I remember a few years ago when the Tea Party movement came into being, seemingly out of nowhere. If you had to sum up what that group stood for in one word, the word would be “No.”

Members said no to bigger government, no to federal spending, and “no” to what they saw as a departure from the principles that founded this country.

Recently, we’ve seen Occupy Wall Street take the spotlight, and once again, the group’s ideals can be summed up using the same word. Though their methods are different, those protesters said a resounding “No” to unequal treatment, home foreclosures, student debt and what they saw as a departure from the principles that founded this country.

Noncompliance is a product of the modern age, and we’re starting to see it everywhere. I believe it’s the natural course of a maturing society. As the hand of government becomes more oppressive, it’s only a matter of time until the governed push back. This is true regardless of one’s political leanings.

In this issue, you’ll find a story about more and more service technicians becoming unwilling to do VGB work. This phenomenon intensified in the wake of this summer’s drain cover recall and subsequent redefinition of the word “unblockable.” While their reasons for refusing the work are varied, the techs’ feelings can, once again, be boiled down to that single word. 

The politics and bureaucracy of the CPSC — a governmental agency — have created a systematic problem across multiple industries, and that net has now ensnared service techs. The CPSC’s decisions have led to needless regulations, mistakes, recalls and ultimately a number of professionals who are saying, “No, we won’t participate.”

So how do we solve this problem? We listen, we argue, we discuss, and at the end of the day, we create a shared vision that encompasses all points of view in the wisest way possible. We stand together as an industry and fight bad decisions, such as the unblockable drain vote (see our story), and we applaud good ones, such as the compromises and teamwork that are going into the updates to California’s commercial code (see our story).

And maybe if our “No” is loud enough, we can create the changes needed to turn it into a “Yes.”