Nanny State Update: Spearmint Production Quotas and Non-Profit Takeovers
Nanny State regulators went into overdrive this week, passing bans on everything from tanning beds to nurses at kids’ summer camps. Regulators don’t even want you to care for your dog without their approval first. Meanwhile federal regulations continued their inexorable increase as 1,198 pages were added to the federal register along with 65 new rules on everything from fire suppression systems on commercial ships to quotas in the spearmint oil market.
Chicago Takes up Parenting: Following in the footsteps of New Jersey’s legislature, the windy city took up the parental baton on Wednesday as the City Council passed a blanket ban on the use of tanning beds by minors. In applauding the decision, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it was appropriate to provide additional help in the parenting decision, while the ban’s three opponents objected on the grounds that this Nanny State measure doesn’t assist parents; it replaces their judgment with that of city officials. Next stop on this Nanny State train: a New York City style soda ban, which city officials will be deciding on next week.
New York Bans Nurses from Working at Camps: Summer camps in New York are in for a treat this summer as a new interpretation of existing corporate practice bans is applied to social services organizations (summer camps) for the first time. Under the new system, summer camps would be prohibited from employing nurses, even those who have been on staff for years, which directly contradicts health department regulations that require camps to have nurses on staff. New York’s onerous licensing restrictions have long been a source of frustration for the state’s residents but this new ruling by the Department of Education serves to endanger the populations the Nanny State is always so faithfully claiming to protect.
“Volatile” Spearmint Oil Market Requires Federally-Imposed Stability: In some obscure corner of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the arcane practice of federally-mandated production quotas continues as a special committee of industry experts and government officials divvy up the rights to produce spearmint oil. On Tuesday, the committee’s final ruling for the coming year’s production levels was added to the federal register. While Americans continue to struggle to make ends meets, federal bureaucrats continue to extoll quota systems and price controls as a means of helping consumers, despite centuries of evidence to the contrary.
Massachusetts Takes Over All Non-Profits in the State: A last-minute amendment added to the Senate version of the Massachusetts state budget last week included a shocking provision that prohibits Bay State non-profits from paying their directors, independent officers and trustees without the express permission of the attorney general. Every payroll decision will now be subject to the Nanny State overseers at the attorney general’s Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division, which will have the ultimate say in all matters of non-profit compensation. No longer can private donors and board members decide on how their organizations should be run; instead they have to get the attorney general’s permission for even the most basic transactions simply because the state of Massachusetts thinks non-profits pay their staff too much.