Making Everyone a Criminal

From Atlas Shrugged:

Dr. Ferris smiled. . . . . ."We've waited a long time to get something on you. You honest men are such a problem and such a headache. But we knew you'd slip sooner or later - and this is just what we wanted."

[Hank Reardon:]  "You seem to be pleased about it."

"Don't I have good reason to be?"

"But, after all, I did break one of your laws."

"Well, what do you think they're for?"

Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden's face, the look of a man hit by the first vision of that which he had sought to see. Dr. Ferris was past the stage of seeing; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap.

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

Here is the same thing, Obama Administration style

Major U.S. corporations have broadly supported President Barack Obama's healthcare reform despite concerns over several of its elements, largely because it included provisions encouraging the wellness programs.

The programs aim to control healthcare costs by reducing smoking, obesity, hypertension and other risk factors that can lead to expensive illnesses. A bipartisan provision in the 2010 healthcare reform law allows employers to reward workers who participate and penalize those who don't.

But recent lawsuits filed by the administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging the programs at Honeywell International and two smaller companies, have thrown the future of that part of Obamacare into doubt.

The lawsuits infuriated some large employers so much that they are considering aligning themselves with Obama's opponents, according to people familiar with the executives' thinking.

"The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members," said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of more than 200 large U.S. corporations. "They don't understand why a plan in compliance with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is the target of a lawsuit," she said. "This is a major issue to our members."

At the exact same moment, one branch of the Administration is encouraging an activity that another branch is working to criminalize.

  • Rob McMillin

    The real problem with Ayn Rand is that her characters are such caricatures. She wasn't wrong about their operation or motives (the villains especially), but her style is so clumsy and intentionally didactic it's hard not to recoil from them, even if you agree.

  • Mercury

    Jonathan Gruber, Ezekiel Emanuel and half of Obama's executive branch make Ayn Rand villans look like warm-hearted but tragically flawed human beings.

  • Jim Collins

    When you are a frog (corporations) giving a scorpion (Obama Administration) a ride, across the river, don't be surprised when you get stung.

  • morganovich

    for more on this, the supreme court just issued a
    horrendous ruling on the 4th amendment.

    the cop pulls him over from something that is not illegal, but this is OK from a probable cause standpoint because the cop did not know the law.

    keep in mind here that for citizens, ignorance of the law is most emphatically NOT a defense. yet for police, it seems it is.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the
    lone dissent, penned by, of all people, Sotomayor.

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/15/supreme-court-sides-with-police-in-4th-a

    I was horrified by her ascension
    to the bench as a hideously activist jurist with dogmatic social views, but
    here, I think she gets it exactly right.

    “One is left to wonder,” she wrote, “why an innocent citizen
    should be made to shoulder the burden of being seized whenever the law may be
    susceptible to an interpretative question.” In Sotomayor's view, “an officer’s
    mistake of law, no matter how reasonable, cannot support the individualized
    suspicion necessary to justify a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.”

    perhaps I have not given her her
    due.

    the huge disappointment has been Roberts. he seems to come down on
    the side of big government and authoritarian overreach again and again.

  • morganovich

    you left out alinsky. even rand would not write a character so blatantly disgusting. it would not be believable as fiction. i fear that is why it succeeds in reality.

  • MJ

    I have a hard time feeling bad for the corporations who were burned by this. When you lie down with dogs...

  • J_W_W

    I do often wonder on the fact that Republicans generally seem to want to run things "better" (in their terms) under what the constitution allows, but modern Democrats seemingly always idolize people that believe we need a revolution and totalitarian rule by one party. The two parties are not fighting the same battle.

  • marque2

    Wouldn't that be the wolf, and the Gingerbread man?

  • marque2

    Seems to me the Republicans want to run things just like the Democrats, only in third gear. We will fall off the cliff anyway, it will just take a bit longer.

  • Mike Powers

    um.

    It's important to read the articles before you comment on them.

    Because what was going on, here, was that the employer was ordering all the employees to take part in body-fat monitoring and other intrusive record-keeping schemes, and fining them if they didn't meet certain metrics, and refusing to provide insurance coverage to those who *didn't* sign up.

    It's not as though this was the EEOC suing companies that offered pedometers and discounted gym memberships.

  • DaveK

    The hidden problem (for the Democrats) with Obamacare is that it only helps a segment of the poor... below a certain income level and you get shoved onto Medicaid. The elites really don't care how Obamacare affects them, because it's only pocket change. Well, I guess the folks with pre-existing conditions get helped, but that's really a small demographic.

    As usual, the Dems came out with a program that sounded wonderful and sold it to the middle class. Unfortunately, the middle class is getting hosed by Obamacare. In the 2014 elections, mainstream voters began to realize the screwing they'd received. By 2016, unless Obamacare is history, it will only be the very rich and the mostly poor who will continue to support Democrat candidates who are still lauding the (un)Affordable Care Act.

  • me

    This - I cringe at the writing, while finding the content and direction spot on.