But when trying to build support for good fiscal policy, it often helps to cite specific examples of wasteful and foolish government. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been comparing examples of government stupidity and political correctness in the United States and the United Kingdom.
After all, how many people would want to pay more taxes after reviewing these bizarre episodes of government in action?
From the United Kingdom
- A job-placement center got in trouble for discriminating against incompetent people by seeking “reliable” and “hard-working” candidates.
- A women who was being threatened by thugs got in trouble with the police for brandishing a knife in her own home.
- There was a serious proposal to prevent children from watching Olympic shooting events.
- A man got arrested for finding a gun in his yard and turning it over to the police.
- The government wanted to require “competency tests” for pet owners.
- An ID requirement to buy teaspoons.
- The most useless sign in the history of the world.
- A proposal to ban skinny models.
- A prohibition on the use of starting pistols at races lest children get frightened by the noise.
- Denying children a home because the foster family didn’t believe in unlimited immigration.
From the United States
- A Rhode Island boy offended the PC nanny-staters by bringing toy soldiers to school.
- A student in San Diego got in trouble for making a motion detector for a science project, simply because someone decided it resembled a bomb.
- The EEOC hindering trucking companies from weeding out drunk drivers.
- A Florida student was expelled for having a toy gun on school property.
- And how can we omit the politicians in San Francisco, who decided that banning happy meal toys was an appropriate use of government coercion.
- We also have regulations in Maryland governing the application of sunscreen at summer camps.
- A local politician in Maryland wanting a licensing process to be a bum.
- And proposals in Seattle to require life vests on swimmers who are more than five feet from shore.
I’ve even shared some instances of moronic behavior from the private sector, and I have another story that may belong in that category.
In this instance, we’re talking about the critical need to protect people from pudding. I’m not joking. Here are some of the details of a very odd report in the Daily Mail.
If you’re lucky enough to look about 18, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to provide ID at the supermarket to buy alcohol, knives or glue. Now an addition has been made to that list of potentially hazardous items – chocolate pudding. Robert Nemeti was amazed when he was asked for ID while buying a microwaveable pudding at Tesco. Mr Nemeti, 24, was going through the self-service checkout when an on-screen warning announced that his purchase had to be ‘approved’. …‘The woman who was monitoring the self-service checkouts came over and asked me for identification showing I was 18. I asked her why and was stunned when she told me: “It gets hot when you cook it – and you may burn yourself”. Surely the same can be said of many of the products they sell in any supermarket? Health and safety has gone crazy if you now have to prove you can be trusted with a chocolate pudding.’ He added: ‘I explained that I didn’t have any ID. Thankfully she agreed that I looked over 18 and she scanned her staff pass to approve the sale.’ Mr Nemeti managed to cook and eat the dessert that evening without injury.
Gee, I’m glad that Mr. Nemeti managed to eat the pudding without causing a fire or suffering burns.
There’s not much I can add to this story. Is this an example of crazy government over-protectiveness, sort of nanny state run amok? Perhaps somewhat similar to Nurse Bloomberg’s attempt to ban large sodas? I don’t know. There aren’t enough details.
Or maybe it’s the fault of the private sector, with some corporate bureaucrat justifying his job by coming up with idiotic rules? Though, to be fair, that’s less destructive than American corporate bureaucrats who have special skills when it comes to getting bailout money.
Could it be because the English are learning about America’s lawsuit culture and businesses are having to defend themselves from preposterous legal claims by imposing equally preposterous rules? That would be the indirect fault of government.
But whatever the cause, it’s a sorry sign for civilization. I’ve previously explained that I’m very pessimistic about the United Kingdom’s fiscal outlook. Based on this story, I also should worry about the nation’s mental outlook.