Friday, May 02, 2008

Busybody Local Governments

It is a busy Friday and I will have very little time to post today. So I'm going to use this short bit of time to say that I'm sick to death of politicians at all levels of government, using their lofty status as overlords to try and bludgeon the rest of us into a position of obedience.

Just a few months ago, there was a resolution (thankfully failed) that would have made it illegal for restaurants in Mississippi to serve food to fat people. Would it be good for fat people to stop eating? I suppose it might help in some cases, but what bureaucratic machine would ever have the ability to police every eating establishment in the state to make certain that only skinnies were snacking? How would a restaurant owner know whether a person was obese from overeating or because of some other medical condition? Would the state have to begin issuing restaurant acceptability cards for potential fast-food patrons?

Here in Oscoda County, the District Health Department has brought forth the recommendation (currently being considered by the County Commissioners) to outlaw all smoking in public areas including bars and restaurants. I'm not a smoker but I might have to take up the habit. If I go to a bar to watch a game I'm going to do it with the full knowledge that second hand smoke will be billowing in the air. I don't need bureaucrats protecting me from my own personal decision of watching hockey on the big screen.

What is prompting this this rant is a short article on M-live where I read that the Chelsea City Council is considering a ban on plastic grocery bags within the city.

"As gas prices edge toward $4 a gallon and our nation is seeking ways to increase our energy independence, this is an opportunity for Chelsea to add a small step in the process." - Chelsea Council Member Frank Hammer in a new report to the City Council.
Would there be an upside to using fewer bags? Absolutely, there would be less waste of plastic. Would there be less waste overall? Hmmm. What will the city council do with all the extra paper waste that will be created if plastic is eliminated? Will they instead mandate the usage of cloth bags for our own good?

The reason that stores began moving from paper to plastic a few years ago was because of cost. It was simply cheaper to use plastic so most stores changed over. Now, it seems, select bureaucrats don't like the changes the stores have made. Their solution? Get involved in the managing of retail grocery businesses.

As is always the case, busybody bureaucrats will never find enough back scratchers to take care of every part of them that itches. When and if this plastic bad resolution passes, another council member has big plans too.
Hammer has the support of at least one other council member.

"I'm in favor of further discussion," Council Member Cheri Albertson said. "And I'd like to take it a step further and eliminate the sale of fertilizer with phosphorous within the city limits."
I hope the fat people in Chelsea can learn on their own to watch what they eat so that the city council doesn't have to step in.

1 comment:

Jack McHugh said... correctly describes bills to do this at the state level as follows: "A bill to prohibit the owners of restaurants from choosing to allow patrons and employees to smoke in their establishments."