100 Tales of Dangerous Government

Today begins a new blog series: Reprinting stories from the new, fifth edition of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s book, Shattered Dreams: One Hundred Stories of Government Abuse.

Visit the blog every weekday for more stories or, if you just can’t wait, purchase a print copy online for just $15 here, including postage and handling.

Because we want to get the important message of this book — that excessive regulation harms people and communities — to as many people as possible, we’ve also made available free PDF copies here. You can download the entire book, identical to the print edition, read it yourself, and share as many copies as you like with others. You can even post copies on your own blog or website if you like (just don’t change the PDF, please!)

Here’s more about the book:

“The fight for freedom begins at home. It’s good to know The National Center for Public Policy Research is standing guard.”
-Ted Nugent, from the Foreword

“The National Center for Public Policy Research is fighting for the freedom of all Americans. It is doing an excellent service in bringing these victims and their stories to light. Shattered Dreams is a must read for all patriots and policy makers who care deeply about America’s future and yearn to right her path.”
-Judge Andrew Napolitano, from the Introduction

Government Gone Wild!!!
100 Tales of Outrage to Make Your Blood Boil

As Ronald Reagan once said, the nine scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” And an important new book, just out from the National Center for Public Policy Research, shows how on the mark the Gipper was. SHATTERED DREAMS: ONE HUNDRED STORIES OF GOVERNMENT ABUSE gives a hundred reasons why government left unchecked can harm even innocent, law-abiding citizens.

With a foreword by Ted Nugent and an introduction by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, SHATTERED DREAMS serves a cautionary note against those who would expand government’s powers and increase its scope over our lives and livelihoods. A team of researchers and experts at the NCPPR provide a rap sheet of government’s regulatory missteps, from the merely comic (like the Minnesota girl harassed for running an unlicensed lemonade stand) to the truly horrific (children ripped from the loving arms of parents whose only crime was wanting a quality education for their kids).

SHATTERED DREAMS paints a picture of government at all levels that too often is arbitrary, irrational, petty, vindictive, capricious, shortsighted, avaricious, and nasty. And the book shows these government abuses taking a significant toll in human terms-not just incurring heavy costs, but often destroying lives, wrecking communities, and occasionally even imperiling national security. The NCPPR team provides example after blood-curdling example of government breaking the law it sets, terrorizing innocent, law-abiding citizens.

SHATTERED DREAMS offers short, easily accessible tales, written in a lively style that shines a spotlight on a host of corrupt and dangerous government practices, and a slew of preposterous, ineffective, and costly regulations.

Each entry is backed up with extensive research and source notes. The book breaks down into a wide variety of sections. One shows the folly of taking endangered species protection to extremes. Another provides a mind-numbing catalog of eminent domain abuses. Still others detail the assault on private property rights or on Americans’ abilities to engage in routine commercial activities.

Next time you hear someone in the news call for government “to act,” keep in mind that its actions often bring with them dire consequences for ordinary (and innocent) Americans. SHATTERED DREAMS shows just how dangerous government can be, even in a “free” society.

Quotes About the Fifth Edition of Shattered Dreams:

“Wherever unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats enforce an increasing number of unconstitutional rules and regulations, the human cost is high. Shattered Dreams should alarm every citizen about the real and potential abuse by their own government.”
-Reagan Administration Attorney General Edwin Meese, III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

“Most Americans are unaware of the massive attacks on our property rights and other personal liberties, and for a good reason; they are being confiscated bit by bit in a relatively unnoticeable way. The fifth edition of Shattered Dreams gives us case by case documentation of this unpleasant process.”
-Walter E. Williams
John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, George Mason University; Nationally syndicated columnist

“The National Center for Public Policy Research has performed a great service by cataloging the ways in which the growth of the regulatory state threatens our natural rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Anyone who wishes to understand how paternalistic government is crushing liberty needs to read this book!”
-Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

“It is inconceivable that the founders of our great republic would approve of modern government’s meddling into ordinary Americans’ daily lives. Shattered Dreams is a stunning, retail-level case study of the inequitable application of government power. Indeed, this book shows why far too many of today’s wrongful federal and state regulations not only undermine constitutionally protected liberties in an abstract sense but also ruin the lives of countless numbers of Americans.”
-Mark Levin, Nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and president of Landmark Legal Foundation

“Big government is wasteful, inefficient, sinister – and funny. Half of the tales of regulatory abuse in “Shattered Dreams” are hilariously absurd – like the little girl whose lemonade stand was deemed illegal and shut down because she had not applied for a $60 license. But funny or sinister -and other stories show regulatory abuse destroying lives and fortunes – this book reveals how Big Regulation increasingly throttles our freedom. Ignore it – and the laugh will be on you.”
-John O’Sullivan, Author and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

“This collection of sometimes-funny, often-shocking horror stories should leave readers with one clear lesson: When Big Government comes knocking, don’t be afraid. Be very afraid.”
-Deroy Murdock, Nationally-syndicated columnist and
Senior Fellow, Atlas Economic Research Foundation; Distinguished Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research

“Communities I represent in California, including Colton and Fontana, have been unable to move ahead with important development opportunities. Burdensome restrictions to protect an insect – the Delhi Sands Flower-Loving Fly – have prevented projects that could revitalize our cities, boost economic development and provide jobs for area residents.”
-Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA)


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The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.