Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Nation's HOA

On Monday, addressing an agriculturally-oriented audience, President Trump pointed out an interesting statistic in regard to "regulations" as far as his administration is concerned.

The president had stated after inauguration that he had directed his Cabinet that for every new regulation they proposed to implement, two existing regulations would have to be stricken from the books.  His point was twofold; first, that excessive Federal regulation was stifling business from growing and adding jobs, and second, that those regulations had the effect of law, and laws were more properly created by Congress, not the Administration.

Naturally, his Cabinet officials took him quite seriously.  As conservatives, they were not exactly regulatory types to begin with, so the "new regulation" side of the equation was going to be pretty low.  But they really took seriously the "cutting regulations" side.  As of yesterday, President Trump announced to the assembled masses, his administration had removed twenty-two regulations for every one added.

Those assembled masses applauded vigorously, of course; nothing ticks off a farmer more than big government coming in and telling him what water he can or cannot use, or that he's better off with potato bugs than those awful chemicals.  They know a swamp from "wetlands."  It is a simple matter of outside interference in one's own property management.  Humans don't like that.

But some humans, of course (we call them "the left"), just love to tell people how to run their lives and, while regulations and laws are certainly necessary for a free society to operate smoothly and respectfully, there is a point at which it creeps over from necessary regulation to nanny-state overbearing bullying.  Hint: the Obamas were the latter.

There is a pretty good analogy for why those farmers were all thrilled to hear the anti-regulation message from our president.

Many of us live in communities and developments which were established with a homeowners' association, or HOA.  The purpose of an HoA, in its finest and most altruistic model, is simply to maintain the property in a manner that is comfortable and attractive to the homeowners.  There are covenants that you sign up to when you buy in to the community.

Unfortunately, however, HOAs have to be administered, and that means that the homeowners end up voting for fellow residents to run it as HOA officers.  Now, you and I probably would never consider running for such a thing; life is too short to want to be an HOA board member.  But ah, some people do, and somehow they are never the ones who want the HOA to be a quiet, unintrusive management group.

Nope, HOAs are full of Nancy Pelosi.

See the connection?  People detest an over-regulatory Federal government for the same reason we are all fearful of homeowners' associations, namely because they end up led by nanny-state types who want to run your life for you.  Decent, laissez-faire types never seem to run for HOA positions because they have better things to do.

Farmers don't have HOAs, of course; but they do have the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to serve in their stead.  And worse, leaders of those agencies are not really elected, but appointed by the president who wins a national election.  That means that those snowflaky Californians and big city types in New York and Chicago have as much input into decisions that affect farmers as the farmers themselves.

It's kind of like my HOA having its officers elected by members of an HOA in Idaho, Missouri and Colorado, if you get my drift.

Now, I belong to an HOA here in our community, a large one in the coastal Carolinas.  I have to admit, they have a fair number of regulations, given that it is a very large development, but all the dealings I have had with them regarding our house have been very fair and I'd vote for the same people who run it if they ran again.  That is certainly not the case with some prior HOAs in previous residences, but I think of myself as lucky -- this time.

It's just that I found myself applauding with the farmers, as they cheered on the president as he described his administration stripping regulations like a grass-roots HOA reform movement that somehow gets a majority on the board.

Twenty-two regulations removed for every one added?  I can only ask, "What took so long."

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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