The world is rejoicing that the miners trapped for over a month in the bowels of a mountain in Chile are finally rescued. As the rescue was ongoing President Barack Obama said of the worried families, “the tears they shed after so much time apart expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy, but the joy of people everywhere.” Touching sentiments. These miners have to be joyful about one other thing: that they aren’t miners trapped in an American mine during Obama’s presidency. If they had been, they’d still be down there unable to wipe the tears from their loved one’s faces.
Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, famously set aside the bureaucracy of his country’s regulations and set to work rescuing these trapped men. He threw open his arms and accepted help from as many interested nations as possible allowing their experts and scientists to lend a helping hand. The Herculean task was accomplished and everyone came out alive.
But if we can use the British Petroleum disaster in Louisiana as any indication, if those Chilean miners had had the misfortune to have been in an American mine disaster, they’d still be down there wasting away as Obama twiddled his thumbs, quite unlike Chile’s president.
We have but to recall that Obama didn’t even address the BP disaster for days after the extent of it had become known. Heck he didn’t even bother contacting BP’s CEO Tony Howard for 53 days into the disaster. And all during the attempts to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf waters Obama and his administration spent more time pointing fingers, blaming people and corporations, and proposing hasty and unnecessary new regulations that merely advanced his previous energy policies than worrying about stopping the flow of oil. And even as he claimed he’d spare the efforts of no expert, as he claimed that only the best engineers and scientists would be there to help stop the oil spill, at the same time he refused to allow many foreign nations and companies to come to our aid.
But it isn’t just Obama at fault here. In fact, the worst government failures during the BP mess have been built into our system from top to bottom put there by power hungry government officials all across the country and at every level of government.
Sadly, we are now at a time when the grinding wheels of the all-powerful state are an impediment to everything we do. Can we stop the flow of oil into the Gulf? Not quickly, that’s for sure. Can we build a memorial at Ground Zero? Apparently not, even ten years after the fact regulations, lawsuits, and political firefights have prevented anything from being achieved on the site of the downing of the Twin Towers. Some of the most iconic paeans to capitalism ever built have not only been felled by an Islamic enemy but have been made distant memories by a recalcitrant government.
Like disasters in America, business projects molder under stacks of needless paperwork, money is wasted on hundreds of “environmental impact studies,” agencies stack up like wolves waiting for the sheep to be released as businesses worry over being devoured, and regulations that discourage progress are heaped upon every project. Red tape is thick enough to make anyone think thrice before wasting their time starting a new business or erecting a new building and our business community is sluggish and fearful of federal overreach.
There was a time when Americans could build an Empire State Building, or a Twin Towers, a Golden Gate Bridge or even a Hoover Dam and we could create these monumental projects sometimes in mere months. Now we can’t even get through the regulatory requirements in months much less build anything.
We have at last arrived at a time when the federal government is an impediment to the American way of life and if those miners were in an American mine, they’d have quickly found out that the government would not be there to help them to safety.