Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Growing Police State: Ice Cream Stand Edition

In Massachusetts, in Great Brook Farm State Park, there is a working dairy farm which also sells ice cream.  Well, there was.  You see, the man who operates this working dairy farm, largely as an educational service, had the unmitigated gall to make improvements without permission, mostly to a barn -built in 1910- which is beside the ice cream stand itself.  This infraction had to be punished, so the ice cream stand was shut down by the State: who then posted armed guards.

What, were they afraid of an Ice cream Rebellion?  Were hundreds of small children and their parents going to storm the ice cream stand?

Even granted that building improvements do require permits (something about which I'm highly ambivalent), and even granting that construction would require the ice cream stand itself to be reinspected, I don't understand the armed guards part of this.  Indeed, a basic health and safety inspection should take a couple of hours, tops, yet the stand was shut down in the late afternoon on Friday, just before a busy weekend.

So, in addition to depriving families of yummy, yummy ice cream, the State has put 13 more people out of jobs (yeah, it's not very many, but when 23+ million people are unemployed, do we really want to add to that number) and deprived the operator of the Farm and Ice cream Stand of a vital weekend's worth of revenue.

This is Government run amok.  This is what will inevitably happen when we allow Government to become our parent, instead of the "referee" it should be.  You see, I'm pretty sure (with the exception of the armed guards thing- not sure what that's about) that each individual government official involved was just doing his job.  Someone noted the improvements were made without a permit, so he notified the inspector types.  The inspector types probably didn't even get around to looking at it until Friday afternoon at some point.  Then they had to do their paperwork type stuff, so it wasn't until late in the day when they could get there.  Then, since the people who needed to approve the stand for reopening are almost certainly Government Employee Union members, they left for the weekend.  So, of course, the stand couldn't reopen immediately- the inspection has to be done.  And so on.

Is this what we want?  Do we want some nanny state government which controls our every action; our every interaction?  Because, to make things "fair," the bureaucracy cannot stop to consider circumstances before enforcing rules.  Everyone must be held to the same standard, regardless of circumstance, because to do otherwise would not be "fair."  And that doesn't even take into consideration resource limitations; there are only so many hours in the day, after all.

So welcome, Americans, to the Police State.  Where your Ice cream Stand will be Safe! or it will be guarded by police to prevent that evil capitalist from selling you ice cream.

1 comment:

  1. Its never about "safety". Its about extracting permit fees.