Due to the brain-washing that goes along with politics, some people just have these blind spots when it comes to certain topics, driving them to mental paralysis when it comes to recognizing problems. For both Liberals AND Conservatives. the effect of government regulations on businesses is a sticky wicket. I can hear some of my Conservative friends friends heads exploding upon including them in this post!
“We’re for LESS regulations and SMALLER government” I can hear them screaming!!!!
We’ll get to that in a moment. But first, lets just focus on liberals… Because they are an easier target concerning this topic! (just kidding of course… or am I?). First, lets look at something very close to my heart….. Guitars! The recent raid by the Feds on Gibson Guitars is kind of mind boggling! It’s not due to smuggling cocaine in guitar bodies or anything like that… It’s about WOOD!!!!
Gibson Guitar Corp., a big user of ebony and other scarce woods, for years has allied itself with Greenpeace and other environmental groups to show it was serious about preserving forests.
That didn’t stop the Nashville-based company, whose guitars are used by such musicians as B.B. King and Angus Young of AC/DC, from running afoul of U.S. authorities over allegedly illegal imports of wood. Though no charges have been filed, Gibson factories have been raided twice, most recently last week, by federal agents who say ebony exported from India to Gibson was “fraudulently” labeled to conceal a contravention of Indian export law.
Henry Juszkiewicz, chief executive officer of the closely held company, said in an interview that a broker probably made a mistake in labeling the goods but that the sale was legal and approved by Indian authorities.
Gibson’s predicament, which raises concerns for musical instrument makers and other importers of wood, illustrates the pitfalls of complying with U.S. law while dealing with middlemen in faraway countries whose legal systems can be murky.
The law ensnaring Gibson is the Lacey Act of 1900, originally passed to regulate trade in bird feathers used for hats and amended in 2008 to cover wood and other plant products. It requires companies to make detailed disclosures about wood imports and bars the purchase of goods exported in violation of a foreign country’s laws.
Leonard Krause, a consultant in Eugene, Ore., who advises companies on complying with the Lacey Act, is telling clients they should hire lawyers in countries where they obtain products. “How many people know the statutes in India?” Mr. Krause said. “The net effect is that it raises everybody’s cost of doing business.”….
Federal agents first raided Gibson factories in November 2009 and were back again Aug. 24, seizing guitars, wood and electronic records. Gene Nix, a wood product engineer at Gibson, was questioned by agents after the first raid and told he could face five years in jail.
“Can you imagine a federal agent saying, ‘You’re going to jail for five years’ and what you do is sort wood in the factory?” said Mr. Juszkiewicz, recounting the incident. “I think that’s way over the top.” Gibson employees, he said, are being “treated like drug criminals.”
Really?… REALLY????? And here is a fun bit…..
The federal government seized wood, guitars and electronic records from Gibson’s Nashville warehouses in 2009 and again last week. According to Juszkiewicz, that’s when the Feds made an unusual request from the American manufacturer.
On KMJ airwaves, Juszkiewicz revealed that representatives of the US government told Gibson that their legal issues would “disappear” if they used Madagascar labor instead of American labor.
Here is the link. Listen to the CEO interview. This is bizarre!!!! God… I hope they have records of this!!!! If Gibson was a smaller company, due to the losses of material confiscated by the Feds (stuff they bought and can’t sell) and costs of hiring attorneys to deal with this, they would have been driven out of business after the first raids!
Gibson has filed…… 80,000 legal documents in this case…
Yes, you read that right! 80,000 documents… Over WOOD!!!!!!
This is just stupid!!!!! I love Chris Daniel’s reaction to this. Here is the official statement from Gibson Corp.
Bringing things to a local level, Twist, a tavern here in the Fresno / Clovis area is closing it’s doors… Not because business is horrible – it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible – but because it got too expensive and convoluted to deal with the regulatory hoops they had to deal with to stay in business. Here is how one of the co-owners describes the convoluted process of trying to run the business:
“Our original business plan was to have a restaurant and late-night lounge with dancing,” said Costa, but from day one “we were forced to close at midnight.”
After battling with the city and winning their request to stay open until 2 a.m., Costa says the next hurdle came when they sought permission to include dancing at their establishment.
Considering Mayor Ashley Swearengin not that long ago heralded the prospect of “letting people dance” at local night spots, Costa couldn’t understand why they had to struggle to garner city approval for a dance permit, “We had to tell our customers they can’t dance, so they were leaving,” Costa noted.
Twist was finally granted a dance permit in 2010 with a sunset clause, which means the permit would expire this year.
Costa says he and the other owners went before the City Planning Commission and won their request for a full Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to include dancing, but there were even more issues like their ABC liquor license.
“One of the conditions of our ABC license is we were not allowed to sell more alcohol than food, ” says Costa.
Considering the makeup of their establishment as a late night eatery and night club, Costa says they were consistently in violation of the license because of that one provision because “we were successful in the alcohol department, you know, we’d sell 60% alcohol and 40% food.”
He says they have been battling with Fresno Police to have the provision removed, but have been unable to reach a compromise.
Instead, Costa says they were only met with more roadblocks so they decided to close up shop under increasing attorney’s fees, and a still struggling economy.
Now, this is where I address Conservative contributions to overzealous regs… The police in this town are VERY Conservative (I know the police chief and have worked on his pool and spa). These alcohol rules are supported by Conservatives. All of this is due to the blind over-reaction the “Tough On Crime” mentality brings out the worst in all politicians! And Conservatives have NO PROBLEM over-regulating if it serves their political desires:
On Friday evening, Virginia’s Department of Health issued a strict new set of rules for abortion clinics—and women’s health advocates fear that facilities that can’t comply could be shuttered.
The regulations require Virginia’s 22 clinics to meet strict new physical standards; pre-op rooms, for example, must measure at least 80 square feet, and operating rooms must measure 250 square feet. Hallways must be at least five feet wide. The requirements are based on the state’s 2010 guidelines for new outpatient surgical facilities.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told Mother Jones on Monday that the new rules may actually be the most strict regulations in the United States. “It would be challenging for the majority of our facilities to continue offering first-trimester care,” Keene said. “These are designed to really cease first-trimester abortion services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The president of Washington, D.C.’s Planned Parenthood chapter has already told the Washington Post that she doesn’t believe that a clinic in Falls Church, Virginia, will be able to meet all of those requirements. Keene said that many other clinics in the state won’t be able to meet them, either—which she thinks is exactly the reason the Department of Health wrote them that way. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is an attack on Roe,” said Keene. “You can ban abortion by making it inaccessible.”
As is demonstrated in the Gibson case, Liberals do this same type of thing when it comes to environmental issues. You may not agree with the pro-choice philosophy, and that is not the point here. When you factor in the resistance to end subsidies for Conservative favored industries, and support of laws like this, there is no denying that Conservatives play the Big Government game just as readily as Liberals do!
PS. Gibson makes Fine Guitars!!!!!!!
1 Comment to “Plenty Of Big Government To Go Around!”
GayPatriot » Are liberals clueless about regulations’ cost of compliance? — September 1, 2011 @ 8:12 pm