Monday, September 13, 2010

Too Much Government; Our Freedom Continues to Erode

How can it be possible that that United States is still the most free country on the planet with examples like these from "Hit and Run" piece by Matt Welch:

In August, Multnomah County health inspectors in Portland, Oregon, shut down a lemonade stand at an art fair because its 7-year-old proprietor failed to obtain the necessary food distribution license. Days earlier, a Quincy, Illinois, man was arrested via a sting operation (for a second time) for the crime of offering free rides home to inebriated bar patrons; the service conflicted with some new taxi cartel–influenced language in the relevant city ordinance. And all summer long, councilmen in recession-ravaged Los Angeles, who earn higher salaries than any municipal lawmakers in the country, threatened to crack down on one of the few interesting and growing business models left in L.A.—food trucks—despite the fact that the only people complaining about them are nonmobile restaurant owners who don’t like the competition.

On the federal level things get even worse. In July the Department of Labor unveiled new child labor regulations that make it a crime for 17-year-olds to clear brush (a classic summer job in timber-heavy states such as Oregon) or for 15-year-olds to wave signs on the roadside, which the last time I looked was about the only job teenagers could still get in Southern California. ObamaCare requires every single vending machine and restaurant chain with 20 or more outlets in the country to list calorie counts for its products, under threat of federal sanction.
It makes me wonder about the whole "It's a free country" boast. I am not so sure. A "Hit and Run" post suggests that Cuba is becoming more capitalist than the US, which may be a bit of an exaggeration, but think of the implications. Cuba becoming more free than we are?

I am not sure that anywhere else outside the US is an improvement in the freedom category. Find a country that is otherwise free, but allows widespread gun ownership and gun-carrying for personal protection.

But,as oppressive as the big government and enviro-nazis are becoming, we are at risk of losing our distinction of being the world's most free country.

That is what the tea parties are all about.

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