Trickle-Down Big Government
Local governments are taking their cues from an increasingly aggressive federal bureaucracy. Maybe you’ve noticed. A process is underway in which government bureaucrats have quite simply forgotten their place as our servants.
The tables are turning on freedom.
When government meddles, things can go from bad to worse. For instance, Nathan Duszynski, age 13, just wanted to help his family out of financial trouble. His
parents are both disabled. His mom suffers from epilepsy and his dad has Multiple Sclerosis. Things were so bad they were on welfare, food stamps, and other government assistance.
His idea was to start a business. He wanted to use money he’d saved up to buy a hot dog cart and bring in much-needed revenue to his parents. And, depend less on government handouts.
His mom went with him to City Hall and learned no permit was needed to operate a food cart. So Duszynski negotiated a deal with a local landlord to sell hot dogs from his parking lot. When that was settled, he bought a hot dog cart and his initial inventory. But, according to reports, within ten minutes of opening his new business, a city worker ordered him to shut down for violating zoning laws.
What happened? The parking lot was within the city’s downtown center, where food carts not connected to brick and mortar restaurants are banned. This zoning law exists mainly to protect downtown restaurants from competition.
Things got worse. A few weeks after his business shut down, his parents couldn’t afford to pay rent and went homeless. They slept in a friend’s barn for a bit, but decided it was best to split up the family. Duszynski and his mother now stay at a homeless shelter, while the father still sleeps in the friend’s barn. His father can’t stay with them because he takes pain medication, and the shelter doesn’t allow anyone who takes his kind of medication.
Family Farms and Wineries
In a Virginia agricultural community which is home to small family owned wineries, the county zoning administrator finds it necessary to rigorously enforce heavy-handed ordinances to protect “the public health, safety, and welfare,” according to the Washington Examiner. What a crock!
The community has enacted a number of restrictive ordinances under the guise of protecting the greater good:
Wineries must close by 6 p.m.;
No food sales allowed at wineries;
No hot air balloon rides allowed;
Farmers’ markets, banned;
What is allowed? Private personal gatherings, as long as the owner does not market his wine at the gathering.
And in case the zoning administrator missed something that would supposedly endanger public health and safety, the ordinance broadly and vaguely states prohibited activities also include anything “‘to be similar in nature or in impact to the listed activities.” This means the zoning administrator has the final and a nearly arbitrary say on all matters concerning the community. This is too much power to give anyone, especially a bureaucrat!
Government Seeks to Regulate
Even if you disagree with a habit like smoking, it’s dangerous to use the aggressive force of government to ban or regulate it. The blade of government cuts both ways and doesn’t know where to stop. Sooner or later, it negatively affects everyone and eventually turns against you.
After grabbing the power to regulate cigarettes (tax them, control their sale and manufacture, and even how they’re advertised), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to increase its power by regulating premium cigars.
The non-profit advocacy group, Cigar Rights of America (CRA), reports that the FDA seeks to implement the following restrictions:
Ban walk-in humidors;
Ban self-serve cigar displays;
Ban mail order cigar sales;
Ban all flavored cigars;
Ban on marketing of cigar-related merchandise;
Ban cigar events where free cigar samples are given away to legal-age adults;
Limit how cigars can be marketed and advertised;
Impose special taxes just on cigars;
Mandate cigar blends be submitted to FDA for approval and authorization in order to sell it to the public; and more.
Bureaucrats Think They Know Better
Overbearing politicians are all too eager to create additional legislation as a replacement for common sense in others. Whatever happened to the idea of heeding those warning labels, “Keep out of reach of children“?
Individually, you could look at any of the above examples of government regulation as isolated absurdities. The trouble is, absurd is the new normal. From the feds cracking down on raw milk drinkers and cigar smokers to local zoning czars bringing the weight of the law down on kids selling hotdogs and lemonade, government intrusion into private lives is out of control and running rampant.
Times are crazy, and the political class seems to have thrown common sense out the window. Stay vigilant and guard your liberties.