Baby, it's Cold & Regulated Outside!
As John Stossel exposed not too long ago in a segment dedicated to regulation in America, it is becoming nearly impossible for us to make it through one day without breaking a law. Whether it’s a child’s unauthorized lemonade stand, a fisherman’s undocumented day’s catch, or a Good Samaritan cutting down Christmas trees for neighbors (yes, these are all against the law in many states)—it seems that government remains ever vigilant at snuffing out the next best thing and slapping a license requirement or regulation on it. Every party has its pooper, and the growth of bureaucracy means these populate rather frequently. ‘Tis the season for celebrating our greatest gifts in life, and for many families, the news of a pending birth is an especially joyous occasion. Thanks to innovative technologies, anxious parents can now detect pregnancies much earlier, prepare in advance for bringing home a son or daughter, and even see 3D images of their growing baby in the mother’s womb. Indeed, these sonograms have produced incredible pictures of children smiling and even yawning earlier during pregnancies and in ways that previous technologies could never capture. Understandably, these 3D sonograms are vastly popular. But hold your horses, say government officials, lest you get too attached before they become illegal. “A new warning for pregnant women,” begins the news report. “The FDA is strongly discouraging 3- and 4-D ultrasounds as a way to create keepsake images and photos.” Why? Because “there is nothing regulating how long the machine is used for or for how many sessions take place.” Translation: our government “elves” dispatched from the Left Pole haven’t gotten there to sanction, tax, or limit its use. After all, government knows best, right? What would the big-money licensing or permit industries do without protection from six-year old lemonade entrepreneurs, enterprising hair-braiders, shampooers, or history-loving tour guides? Probably provide more market-driven services, for one thing. Clearly, with 3- and 4-D ultrasounds, medical technologists have struck gold and government wants its cut. It is important to remember that these “warnings” are not to be taken for the altruistic public service announcements they may appear to be—at least without a critical examination of the issue. -Lindsay Boyd