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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Needless Legislation ≥ Destructive Legislation

One of my friends sent me a link to this article from NewHampshirewatchdog.org titled "The Legislature Should Just Say No to Purple" about the nuisance of frivolous laws. As Charlie Arlinghaus writes:
Some legislators interpreted the election results to mean that they ought to focus on the budget, getting the state’s fiscal house in order, solving a huge deficit, maybe doing about the retirement system. But one guy took the election to mean something completely different. A Republican legislator from Pelham named Doherty has introduced a bill to make purple the official color of the state.

There’s no regulation involved, no appropriation and no mandates but every bill has a cost in printing, writing, and distributing. It used to be a few thousand dollars each. It’s probably a little less now. But even if it’s only fifteen bucks, it’s waste.

These silly ideas are usually pitched as something we do to teach kids about how government works. ... If we want to teach kids, how about we teach them that the legislature is not designed as a source of amusement (at least not purposely)? Debating, considering, and adopting a state color is a waste of time. I think we should teach them that. If I were governor and this bill reached my desk, I’d veto it in front of a room of students to teach them about frivolity.

I don't know why bother with those ideas either. They are a waste of money, time, and effort. However, if being around "political types" has taught me anything, it is that the folks we elect are going to pontificate and blow smoke as long as they hold office. I prefer their time to be spent around something frivolous, such as the state color or drink, rather than tax increases or new government programs. Bring on the state colors, state pants, state sandwiches, state gemstones.... Just keep them distracted from trying to legislate morality or collectivism. Maybe one day we'll elect legislatures based on how they mix and match colors, rather than their proposed means of distributing the money of other people.

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  1. State doughnuts. I want an official NY State Doughnut. Chocolate, please. Thanks!

  2. "A Republican legislator from Pelham named Doherty has introduced a bill to make purple the official color of the state."

    I'm from Pelham (a street in Houston) and think purple worthy of nominal recognition. At least it's not GREEN and is kinda sexy.

    Wikipedantic: "In 1907, one of his spurs was among the artifacts melted down to create the Pokahuntas Bell for the Jamestown Exposition"

    and "The County of Culpeper, Virginia, built Lake Pelham in the 1970s in honor of the Boy Artillerist"

    [I can't get preview to show that the above citations are from Wicked. Must be a divine sign.]

  3. Kathleen, WOT but I was wondering what you think about Goldman Sachs now offering only non-US investors to participate on that possibly illegal Facebook deal.

  4. Hear, hear! There was a news story recently in Ohio about the last legislative session producing a very low number of bills, as if this was a bad thing. That is the kind of government I want. A "do nothing" legislator sounds just fine to me.

  5. Gridlock and partisanship are good!

    Just because they go to Washington doesn't mean they need to 'manufacture' more legislation.

    I would like to see a herculean effort to roll back/repeal all of the useless, wasteful stuff that is on the books now before any more obstacles are erected.

    Hey didn't Mr. O say in his WSJ piece that he...oh never mind.

  6. @ Bill, Chocolate glazed or chocolate frosted?
    @ strunked!, haha!
    @ Pasedena, The only reason Goldman is doing this is to avoid getting in trouble with the SEC.
    @ mike, I know that is a paradigm, but I doubt it'll happen - precluding my dreams.
    @ don't tread, basically - but, again, I don't think it will ever occur when politics attracts egotistical people.