mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Why even liberals should fear big government...

An interesting article on how silly government regulations can do more harm than good - from The Greyhound, the Loyola College Student newspaper (also a Baltimore Sun column here.

Loyola had a program where student distribute sandwiches to the homeless. The city made them shut down the program last month for not having a license to distribute food and for not having running hot and cold water. The sandwiches are prepped and wrapped on campus, so they never touched while being distributed - but the law says they need hot and cold water.

The students say that the city is trying to get rid of them because they sit in front of city hall and are embarassing them. Which may be true.

And that is the problem with having lots of laws - they lend themselves to selective enforcement, and mean that if the government doesn't like you and wants to go after you, chances are they can find some law that you are violating and use it against you.

Now, I'm not saying that the Care-a-van people aren't trying to embarrass the city. And I'm not saying that the people who participate in this kind of thing aren't the type who can't accept that at least some people who are homeless are not so much victims of "the man" or society or circumstances so much as a desire to drink a bottle of Mad Dog in the morning instead of going to work. But the volunteers were doing some good, and I would guess most homeless people would prefer a free sandwich from someone who didn't have on-site running water to going hungry.

But because of an excess of laws, and a desire of government to protect people from every little thing, Baltimore City has managed to actually prevent someone from giving a man a fish. Great job.


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