Friday, August 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Are our laws truly effective?

By
From page A9 | January 05, 2014 |

With the new year comes the annual flurry of new laws.

For 2014, California has somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 laws taking effect. Sadly, most laws that are released unto the population are done with little fanfare. Most of us will only discover these laws when we see a line item on a purchase receipt detailing a new fee or charge, or an unwelcome citation from a state agency.

If a new law is so awesomely beneficial to our community, shouldn’t the proponents and enforcers proactively communicate it to all stakeholders (i.e. citizens)? One assumes that lawmakers are not hoping that people violate all these new laws; thus laws should be easily understandable and accessible by the average citizen.

When passing a new law, at a minimum, it should cover three major points:

  • The problem it is meant to solve or alleviate.
  • What you, the citizen, will be required to do.
  • What the consequences are for not complying with the law.

Ideally, these three points should take up no more than one page, instead of reams of paper.

I would request a fourth aspect of law generation: metrics that measure the effectiveness of the law.

Laws are programs that are implemented to achieve goals for our society (safety, environmental, health, etc). A project manager in the private sector would have metrics and milestones to benchmark against when determining the progress and success of a program. Unfortunately for our wallets, the only metric commonly used to measure the success of a law is the amount of revenue generated.

When these laws are passed, they are done with lofty goals and guarantees. Things will be safer, better or easier when a certain law is passed. Are these claims ever verified? If someone sold you a system that was guaranteed to improve the energy efficiency of your house, yet you never saw a penny of savings, you inevitably would want to back out of that system; the scant return was not worth the investment.

For instance, 2014 brought about a handful of new laws pertaining to firearms. The usual philosophy – “These laws will make it harder for bad guys to get their hands on weapons” – is repeated as justification for these laws. If so, let us review crime statistics a year down the road to verify that the number of “bad guys doing bad things with firearms” has dropped. If not, then it may be time to reconsider these laws.

Some would point out that we cannot directly correlate the rise or fall of crime to one specific law. Yet, when laws are passed, the supporting rhetoric darn near guarantees the success of the law. One will never hear a politician try to sell the electorate on a law with a sheepish, “We want to restrict your right to (fill in the blank) because it might possibly have the potential to maybe make things slightly better,” speech. Thus, if lawmakers promise (and takes credit for) potential benefits a new law will provide, then they need to accept accountability when the law fails to meet those promises.

If a law is passed with stated goals, and those goals are not met, then it is time to consider repealing said law. To not demand accountability reviews of our laws (and lawmakers) only fuels the belief of some: “If a policy fails, it is because there aren’t enough policies.” These believers then pass more resource-gobbling restrictions.

If we are being asked (correction, “told” … few people ever “ask”) to give up liberty or property for the sake of improving the common good, then we the people should demand progress checks on the effectiveness of those sacrifices.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 19 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Don't Return Incumbent PoliticiansJanuary 05, 2014 - 6:59 am

    Well thought out and presented. But the merry band of thieves in Sacramento and Washington can't be bothered with the reality Mr. Thiemer proposes. Gun control is a prime example of the folly lawmakers engage in. There are more than 10,000 (that's ten thousand) laws pertaining to gun control on the books throughout the country right now but are they being enforced? Very loosely, if at all. But the lawmakers' way of solving the problem is to strut before the public, puff out their chests, and pass a few thousand more laws. We are in a nation being run by morons.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Brian Thiemer for office!! any office!!! He's got the right understanding of the roll of the people and the proper roll of the government.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LinLooJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    @The Mister: ROLE --- ROLE! EGADS learn how to spell or proofread, people!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • If only that were really possible...January 05, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    To Proofread People

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Matt DeMartileJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    @linloo...How dus is feal too nitpik sum won 4 incurect speling, onlee two bee corectd yurself?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Matt DeMartileJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Uups, it wus incurekt punk uashion. Knot speleeng. Come with something other than "you spelled that wrong."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 9:17 pm

    Matt, I don't know where my mind was... probably over at Jelly Donut!! (There are some other words that I'm pretty sure on the spelling, but they don't seem to post here!)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Matt DeMartileJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:55 pm

    Glad to know they have jelly donuts in your neck of the woods Mister..you are surely missed around these parts.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:39 am

