The Enabling Effect of Government Agencies on…New Hampshire Fisherman

Gone fishinSenator Kelly Ayotte was on WGIR with Jack Heath the other morning (per-recorded interview if I’m not mistaken) to talk about the effects of a recent decision affecting the local Fishing industry. She is trying to overcome the arbitrary observations of a local regional board, that have resulted in a decision with the force of law, that now prohibits these small businesses from fishing Cod beyond newly established limits which the Fisherman find absurd. The effect can and will likely have a crippling effect on New Hampshire Fisherman, their livelihood, and their families.

This is a prime example of how bureaucratic power expands as a result of enabling legislation and then acts based on the interests of those who populate such organs, directed by like-minded special interests, to the detriment of everyone else.

Environmentalists funded by rich liberals hound boards and agencies to act with the power of legislators and judges to affect behavior, and they are more than happy to do so, being (typically) from the same stock themselves.  In this instance it appears that the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC)  –not beholden to any voter or taxpayer, is providing cover for the Northeast Regional Office of the NOAA, who is enforcing regulatory mandates passed down from the NOAA in Washington, which is overseen by the Department of Commerce, which is supposed to be under the oversight of the Executive Branch of the US government, but we know that just aint so.

Even if it were, no one in this food chain is accountable to anyone until you get to the biggest fish of all,  the president of the United States, who has made it clear that, even if an issue manages to drag him out of constant campaign mode, while he doesn’t know anything about “it” himself, that his TelePrompTer is telling him to say (Furrow brow) that it is important, and he’ll have someone else look into it, whatever that “it” is that is interrupting his eight-year long taxpayer-funded stint as the vacationer-in-chief and sometimes front-man and official hand-shaker for the United States Federal Government.

So no help from anyone above the bureaucrat pay-grade; whatever created them has left the building.  And that’s the heart of the problem.  Enabling legislation by its very nature adds a layer or layers of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who wield significant fiscal and policing power that can be almost impossible to defend against.  Even the well-connected or federally elected find it hard to interfere with the flow of power that travels through these spiraling mazes of pencil-pushers if they happen to feel inclined to intervene at all.

Quite often the official will simply throw up their hands and say they tried but to no avail, as it becomes clear that no one can penetrate the bureaucracy.

The irony is that not intending such an outcome is hardly relevant to the reality that once enabling legislation is put in motion to create unelected boards and layers of oversight, it is almost impossible to stop. The only sure-fire cure is prevention. That was the crux of our opposition to SB11.  It had nothing to do with the intent to allow for a perceived need in Exeter and Stratham and everything to do with how it went about providing for it. It enables an environment where the weeds of bureaucracy can spread until they strangle rights and freedoms.

Prevention was advised, and prevention was ignored. The House passed it with flying colors, having been duly deceived into ignoring the risk to all of us for the supposed benefit of a very few.

But prevention can be a hard sell. Prevention often requires the appearance of inaction, and legislators have been lead to believe that they were elected to do things when in fact–particularly at this stage in the evolution of representative Republican government–the thing they are meant to do is to represent their constituents as either a brake or a reverse-pump. A Brake to prevent the state from doing more harm by growing any larger than it already has at their expense, and a reverse-pump to suck as much of the money (and power) the state has taken away from the people, out of government, and siphon it back into the hands of citizens and small business owners where it not just belongs but will do exponentially more necessary good.

No bureaucracy ever seeks to do either and more often than not looks always to expand its size, scope, and influence.

New Hampshire’s Fisherman are victims of just such a scheme, held at the mercy of a pyramid of bureaucrats at the far-away top of which sits a trained dog whose leash is held in the hand of a fool. And the fool can’t be bothered because his donors are not fisherman but the environmentalists with the deep pockets and well paid lobbyists with whom a handful of New Hampshire family business owners will never be able to compete. Environmentalists who oppose fishing, petitioned for the mandate, and essentially bought the decision which now plagues these small business owners.

There is nothing representative about that, but then that is what enabling legislation inevitably does. Not overnight, but in due course.

The Fisherman, who rely on the sea for their livelihood from generation to generation, and have a vested interest in thriving healthy stocks, say the basis for the new mandate is flawed. The Bureaucrats just exist, apparently to do the bidding of special interests and to justify their own expanding budgets which are their very existence, an existence which was enumerated in the Declaration of Independence as an injury and usurpation upon the people…

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

No one who is serious about the idea of ‘small government’ would or should enable the growth of bureaucratic barnacles on the dinghy of state. And yet here we are, with a crippled cruise ship, encrusted with the things, taking on water and listing toward the rocky shore. And with nothing but 50 life-boats to save us, some of those already taking on water themselves, where do we turn when those entrusted with each of those craft simply engage in more of the same?

Steve is a New Hampshire resident, blogger, and activist. A member of the 603 Alliance, NHCMP, NHRVC, LFGC, and the host of GrokTALK! Please Note: My opinions are my own and not those of my Family, employers, politicians, campaigns, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok