Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Day in California Nanny-Statism

Just in case you were wondering whether Sacramento was giving serious attention to, you know, making the state solvent, here are a couple of news items that should put your mind at ease.

And now we'll pause for a moment to address trivial things we don't like.
Yesterday the LA Times reported that Pacoima Democrat Alex Padilla has moved on from addressing the scourge of cellphone smuggling in prisons to a new scourge: people smoking in the privacy of their own homes. Under Padilla's SB 332, which passed the Senate yesterday, landlords would have the legal authority to designate apartment buildings as non-smoking. In a sane universe where the government didn't view itself as the ultimate arbiter of property rights, this would be fairly straightforward to resolve: if you own the building, you can rent to whomever you want and impose any penalty you wish for behavior you don't like there. Unfortunately, California is not part of any sane universe.

And today the Sacramento Bee brings us the heartwarming story of East Bakersfield Sen. Michael Rubio, who is pushing SB 471, a bill to prohibit CalFresh recipients from using the program to buy fast food, soda, and a laundry list of snacks Rubio thinks are unhealthy. While we don't have a problem with telling people how they can spend unearned money (particularly when it's our money), Rubio is only doing this to save people from the phantom menace called "the obesity epidemic". And, again, what about property rights? If you don't have the right to do something potentially harmful to your own body, what rights do you have left?


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