    Mr. Thiemer, we disagree on DUI and efforts to reduce the numbers associated with that crime. You cannot successfully create ANY law when you choose for whatever reason not to enforce them. That is what municipalities are up against and financial problems drive that premise. The amount of revenue generated would be a more accurate barometer, but you cannot realistically measure crime reports when so few are made. The bottom line is finding the funds to provide proper enforcement.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 10:30 am

    CD, you are suggesting that we finance and staff a police force capable of enforcing the millions of laws that are on the books against all of the (non-politically connected) citizens? Yes, that's a good way to run a society.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 10:46 am

    This Mister, I am saying that if we enforce the laws we have a better society.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:32 am

    ... if we enforce ALL the laws we'll have a better society. Perhaps if we start from the elites and work down from there. But that's not the way it works... stick it to the poor and ignorant to fill up all those private prisons for cheap prison labor. When we see Eric Holder doing a stretch behind bars, then we can start talking about a better society.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:32 am

    ... if we enforce ALL the laws we'll have a better society. Perhaps if we start from the elites and work down from there. But that's not the way it works... stick it to the poor and ign0rant to fill up all those private prisons for cheap prison labor. When we see Eric Holder doing a stretch behind bars, then we can start talking about a better society.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    C'mon The Mister, you're being ridiculous. Your ongoing diatribe has zero to do with real everyday life here in America. Holder has nothing to do with this discussion. And besides, he's done nothing that would require him going to jail. Your scandals and agitprop (I stole that from FDC) nonsense notwithstanding.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:47 am

    CD- the "if we only had more money" line has been used as an excuse for failed initiatives for decades. When laws are marketed and passed, no mention of "this law will only be effective if we get $x to enforce it." .. instead, most laws are passed based on the name and 'good intentions'. If the people fall into the 'we just need more resources' line, we are letting our public servants off the hook for delivering promises in an efficient manner.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    Mr. Thiemer, you drive around here? Do you understand that our law enforcement has been let "off the hook" for years? And oh yeah, they aint deliverin!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerJanuary 05, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    CD- is that a result of the people not contributing enough to the 'effort', or a result of our public servants not effectively managing the resources we already provide to them?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    Mr. Thiemer, it is human nature to abuse certain situations when presented in our favor. Ignoring them gives that behavior relevance and it goes downhill from there. I don't know how PD manages their resources because the Chief keeps telling us they have none. But I do know what they're NOT doing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Matt DeMartileJanuary 05, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    I would imagine that Eric Holder knew a great deal about op 'fast and furious' and chose to let it play out. Once he was questioned, that human nature part of him took over and he lied about his involvement. To the late Brian Terry's family, I'm quite certain Mr. Holder isn't high on their praise list.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Salsa star Domingo Quinones headlines Festival de la Isla

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Green Valley water users appeal court ruling

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

Chapkis Dance brings award-winning moves to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DA’s departure delays 2012 murder trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1

Ducks on the pond, sturgeon in the water

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Jazz invasion Aug. 30 at performing arts center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

How I spent my summer vacation

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Internet cafe measure goes before state Senate

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Housing specialist to speak before Senior Rountable

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Brown approves “dining with dogs” law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
 
Small fire takes place at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

Fairfield police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Cops greet students at school where plot thwarted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

San Francisco to tally bird-into-window death toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
GPS devices find huge water loss in western US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California plans aid to immigrant minors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
American Ebola doc: ‘I am thrilled to be alive’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

No bail for woman in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Indonesian court rejects election loser’s appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria opposition: Deadly chemical attack forgotten

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Turkey’s Davutoglu named new premier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Thai army ruler named prime minister

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Get it straight in Ferguson

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Young men helped me, and I thank them

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My whole house shakes when my new neighbors drop their barbells

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 22-28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
The voice-overs can’t save ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: A sweet Moretz rescues ‘If I Stay’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

‘Doctor Who’ returns with a new season on BBC America

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Julianne Hough dances back to ‘Dancing’ as judge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Jon Hamm hopes Ferguson will come out stronger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fade to black: Leonard Maltin ending movie guides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Raiders’ Woodson returning to Lambeau, faces Pack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Local boxers make weight and are ready to fight

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Serena Williams to face Townsend in Open 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Loose sod at new Levi’s Stadium removed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Phelps back in international comp, advances in 100

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tigers’ Price throws 1-hitter, loses to Rays 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ryu sets course record at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in 2 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Big 2015 Chevy Tahoe remains a rare breed of SUV

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
US housing recovery appears to be back on track

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

S&P 500 closes at a record; Hewlett-Packard gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mary Louise Loveall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9