2007/02/08

Again With The Excessive Regulatory Instinct

The obligatory link: Law Would Ban IPods When Crossing Street

I first read about this one yesterday, and decided instead to go with the Missouri story about the busybody who wanted to make prison trips mandatory for 9th graders. That said, this is just as worthy of attention, because it's a symptom of the same legislative disease. In this case, trying to legislate common sense. More specifically, trying to micro-manage behavior through legislation.

Whatever happened to freedom, anyway? I'd submit to you, the reader, that it primarily went out of fashion around the same time personal responsibility bit the dust. ... Now, I know what you're thinking. "I take care of my responsibilities, so why shouldn't I be allowed the freedoms that go with them?" The simple answer is that too many people don't, or won't, take care of such things. After all, it's easier in many respects to have others do things for you, if you can convince them to. And in this case, there are people who don't need convincing. These, of course, are the legislators, who believe that by taking better care of you (and in most cases, reducing your freedoms at the same time), they stand a better chance of being reelected.

Here's the trick in the whole thing. Carving out specifics so that people who actually want their freedoms keep them, while people who want to be taken care of instead get that is difficult. It would be both actual work, and a pain to get applied anywhere near accurately. The easy solution (and yes, even Congresses federal or state prefer the easy way out of things, by and large) is to just blanket the laws and restrictions on everyone, and as long as nobody cries too loud about it, it works out.

And that brings us full-circle as to why this is worth bringing up, even if it is a day late. New Yorkers who don't like this should rightly raise hell about this, because they're not actually just fighting for themselves, but for the people in all the other states who have easy-way-out protect-the-people-at-the-expense-of-their-freedoms legislators who wouldn't mind doing exactly the same thing, especially with a state ready and waiting to be pointed to as a precedent.

1 comment:

Anna said...

My husband called it "survival of the fittest" 21st century style. If you're too engrossed in your "toys" to see the bus coming, well....