Creating crimes out of harmless behavior must have been a popular resolution for policymakers this year. If you’re not already convinced of the government’s growing Big Brother status, take a glance at the most recent examples of the nanny state in ’08:
The California Energy Commission believes that residents can no longer be trusted with air conditioning in their own homes. Next year, state regulators plan to control individual thermostats through radio technology, moving temperatures up or down as they see fit.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom still plans to go forward with plans to tax soft drinks in an effort to control the city’s beverage choices.
Nutrition activists like the Center for Science in the Public Interest are lobbying the FDA to cut the nation’s salt intake in half by instituting federal limits on the spice in grocery and restaurant foods.
British authorities recently charged a driver with “inconsiderate driving” after he accidentally splashed workmen by driving through a puddle. He stands to pay £5,000 (about $10,000) in fines. This, understandably, drew the ire of a Daily Mail columnist who wrote: “Over the whole process there hangs the belief … that how people should behave is how they must be made to behave.”
From school cafeterias to the comfort of our own homes, no place is free from regulation. If a handful of public policy activists cannot convince the rest of us to willingly live the way they see fit, they’ll do so by the force of law law.