August 16, 2022

Turns Out the Elites Like the Administrative State Better than Democracy

The “administrative state, ” of course , is anything but democratic; it is autocratic to the primary.

If there is a mantra amongst progressive American political and media elites, it would be “ our democracy, ” generally preceded by what they think to be a threat from the Right.

For example , progressives deemed the particular recent reversal of  Roe   “ a threat to our democracy” because it removed laws controlling abortion from Supreme Court jurisdiction and returned the matter to democratically elected legislatures.

It would seem sporadic to invoke the democratic electoral process to deal with a contentious issue like abortion, but progressives are nothing otherwise inconsistent. But even in difficult logic on political problems,   progressives at least try to stick to the  language   of democracy, and especially the language of “ our   democracy. ”

However , occasionally progressive elites demonstrate their contempt meant for democracy because they realize that the particular democratic process  is not going to have the desired progressive results because voters and their representatives do not want to knowingly harm themselves.

Recently, the  New York Instances , in a progressive instant of truth,   reacted   to the US  Supreme Court’s decision in  West Virginia v. EPA , in which  the court dominated that because carbon dioxide is not among the pollutants regulated with the 1990 Clean Air Act Changes, the Environmental Protection Agency could not enforce CO 2   emissions guidelines for electric power plants.

In its 6– 3 ruling, the SCOTUS pointed out that Congress was free to pass legislation to regulate co2 dioxide  but that the EPA was not free to simply  include it to its list of regulated power plant exhausts on its own. In other words, the high court declared that democratically chosen members of the US  House and Senate are liberated to write (and pass) any kind of anti– climate change legislation they choose. This is what the particular ancients once called democracy.

Not surprisingly, the  NYT   proceeded to go ballistic, and in so carrying out exposed the progressive mentality, with its affinity for principle by “ experts. ” Declared the newspaper’s editorial board:

Thursday’s ruling also has outcomes far  beyond environmental regulation . It poises the ability of federal organizations to issue rules associated with any kind, including the regulations that will ensure the safety of food, medicines and other consumer products, that protect employees from injuries and that avoid financial panics.

The ruling do no such thing. Rather, the court said that government regulatory agencies are not free to create and enforce guidelines outside of their statutory power. The EPA had just declared itself the official strength plant CO 2   emissions regulator  under the Obama administration despite the fact that Democrats had a supermajority in the US  Senate and a huge majority in the House and theoretically might have passed a law providing new regulatory powers to the EPA. That Congress failed to do so is instructive.

In other words, this was a good extralegal power grab  yet one approved by elites since, well, elites know more compared to everyone else. The  NYT   editorial ongoing:

In 1984, an earlier generation associated with conservative Supreme Court justices formalized a  doctrine of deference   to the judgment of regulating agencies, modestly concluding that judges were neither professionals nor elected officials, and therefore ought to leave such choices in other hands. In Thursday’s decision, the court asserted that the policy of deference applies only to supposedly insignificant regulations. When it comes to “ major questions ” of regulatory policy, the court said, it would not hesitate to second-guess regulators— and to strike rules it decided did not have a apparent congressional warrant.

The decision amounts to a caution shot across the bow  of the administrative state . The court’s current traditional majority, engaged in a counterrevolution against the norms of United states society, is seeking to stop the efforts of government regulators to protect the public’s health and safety. The court already invoked a similar logic throughout the Covid pandemic to hit down  workplace Covid testing requirements   and a  federal government moratorium on evictions . And by refraining from defining a threshold for exactly what constitutes a “ major query, ” the court is usually leaving a sword hanging over every new principle. (emphasis mine)

The “ administrative state, ” of course , is certainly anything but democratic; it is autocratic to the core. For all of the professed love for democracy, progressives have long demanded rule by experts, or at least rule by “ experts” that meet  progressive acceptance. As  I mentioned last year , when  actual   researchers studied the effects of so-called acidity rain and concluded that it was not causing lake plus river acidification, progressives in the media, as well as EPA managers, immediately tried to destroy the particular careers of scientists screwing up to echo the celebration line. Not surprisingly, one of the loudest antiscience voices in the acid solution rain affair was the  New York Times .

Furthermore, for the “ experts know best” rhetoric in the  NYT   content, there is no proof that the administrative state governs as successfully as democracy, which elites pretend to love. The “ experts” at the Federal Hold believed they could substitute trillions of printed dollars with regard to actual production of goods with no creating monetary chaos. In western forests, the “ experts” at the US  Forest Service have had  fire suppression policies   in place for more than the usual century, and the result continues to be that  what were once  mere forest fires are becoming destructive conflagrations that burn off so hot that they usually destroy the scorched soil’s ability to generate postfire growth.

The ” experts” at the Centers designed for Disease Control and Prevention  imposed policies   that precipitated massive job losses, caused  needless premature death from illnesses other than covid-19, and still failed to promote adequate information about the virus and its origins. Education “ experts” have created one educational crisis after another, and so on. Rule by experts— the administrative state— has caused destruction whenever it really is invoked, yet the editors in the “ newspaper of record” have failed to notice.

Instead, they proclaim eternal fealty to what only can be called a unsuccessful experiment in governance, in addition it is antidemocratic. Yet, the  NYT   editors cannot keep from declaring loyalty to both kinds of governance, even when they contradict one another:

Congress has decided, with good reason, that regulatory firms staffed by experts are the most effective available mechanism for a consultant democracy to make decisions within areas of technical complexity. The E. P. A. could be the entity that Congress relies upon to figure out how thoroughly clean the air should be, and how to get there. Asserting that it lacks the strength to perform its basic duties is simply sabotage.

There is much in order to dissect in those phrases, but suffice it to express that to assume that EPA decision makers have the type of knowledge and expertise intended in that editorial is to foolishly demonstrate faith in something that inevitably fails. Far from being near-omniscient sages of technology, the bureaucrats making life-altering decisions at the EPA are usually people who bear no expenses if they impose unnecessary problems on  the lives of ordinary people  but who seem to also find that the more draconian their edicts, the greater the  praise from environmental curiosity groups and, of course , the  New York Times .

Exactly what possibly could go wrong?


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