American Elephants

More Regulation: No Credit Cards for Moms! by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear,  those wise elites in government really don’t think the ordinary folk who pay their salaries are very bright.  They are so anxious to protect us from ourselves.  Lawmakers apparently believe that Visa, Mastercard and Discover and  might not have the incentive to properly manage their own credit risk. If not aided by new regulations from Congress, people might run up more debt than they could repay — like the elected officials who have run up the national tab by$1.2 trillion just this year.

The Federal Reserve Board has issued the specific regulations called for in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD).  I love the way the acronym comes first, then they figure out the name. The name is a little odd for a regulation that prohibits private companies from acting independently.

Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke declared the new rules to be a milestone in the effort to ensure that consumers who rely on credit cards are treated fairly.

It’s that old bugaboo “consequences.” The law is widely interpreted as prohibiting millions of stay-at-home-moms, and stay-at-home-dads from obtaining credit cards of their own. The “ability to pay” regulation requires credit card applicants to have an independent source of income to open an account or else find a co-signer.

(a) General rule. (1)(i) Consideration of ability to pay. A card issuer must not open a credit card account for a consumer…unless the card issuer considers the ability of the consumer to make the required minimum periodic payments under the terms of the account based on the consumer’s income or assets and current obligations.

(ii) Reasonable policies and procedures. Card issuers must establish and maintain reasonable written policies and procedures to consider a consumer’s income or assets and current obligations…It would be unreasonable for a card issuer to…issue a credit card to a consumer who does not have any income.

Homemakers actually do most of the household purchases, and over 45,000 of them have signed a petition  of protest that has gone to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s really special being regarded as incompetent.

The Attack of the Regulators. They Just Can’t Leave You Alone. by The Elephant's Child

The Stamp Act of 1765 was a was a tax that the British Parliament imposed on their colonies in British America. Printed materials such as magazines, legal documents, newspapers had to be produced on stamped paper made in London that carried an embossed revenue stamp. The tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in Colonial paper money, and its purpose was to help pay for the British troops stationed in America.

The British government thought that the colonies were the prime beneficiaries of the military presence and should pay at least a portion of the expense.  It was a last-straw of sorts, and both colonists and British Parliament got their respective backs up. Protests, opposition, even from British merchants and manufacturers. The Act was repealed, but Parliament emphasized their power in a series of new taxes and regulations also opposed  by the colonists. Well, we know where that led.

Massachusetts, unfamiliar with their own history, has decided to outlaw school bake sales. Out with the cupcakes and  cookies.  No selling tasty goodies to make a bit of money for the benefit of the kids. Some bureaucrat thinks there are too many calories. No holiday parties, no celebrations, no door-to-door candy sales, and no goodies at football games. Parents are angry.

New York City’s Nanny Bloomberg has ordered homeless shelters to refuse any donated food that isn’t nutritionally “assessed.” He would rather see the homeless go hungry than eat officially unapproved food. City hall says that it cannot analyze food that organizations have been donating for years, so the shelters must turn the food away. A new document from the bureaucracy dictates serving sized, salt, fat and calorie limits, fiber minimums and condiment recommendations. Many of the city’s churches and synagogues would drop off freshly cooked surplus food from church events.

Bloomberg has already banned smoking in all commercial locales and the serving of trans fats in all city restaurants — though no one has found trans fats unhealthy.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been tasked with devising stricter regulation of appliance labels. The agency intends to prohibit manufacturers from hanging yellow EnergyGuide labels from clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators. Instead adhesive labels will be required. The labels must be attached by the manufacturer, be easily removable with just water, but of significant adhesive so they will stick until the purchases removes them (size, adhesiveness, paper weight, and peel adhesion capacity are all specified). They haven’t decided whether to require “QR” codes that can be read by a smartphone.

This is all because the Government Accountability Office conducted  surveillance at 30 stores in 2007, and 26% of the products had no EnergyGuide label. I believe I have read elsewhere that the EnergyGuide labels are largely hooey, but the labels must be there. U.S. Customs and Border Protection are proposing to turn away imports of any consumer products and industrial equipment that do not have the proper labeling.

Governor Christine Gregoire (D-WA) has decided that physicians should be required to prescribe generic drugs, and if they wanted to prescribe brand name drugs would have to go through a lengthy procedure to get permission.She does, I believe, have a law degree — she was Attorney General before winning the governor’s office, but as far as I know, no medical training whatsoever.

Liberals do these things for your own good, you see. They know what is best. They don’t think you are very smart or you would be doing these good things for yourself. It’s compulsive. When they give you all the good things that they bestow in order to win your vote, those things cost money. So in order to cut costs, they have to force you to follow their guidelines.

If you look at Obama’s “Life of Julia” and consider all the “beneficial things” that Obama has done for Julia in that light, Julia’s life doesn’t look quite so attractive — if you found it attractive in any way. If Julia doesn’t take advantage of the good works, you can bet that some bureaucrat will see that she does.

Democrats are perpetually discontented. They don’t like things the way they are, they want something different. They form their committees and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) so they have a larger voice in order to try to fix everything according to their lights. Liberty is not on their agenda. For Obama, leaving the individual citizen alone —without government help —is inconceivable. Yet this is a deep misunderstanding of the American people. America was founded by people trying to escape government regulation and government interference in their lives. We are a people hostile to committees and bureaus and bureaucrats.

The first thing a bunch of Democrats do is form a committee.

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