At a time of crisis in the Middle East, budget problems abounding in all levels of government, and medical insurance rates going up much faster than the stock market, many elected officials in the United States concern themselves with trying to dictate how citizens conduct their lives. By passing so-called “Nanny Laws” legislators are not only a wasting time, but also pose a threat to the freedom of all Americans.
The recent proposal of New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces is a mere tip of the iceberg for governmental interference in the way citizens live their lives.
The word “Nanny Law” from around here comes from efforts in the State legislature to regulate the treatment of baby sitters. This was done by mandating 10 minute breaks every two hours,charging minimum wages, making up a time card, and written records like a regular job when Mom and Dad left the kids at home to pursue other interests
Even though California’s SB 889 passed the Senate, it mercifully died in the Assembly leaving the work conditions of domestic help in the private sector where it belongs.
It is ironic that in a time of prison overcrowding, gang violence, and cities going bankrupt, that the question of “paper or plastic” takes up so much of our time. Unfortunately, this type of activity is not an isolated incident. Among the other ridiculous proposals taken up by the legislature in California over the years include:
SB221 prohibits the use of dogs to hunt bears or wildcats
AB2109 requires parents to obtain a waiver for unvaccinated children
SB48 Requires teaching Gay History
AB 1998 ban on single use bags in certain stores
SB1413 requiring free drinking water in school cafeteria’s
Why the reason for the literally hundreds of special interest bills introduced and often passed? Very simply, lobbyists representing virtually every sub group known to mankind have offices in Sacramento pushing their agendas to the legislature. As such there have actually been laws passed covering such issues as banning the sale of goose liver pate to molesting butterflies.
Ever since the colonial days prior to 1776, “sin taxes” have played an important role in American politics. Most notably a consumption tax has followed the sales of alcohol and tobacco. In theory, punishing individuals for imbibing in harmful substances has proven to be an excellent source of tax revenue.
Enforcement went over the deep end as with prohibition back in the 1920’s and tobacco laws today. The politically correct cause of Smoking ordinances have proven to be so restrictive that it is often illegal to smoke in one’s own apartment or within 3 feet of a public building. Since police lack a measuring tape and search warrants to pursue offenders, these laws have proven virtually impossible to enforce.
It is quite likely that even with the rising tobacco tax rates, it may sometime be against the law to smoke any form of tobacco in California. Of course the ramifications of such a “nanny law” could be serious because a large source of tax revenue would disappear. It would not surprise me if smoking tobacco is banned altogether. Were this to occur,it might give rise to “cigarette dealers” who would take care of tobacco junkies by selling them product on the black market. Oh, great, a new business opportunity for the mafia!
Ironically, were this the case, one would be busted for lighting up a Winston but it might be OK to smoke medical marijuana to ease the pain of figuring out government regulations!
Even though the Republican Party made a strong case in the last political campaign for limiting the role of government in people’s lives, the majority expressed their views and elected President Obama to a second term. If the campaign rhetoric and the Democratic administration’s past legislative record is any indication, we can look for the “Nanny State” to pass even more laws to protect us from ourselves.
On the local front, things appear to be getting worse. Already, there has been a cup cake sale ban in the Mount Diablo School District for several years. Apparently lawyers from the school district are concerned that they might be sued by a parent whose kid is intolerant to peanuts, is a diabetic, or has a sugar rush from the frosting.
The stupidity of bureaucrats gone wild continues in school cafeterias where federal nutritional guidelines have made (if it is possible) school lunches to be even more inedible. The good news is that recycling has been increased with all the discarded food being thrown out!
So we have to ask the question if we are better off with Nanny Laws protecting us? Will we live longer healthier lives consuming less than 16oz’s of soda pop drinks at a time? Is margarine really better for us than butter? If we opt not to have vaccinations will we die sooner than the rest of the population? Do kindergarten bake sales threaten our family’s security? Will the choice of ” paper or plastic” result in our children being threatened with the plague?
Such notions are almost too much to consider without receiving multiple prescriptions of tranquilizers to lessen my anxiety. Probably the best thing for me to do is create new Nanny Laws to take away attention from budget deficits, constructing the bullet train or reducing unfunded mandates for State worker’s pensions.
To achieve this objective I propose a ban on selling anything but “genuine Nagahide” to furniture stores instead of imitators. To further the cause, we might even be able to lure Sally Struthers out of retirement to do public service announcements imploring viewers to send donations to stop the extinction of the “Nagas”.
I would call this in to 9-1-1- as well but there are too many operators who have been laid off by previous budget cuts to respond.