Saturday, June 26, 2010

Too Much Government

Many of our friends on the American Left like to point to Europe as the gold standard in government. They point out that if nothing else, at least the Europeans get "good" government (however they define it).

I have to ask, though: what possible good comes from this silly EU rule?

Until now, Britain has been exempt from EU regulations that forbid the selling of goods by number. But last week MEPs voted to end Britain’s deal despite objections from UK members.

The new rules will mean that instead of packaging telling shoppers a box contains six eggs, it will show the weight in grams of the eggs inside, for example 372g. Or that a bag of white rolls has 322g inside instead of half a dozen. The rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed.

Government without limits can and will do stupid things--and eventually it will do scary things. Limited government is a universally good idea based on knowing human psychology.

Update: Here's an example from much closer to home, because it is home:

California would become the first state to ban grocery, liquor and drug stores from providing free paper or plastic bags under legislation pushed by Democrats and supported by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I've said it before, I'm old enough to remember when plastic replaced paper because paper was "killing trees"--so plastic was the environmental choice!

Do you really want a government that legislates down to this level?


KauaiMark said...

"...old enough to remember when plastic replaced paper because paper was "killing trees"

Me too!

I predict an unintended consequence will be kids "selling" plastic bags as outside stores....OR many more shopping carts disappearing and ending up on sidewalks in the neighborhoods.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

FOUR SQUARES, Darren. You are only allowed FOUR SQUARES of toilet paper per restroom trip. People like you are the reason we have to legistlate stuff like this.


NO, it will never stop until there is a push back. Unfortunately.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Ummm... are you counting the capital "territory?" Because that would make eight. But there are seven states. I used to live outside Sydney in a place called Wahroonga. :)

maxutils said...

Am already drafting a letter. Will never vote for a Democrat, ever again, if this passes.The bags aren't free --they're factored in to the cost of the goods. I f we didn't like them, we'd stop them on our own.

Barry Garelick said...

In Washington DC, stores charge you 5 cents per bag (paper OR plastic) when you buy something. The 5 cents is a tax that helps pay for clean up of the Potomac River. The idea is to get people to bring their own bags to stores (as is done in some countries overseas). This idea is catching on apparently.

I can remember when the environmentalists were saying that garbage shouldn't be landfilled because landfills are bad, so they advocated for burning the waste to make electricity and cajoled the American public for being such wasteful and harmful pigs. WHen companies started to build waste-to-electricity plants, these same environmentalists complained that the plastics in the waste stream emitted dioxins and other harmful pollutants and sought to regulate the building of these plants. And so it goes. The enviros have some good ideas, but need to learn to think ahead just as they advocate the great unwashed to do.

Mike Thiac said...

How about this:

We'll charge one cent for the bags, a service fee if you will. Hey the bags ain't free are they.

Then we refund a cent as a "thank you for coming by we'll save you a penny today" ad....hey it gets by the stupid law.

Ellen K said...

And people forget that plastic replaced glass bottles for milk and other beverages because the weight of glass created more use of fuel to transport. So if we take away plastic bags, which incidentally I use at home and in class, what will happen to those many other products that come in recyclable containers? There will be no market to recycled them into. And as I suggested on one of your earlier blogs, there are starting to be reports of people not washing their nifty reusable totes and transferring bacteria to produce. Just as Kleenex replaced cloth handkerchiefs to avoid spreading disease, people in this administration have forgotten that we do these things because they were viewed as cheaper, healthier or just better.

David Foster said...

In addition to the intrusiveness of this kind of legislation, there is a problem of mental bandwidth. No legislature can possibly have the collective "CPU capacity" to micromanage consistently at this level of detail: hence, while they are focusing on grocery bags, there are other & more critical issues that they're either ignoring or treating superficially.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Now we find out that reusing bags increases the danger of food poisoning.

The bags inevitably collect food residue which bacteria find appetizing so the multiply. Then there's plenty of bacteria to contaminate the next batch of food that use the bag to carry.

I wonder if those San Francisco city council folks are factoring in the increased traffic at city ER's due to their decision?