Tyranny American-style 114

An inspector from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture raided the fish fry at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Rochester. He had been there for his annual inspection of the church’s kitchen, but … he espied an elderly parishioner unwrapping some pies.  He swooped. Would those by any chance be homemade pies?

They were. Four ladies had made each her favorite pie. They’d brought them to the church to sell at a dollar a slice. The inspector stopped them doing so, telling them that if they did they’d be committing a crime. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to bake a pie in a home kitchen for sale at a church fundraiser.

The inspector informed the ladies they could continue baking pies [for sale] at home if each paid a $35 dollar fee for him to come round to her home and certify her kitchen as state-compliant.

Mark Steyn tells the story in After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. He also tells this one:

Seven-year-old Julie Murphy was selling lemonade in Portland, Oregon, when two officers demanded to see her “temporary restaurant license” which would have cost her $120. When she failed to produce it, they threatend her with a $500 fine, and also made her cry.

And this one:

For their morning customers the Collins family had been putting a coffee pot and doughnuts on the counter of their hardware store for fifteen years…

But in California that’s an illegal act. The permit mullahs told Randy Collins that he needed to install stainless steel sinks with hot and cold water and a prep kitchen to handle  the doughnuts.

Mr Collins was submissive.

“We want to be in compliance with the law” [he said].

Why?”  Mark Steyn asks.

When the law says it’s illegal for a storekeeper to offer his customer a cup of coffee, you should be proud to be in non-compliance. Otherwise, what the hell did you guys bother holding a revolution for?

This is the reality of small business in America today. You don’t make the rules, you don’t get to vote for people who make the rules. But you have to work harder, pay more taxes, buy more permits, fill in more paperwork, contribute to the growth of an ever less favorable business environment, and prostrate yourself before the Commissar of Community Services – all for the privilege of taking home less and less money.

Mark Steyn calls it tyranny. It is.

Another example from a different source:

When California’s elected officials come back from their month-long recess they face a mountain of proposed legislation (almost 900 bills are lined up and waiting), including a new law (SB432) that would require hotels to eliminate flat sheets. Not having fitted sheets on hotel beds would now be a crime in California. This is not a joke.

California, the state trying to deal with a massive $26 BILLION dollar debt, is considering a law that some hospitality industry experts claim would add an estimated $15 to $30 million dollars in costs to an already hurting hotel industry. The low-end estimate of fifteen million is the projected cost to purchase new fitted sheets for the 550,000hotel beds in the state. Of course the hospitality industry is claiming that these added costs will hurt their business and put jobs at risk.

The fitted-sheet bill is the brainchild of State Senator Kevin De Leon (a Democrat from Los Angeles), whose mother suffered back pains while working as a hotel maid. Kevin has been quoted as saying this was “an issue close to my heart.” It is also a bill that has the support of Big Labor. …

We are now going to make it a crime in California not to use a fitted sheet? Really?

The desirability or undesirability of something is not a good reason to legislate for or against it. There should be no more laws than are frugally necessary (administered as rigorously as possible). To make thousands of petty laws that are easy to break through ignorance, incapacity, or bewilderment is to bring the law into contempt.

It’s debatable whether there should be any regulatory laws whatsoever. They are inevitably oppressive. They establish a niggling, nagging, tyranny-of-interference.

Tyranny American-style.

It is communitarian, a sneaky form of collectivization. It is job-killing, impoverishing. Enlarging the reach and power of the state, it is dictatorial.

And it  is Obama’s preferred method of government. He is using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement his dictatorial will. The EPA is continually churning out thousands of regulations to complicate and hamper work in agriculture, animal farming, industry, construction … everything. With this Stasi-like agency, he by-passes Congress.

The only good point made by Jon Huntsman in a recent debate among GOP candidates for the presidency, was that the EPA must be abolished.