, the fakers seriously tried adding 3rd hand smoke -- that if you touched residue in a smokers house, you could die). I don't like smoking, first or second hand, but remember Japan? Japanese men are some of the heaviest smokers in the world (with some of the longest life expectancies), and since they live in smaller dwelling than most, their wives and daughters are subjected to secondhand smoke in more frequency and intensity. The results? They have the best life expectancy of any Women in the world. Diet, lifestyle, and genes matter far more. So stop the rationalizations -- some people don't like smoking, and so are making junk-science excuses for their attacks and hatred. We know this because places that banned it for years/decades had no difference in death or disease rates: so the issue of public health has been debunked.
Earth Day - In honor of an invented fake-Holiday (Earth Day/Week), my office celebrated voluntary meatless Monday. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other.... what I'm sure of is that celebrating a Holiday invented by watermelon's (green on the outside, red on the inside), loons and kooks, to celebrate peace and balance by taking away people's choices (to get meat), is something so hypocritical, and so the new normal in California.

While I don't really care what causes people support (even stupid ones), I do like people to be informed the on the stupid causes they support, and who is behind them. Detractors of Earth Day claiming it's an green wrapping around Marxist agendas, while the proponents claim, "No. It's all moderate folks just trying to protect our planet and peace". When you research the history of Earth Day, it becomes obvious which side is informed, and which isn't.
Bundy Extremists - There were two Bundy stand-offs, one in 2014, and one in 2016, over the same issue. There were ranchers tired of Clinton era encroachments, and Obama era hard-nosed enforcement that seized their land by the Federal Government, or new restrictions on everything: grazing, usage, logging, and so on that was ruining these people's livelihoods for politics. I don't think an armed stand-off is a good solution -- but you can only push people so far. So the government did what governments do, they assassinated some of them as an example to others... and then lost millions of dollars in our money to them (in civil lawsuits for abuse of power, hiding evidence, and behaving badly).
2019.03.20 FOIA Requests - Biased News is Fake News, as is having different standards based on party. So a real Journalist (Brent Scher at Free Beacon), just did a simple thing: compared FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to the EPA to see how many times media outlets fact checked or investigated Obama versus Trump. NYT did 4x as many request in Trump's first year, as Obama's entire last term. WaPo: went from 1 request for Obama's last term to 43 in Trump's first 2 years. Politico: 15 to 198. CNN 25 to 47. Buzzfeed: 18 to 38. ABC: 4 to 32. This is evidence of a double-standard that the observant have known about for decades.

Conclusion

The EPA's been a boondoggle, but mere math, logic, economics, history, will never convince anyone that wants to believe otherwise. The same way some people think the TSA keeps them safe. It might keep them slightly safer than nothing, but far less safe than a more reasonable/competently designed alternative.

I'm not someone who thinks the government is all bad or is all good. Nor is the EPA. Controlling something through government is just a political process that increases bureaucracy: a series of rules, processes, hierarchies that slow down progress (red-tape), but increase potential accountability and order. Good or bad, is a balance between the needs of the problem and cost of the solution: did you get the implementation right? If it could be done with industry cooperative and private licensing organization, at a small fraction the size, with more accountability. Wouldn't that be better? If someone can't ask that question sincerely, then they're not up for a discussion on public policy, and are incapable of understanding how to avoid the moral hazard in the future. So I point out the abuses, to understand what we've been lied about, and what we might want to watch for in the future -- and to think about those real economic and societal balances. And how we can make real progress towards more beneficial to society, instead of "progress" (progressive) just meaning bigger government with less individual liberty and government accountability.

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