|Government over-regulation is certainly in the eye of the beholder. I remember a few years ago when a fast-food joint tried to make a constitutional case (even holding "Pro-Freedom" rallies!) out of the fact that Albemarle County told them they had to replace their large advertising banner with a smaller one. I tried my best to muster some sympathy for the business owner in question, but the regulations in that case made a lot of sense to me (can anyone truly claim that what suburbia needs is BIGGER and LOUDER roadside advertising?) and the fast-food place was clearly in violation of those regulations.|
I suppose the Libertarians would say that the reason we need to rally for the rights of national fast-food chains is that emboldened government regulators will come after the rest of us next. And when you hear about cases like the Henrico County couple who are facing a big fine for having a bathtub planter in their backyard (as featured in today's Daily Progress), you do have wonder if there's some logic to their argument. (I loved the wife's quote from that article: "Why do you have to have a cookie-cutter backyard? We're not cookie-cutter people." Classic.)
In my mind, however, there's a big difference between issuing a notice of violations to a roast beef chain over unauthorized signage and, say, conducting an armed raid on a small family farm for incorrect labeling of products. Few of us know all the facts behind the situation with Double H Farm, but they are well-regarded vendors at our City Market and the apparent heavy-handedness with which they were treated this past week is troubling. And when you compare it to the way that national food producers are treated for much graver lapses (as Harry Landers has pointed out), it does bring up some serious questions about the scales of justice in our country.
For info. on donating to a defense fund for the owners of Double H Farm, click here.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Posted at 11:29 AM by DaveNorris; there are