Posts Tagged ‘Free market’

Thank You for Not Thinking

December 2, 2009 6 comments

Here’s some snark from the gang at the Weekly Standard for this, the second day in which Virginia is a slightly less free place to do business:

Last February, the assembly passed a smoking ban, thereby depriving business owners of the right to make decisions about how to run the businesses they own, and depriving patrons of a choice between smoking and non-smoking establishments.

Good thing, too, because the market place, responding to customer predilections as it’s wont to do, had just about licked the “problem” the legislature sought to solve:

By February, when the legislature finally passed the ban after years of lobbying by anti-smoking advocates, about 66 percent of restaurants had already gone smoke-free in response to customer demand. A week ago, that proportion was about 75 percent.

So, the smoke had already been nearly eliminated—the ostensible reason for the law— but the legislature saved us from the potentially horrifying consequences of leaving in place the freedom to run an establishment with a smoking section. To be fair, I have heard that second-hand freedom can be very dangerous for state legislatures.

The article goes on to recount Arizona’s current fight against live fish pedicures. No, that was not a non-sequiter. Some enterprising soul came up with this in response to–get this–increased regulations on the use of razors in nail salons.

Only in America could someone come up with such an idea and the government see fit to get involved.


Conservatives versus Tradition

February 19, 2009 Leave a comment

In many local debates, be they within a party or faction or in the greater body politics, people who are more oriented towards conservative viewpoints find themselves attracted to arguments based on tradition rather than steeped in modern conservative views of fiscal restraint or simple pragmatism. 

This has played out in a number of ways in recent years in Shenandoah County. The most obvious one is the historic courthouse. Whether or not to keep General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relation Court in the historic courthouse or move it to new digs was heavily debated. This is one of those extreme gray areas, as cost estimates from both sides pointed to their option being the most cost effective.

A less high profile issue is the matter of the Cedar Creek precinct. A few years back there was discussion of doing away with the precinct, which is home to about 150 voters, generally less than one hundred of which vote in most general elections. In just terms of registered voters, the precinct has 700 fewer voters than the next smallest precinct, Columbia Furnace. I understand that the area is rather secluded and away from the greater whole of society–however, I also know that the roads have come a long way from the days of old and that November snowstorms are increasingly rare. At the time, I called on meeting the voters up there halfway and creating a Saumsville precinct that took all of the voters from Cedar Creek and a good chunk from Mount Olive, the polling place of which is just a few miles up the road. In this way it would be closer than the proposed Rt 11 corrdior precincts yet more cost effective for registrars. However, voters back that way wanted nothing to do with that and, citing the unique nature of their community, prevailed in keeping the precinct intact. 

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