In the news recently there was the incredible announcement that 2012 will see 40,000 new laws that have been enacted by the Federal Government and various state legislative bodies.  I am sure that some of these laws are worthwhile as I am equally sure that some of them are unnecessary but harmless and some may even do more harm than good.

I can now rest my case after I had accused local, state, and federal legislators of over legislating in order to justify their existence to their constituents in “A Law For All Reasons”.   Even though I have not read many of these new laws, I believe it is safe to say that I have been somewhat vindicated in my assessment that year after year more and more laws are being enacted and, eventually, every facet of our lives will be controlled by one law or another.   This is some proof that there is no such thing as overkill when our lawmakers start coming up with laws for all reasons.

In addition to being an intrusion into our daily lives, both the good and bad laws will require the resources of public and private entities to implement them, law enforcement to enforce them, courts and judges to interpret them, juries to decide if those accused of violating them are guilty, and, of course, there will be the inevitable process over time of repealing, revising, or expanding these laws.   These are some of the problems with enacting more and more laws every year.   Each new law is not the end of the problem being addressed, it is just the beginning of a time consuming and costly burden on society that may be justified if the law is worthwhile but is a complete waste of resources for those laws that are useless or harmful.

Unfortunately, not all problems with our society can be solved by simply passing more and more laws and, sometimes, they just become an expedient and illusionary resolution.   Of course, we need laws to put everyone on notice as to the basic rules deemed necessary to make our society function properly.   However, where I think we have gone wrong is that our legislators have come to believe that even if a small but vocal segment of their constituents feel that there is something wrong in our society they must pass a law not necessarily to solve the problem but to ensure their re-election by keeping their constituents happy.

Ultimately, our laws lose their credibility if they are passed in a transparent attempt to satisfy any and all reasons or, worse yet, for no reason.

On Monday, Joe reflects on the fact that we all become just a distant memory in “Just A Picture On The Mantel”.