UNDER SIEGE IN AMERICA
By Attorney Jonathan Emord
Author of “The Rise of Tyranny”
August 23, 2010
As an attorney who represents businesses and interacts frequently with entrepreneurs, I hear repeatedly concerns that investigators for various federal and state agencies have become emboldened and are endeavoring to put them out of business. This widely expressed sentiment is not paranoia. It is a justified fear, and it is giving rise to a bunker mentality highly destructive to free enterprise. Many executives are holding onto their cash, hunkering down, and avoiding making moves to expand their businesses, hire more employees, or undertake new ventures because they greatly fear an unpredictable regulatory future—one where relationships with lenders and insurers are changing fundamentally and will keep changing in unforeseeable ways for years to come.
The greatest uncertainty they fear is the unleashed regulator, unleashed by the Obama Administration with instructions to seek and destroy. They believe the new army of regulators coming out of the Obama Administration regard industry as exploitative and evil. They are undoubtedly correct, at least to the extent that career civil servants who have harbored hatred for those they regulate but have been stopped from taking adverse action by political appointees of a conservative bend now have no such barriers in their way.
When law and law enforcement become unpredictable, entrepreneurs look for places to hide. Because they most often have assets not easily removed from a country, they usually try to stay off the radar screen, avoiding any move that will heighten their visibility by regulators. This is a characteristic of many third world countries, where regimes are unstable, where police can become armed bands of thugs, and where judicial decisions and local elections can be bought.
In the United States, we have enjoyed a very long period of stable governance. Transitions of power from one party to another have occurred without violent revolution. Police, while on occasion corrupt, are by and large law abiding. The military remains under civilian control. We, of course, had the great benefit of George Washington, who established limits to power through his words and deeds as President and Commander in Chief.