After a long day of helping my daughter move into her apartment in Bloomington, Indiana, before classes start we went for a late bite at Applebee’s. Apparently Indiana has a new law that EVERYONE gets carded if you order a drink.
Yes, even a shriveled up, hunched back, liver spotted, slow shuffling, thin haired, mismatched clothes wearing, near deaf, AARP card carrying, yet innately wise old person must present ID to get a beer. I doubt if the reason was the extreme costumes young people were using to buy a beer. The reason is that they just did not want to leave any possible error to human judgment.
Because legislators and bureaucrats do not trust human judgment we are inundated with thousands of pages of laws and rules to accomplish the simplest of objectives. These rules often have foolish outcomes.
This same law states that if my 20 year old daughter sits at the bar area she must present ID even if she is not drinking alcohol, and must also be accompanied by a guardian. Yet sitting at the table next to me which I can reach out and touch, which is deemed outside of the bar area, would require no ID and no guardian.
Such micro management creates contempt for the law. The young people who work at this restaurant joke about how ridiculous it is. Is this how we want our laws to be perceived?
Yet this is a long trend which, like the analogy of the frog in the boiling water, we just get used to. It is a quiet tyranny of a government that sees no area it should just leave to the citizens to resolve because it has become very separate and contemptuous of its own citizens. It is laws like this that makes more and more citizens feel like the government no longer enjoys the consent of the governed.
In a similar story, New Jersey governor Chris Christie explains how his state was turned down for a 400 million dollar federal education grant because of simple, easily correctable clerical error on a single page of a 1,000 page application.
Personally I am glad to see angry voters; it makes me hopeful that we have not lost all common sense.
Post posting note: apparently there is a little more to the Christie story as pointed out by a reader. The Education Commissioner was caught in a lie and was fired. Read the story here.
The problem remains, however, that we have grown accustomed to thousand page applications and 3,000 page laws.