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Abolish school districts

Abolish school districts
In the April 4th Arizona Republic the article by Joanna Allhands she explains “Why consolidation (of school districts) won’t really help our schools.”. She is right. School districts are a needless bureaucratic layer between students and the taxpayer. Joanna was on the right track, but she just failed to suggest the next logical step. The districts should not be consolidated; they should be abolished, and the schools should be funded directly. The money should go to the school principals who know best how it should be spent. (An even better idea would be to tie the funds directly to the student, but such a move yields other complicating issues.).

Why do we regulate home inspectors?

Why Do We Regulate Home Inspectors?

Today (April 2) I had another lesson in the folly of occupational licensing. I attended a meeting of the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) where the subject for the entire meeting, over an hour and a half, was taken up with how many hours an assistant to a home inspector, called a “parallel inspector,” should have to serve before advancing to the next level of regulation. This subject is one of several that comes under the purview of the Arizona Board of Technical Registration (BTR). I learned early in the meeting that this very small part of the BTR mandate had required the attention of GRRC several times since June of last year, and that it was one part of a longer regulation that required GRRC approval.

During the meeting I learned that there are three schools that teach home inspecting and that each applicant must complete 84 hours of instruction and then serve in this “parallel inspector” role for five years and make 250 home inspections. Part of the reason for the length of the meeting was that one of the school operators had filed a complaint about the regulations. There were extensive discussions about both the 250-hour requirement and the five-year requirement. One interesting fact, among many, is that BTR does not evaluate the work of the inspectors, only that they complete the inspection, i.e., check all the proper squares.

Part of the GRRC responsibility is to ensure that the BTR rule changes comply with the requirements of ARS 41-1030. Another part is to ensure that the BTR rules comply with ARS 41-1033(g) which asks whether the proposed rules are burdensome or unnecessary.

Although I had not planned to testify, I became frustrated after about an hour and turned in a comment card. I simply suggested that, instead of spending over an hour debating this minutia, the GRCC should spend ten minutes discussing whether we should be regulating home inspectors at all. The GRRC chair said that was not in their purview. But I thought to myself: “Don’t we have a Republican Governor who wants to reduce regulations, and don’t we have Republican majorities in both houses? What is the obstacle?”

After the agonizing hour and a half debate and discussion, the GRRC decided that the proposed BTR regulations do comply with ARS 41-1030 but that they are overly burdensome, i.e., failing ARS 41-1033(g). Therefore, GRRC decided to amend the rules to leave the 250-hour requirement in place but to lower the time requirement from five years to three.

If it does not boggle your mind, wondering whether we should be regulating home inspectors at all, here is a final thought: This GRRC meeting required the time of five GRRC board members, three GRRC staff members, two BTR staff members, one attorney for the GRRC, one attorney for the AZ Attorney General, one school inspector operator, one volunteer member of the BTR Rules and Standards Committee, and about ten others in the audience whose mission was not clear to me.

This situation is completely insane. Why don’t we deregulate this whole realm and let all these people do something productive with their time??

PS During my working career I held four different occupational licenses so I have a first-hand knowledge of how wasteful ALL of these regulatory schemes can be.

Excellent piece on cannabis but…..

Ryan Randazzo’s piece in Sunday’s Arizona Republic (March 31-“ASU grad shakes up cannabis industry”) was well done but has a couple of significant omissions. Near the end of the article Randazzo quotes drug warrior and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, as saying that, “If we were to get rid of drugs, we could almost get rid of crime.” This is nonsense. First, drugs have always been with us and always will be. Second, it is not the drugs that cause crime but rather the drug war which Polk steadfastly supports. Most drugs are cheap substances and, except for making them illegal, would not require criminal drug cartels to produce and distribute. While drug use will not go away, most crime would go away if drugs were decriminalized.

Drug warriors also support draconian measures on the distribution of legal opioids. This simply drives users to the black market and causes deaths from overdoses and impure drugs. The drug warriors like Polk are indirectly causing the deaths of many innocent people.

But that is not all the harm they cause. Polk was the most vocal opponent of the recent attempt to decriminalize marijuana. I believe that the biggest donor on this campaign was himself a producer of fentanyl, the most harmful of all the drugs in use today. The suspicion by some of us for why he supported the anti-marijuana campaign was that he did not want the competition from marijuana. This kind of hypocrisy by these drug warriors should have been noted in the article so that readers get a clear picture of where the problems are in dealing with drug use.

Concise speaking

So, you know, like, this is, sort of, a letter to the editor, right? (If anyone does not understand the message they are welcome to contact me.)

Handicapped Parking Fraud

Admit it, you have been irritated more than once when you had to park a long distance from your destination and someone else pulled into a handicapped parking spot at the front, got out of the car with no apparent disability, and walked briskly to the front door of the business ahead of you. It happens too frequently. These days almost anyone can be thought of as disabled or handicapped by some doctor and get a sticker for their car or a temporary window hanger.

This situation has gotten completely out of hand. The answer is to go back to what handicapped parking was meant for, that is, people in wheel chairs. (That is why the marking for these parking spots is a wheelchair.) Besides ending the fraud, we would also free up many parking spaces because they would only be used by the truly deserving.

Occupational Licensing Hypocrisy

Does any sincere thinking person believe that we need the government to regulate people who want to blow dry hair? No! There is only one group who seeks this regulation, and that is the government regulated cosmetologists. I submit that the cosmetologists do not seek these regulations in order to protect consumers from evil hair blow dryers but rather to protect their fellow cosmetologists from competition. Where are the courageous legislators who should be counted on to stop this nonsense? There have bills in the last two legislative sessions that have died. Do we have a conservative, free enterprise legislature that believes in letting people work? Nonsense. We have legislators without backbones who cave in to special interest groups like cosmetologists.

In a recent newspaper article, we have an example of the hypocrisy that helps maintain this insane regulatory environment. The article told about a man in Tucson who was giving free haircuts to veterans who ran afoul of the government regulators. Our governor even cited him as an example of over-regulation and suggested that the regulators back off. But, in that same article, we learn that the man has had a religious conversion. Since he has apparently gone to the trouble of spending the time and money to get his license, he now “sees” the need for government regulation. Amazing!

How many more examples of this foolishness and hypocrisy do we need before we end this regulation that prevents poor people from using their skills to earn a living and prevents volunteers from helping others in need?

We Are All African Americans

The whole notion of race is frustrating. It is such an unscientific concept that it is amazing to me how much media attention is paid to it. I suspect that it is for political reasons, mostly on the Left. It is used to create monsters on the Right who are supposed to be racists because they want to give autonomy to some business owners for hiring and college presidents for admissions. It is used by the Left to create victims and to justify all manner of government interventions to correct the perceived racial imbalances.

All this is so foolish because, really, we are all African Americans. Since all humankind originated somewhere in Africa, usually thought to be around the present Ethiopia, the only racial heritage that any of us can claim with certainty is, therefore, African. And, if you were born in America, that makes you African American. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could agree that we are all African Americans and stop fighting the race wars and stop segregating people based on race?