Jewish World Review Sept. 16, 2011 / 17 Elul, 5771
The Public Good
By Greg Crosby
The general rule of thumb is this; conservatives want less government involvement in our lives, progressives want more government control. That's it. The idea (initiated by those on the left) that it is those old, crusty, rich, conservative white men that are keeping everyone else down and depriving the majority of people in this country of their liberty and their chance at "the American dream" has been the big lie over the past 75 years or so. Propagating this fallacy is the way for the left to grow government control of all citizens.
Just look around. Over the course of the last three or four decades we Americans have far less personal liberties than ever. More laws mean less choice. Just in my lifetime I have seen my society become ever and ever more restrictive. Our public parks have outlawed playground see-saws and other traditional playground equipment. Kids cannot ride in the front seat of their parents' automobiles, they must be in backseat car restraints. No more bicycle riding without a helmet.
There are laws against "hate speech" and "hate crimes." Laws against bringing peanut butter sandwiches to school. There is less freedom of speech today than any other time in our history. Beginning in 1974, for the first time in American history, amendments have made it illegal in some circumstances for Americans to publish their opinions about candidates for election.
There is censorship through broadcast licensing, where government agencies tell broadcasters what they can and cannot air. And for more than 25 years, government has required businesses and educational institutions to punish speech that can be characterized as "hostile environment" harassment.
Tobacco was an easy target and a great excuse for government regulation. No smoking in public places, not on the beach nor in parks nor on public sidewalks. A man can't light his pipe after dinner and take a walk around the block anymore, it is against the law. If you want to smoke your pipe, do it behind closed doors and those doors had better not be in an apartment building with connecting walls, either. The reasoning for these things is always the same, "it is for the public good." In other words, you people are too stupid to know what's good for you, so government will step in and tell you how to live.
The environmentalist "eco-friendly" movement has been a boon to growing government restrictions. In some places no new housing will be built that has attached, wood-burning chimneys and there are new laws pending to stop people from using their fireplaces in the winter completely. You see, burning wood is contributing to global warming and environmental pollution.
Government will mandate what kind of cars we will be allowed to own, what kind of heating we can use in our homes, what kind of food we will be allowed to eat, what kind of energy and how much of it we can use, what kind of medical care we can have - all in the name of "the public good." Within three years the old incandescent light bulbs (the ones we've all been using since Edison invented them 130 years ago) will be gone.
Under federal law, incandescent bulbs are being phased out beginning next year when American manufacturers no longer will be allowed to make 100-watt bulbs. By Jan. 1, 2014, the only incandescents left on the market will be three-way bulbs, plant lights and some appliance lamps. When was the last time you tried to buy a 100-watt bulb? Try finding a package in the stores today, they're not around anymore. Soon it will be LEDs or florescence or nothing.
Today it is light bulbs; tomorrow it could be …who knows what? Maybe printed books. Books use made from paper, right? We're destroying trees to make books, that can't be environmentally healthy. We must pass laws to make the manufacturing of paper books a crime. The only books allowed will be electronic books such as Kindle, it is already happening, even without a federal law.
For the first time, Amazon.com reported that e-book sales surpassed those of paperback and hardback books combined. For every 100 traditional print books sold, 105 Kindle books are bought. Publishers of traditional books are getting scared. Since the tide is going in that directon anyway, it is only a matter of time before big government steps in and outlaws the printed book once and for all…"for the public good."
Ask yourself where these laws are coming from, the progressive leftists, or the conservatives? Big government is on the march. Wake up.
© 2008, Greg Crosby