Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
For The Moment
Finally, California’s Legislature is on break…
Legislature has taken its summer break, and we are all safe,
for the moment.
They can’t hurt us when they are in their
this moment unique is that this is the first time far as many
I can remember that the Legislature actually
took a summer break. In previous years, the Legislature couldn’t
pass the budget on time, and so hung around Sacramento all summer
long, literally thinking up new mischief. This year we spent
$9 billion more on bigger government, and then got out of town.
said — I have passed through the looking glass.
I hit on a revelation this week. In Sacramento, criminals aren’t
punished, citizens are.
Let me explain.
two types of transactions in which we all engage: voluntary
Voluntary transactions, like business
deals (contracts), marriage, and associations (like church, social
groups and the like), are the ones most of us like, because we
won’t engage in a voluntary transaction unless we think
it is good for us. Involuntary transactions can be broadly described
as crimes and accidents. We don’t like these because we
would rather not be involved. We are usually forced to deal with
them because of the bad behavior, either intentional or negligent,
of someone else.
exists to resolve the problems posed by involuntary transactions—to punish criminals or require compensation
for accidents. That is government’s essential function.
A government that values liberty seeks to maximize voluntary
transactions, and minimize involuntary transactions.
with that is if that is all we politicians did, most of us
nothing to do. We wouldn’t get invited
to the best parties. Nobody would laugh at our bad jokes, or
pretend like they actually like us. So to salve our egos, most
politicians try to intrude on liberty. They turn voluntary transactions
into involuntary ones, and then ignore involuntary transactions.
They won’t put criminals in jail, and they look for ways
to turn everyday voluntary transactions into crimes.
Join a club
whose rules they don’t like, and they will
fine you. Run a business and make a mistake, and they are likely
to look for a way to throw you in jail. Raise your children according
to a strong set of values and you are an evil and hateful person.
Own a gun to protect yourself from bad people and you are likely
to be branded a potential violent felon. Enjoy the fruits of
your labor by owning land or saving money, and they will think
of ways to take your land (or keep you from using it) or your
money away from you. Own a business, and they will punish you
mercilessly. But be a criminal, and they will seek to understand
you and rehabilitate you.
I think it
has to do with the maintenance of power. Business owners, like
people, don’t want to have to deal with
government, so they will ignore politicians until those politicians
force themselves on the business owner. Then the business owner
will pay the politicians money to make them go away. Regulate
a business—get a contribution. Stop a crime, nobody cares.
I admit I
get it. We punish the productive, and seek to understand the
destructive. My colleagues are constantly
trying to figure out how to harass you with laws, taxes and regulations,
and how to let criminals off. The only time you are safe from
this inverted world is when we have to go home and explain to
you the mental illness that drives us to these bizarre behaviors.
are safe for now. But session starts again in August. You can
for the moment, but nobody will be safe when we
come back. CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.