Friday, February 8, 2019

State of Colorado plans to ban plastic straws

Libertarian Party Op Ed: Colorado Is Becoming California With Proposed Straw Ban | Westword - Michael Lopez:

February 6, 2019 -"Colorado Democrats and progressives [are] ... introducing a version of a bill banning plastic straws that garnered plenty of memes last year when it was brought forward in Santa Barbara, California.... While the proposed legislation in Colorado will not fine or jail servers, it is within the realm of possibility that what happened in Santa Barbara is ... going to be the law of the land for all of Colorado.

"The ordinance in California made instant criminals out of all the waitstaff in the city if they give a patron a straw — any straw, compostables included.... [They] could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The restaurant would not pay this fine. No, the server who dared hand you a straw without a request ... is personally fined.

"While the Libertarian party of Colorado supports environmental conservation through privatization and respect for property rights, it is always an occasion for concern when 'big brother' attempts to legislate morality, even if the legislation is not — for the moment — intended to be enforced. There will be calls for this legislation to be amended so that it can be enforced, and that enforcement will always come with some sort of threat. Therein lies the Libertarian opposition to this legislation. Maybe you were a server once upon a time. Maybe you agree that single-use plastic is wasteful and destructive, but do you honestly believe that workers should be jailed for providing straws? Do you trust government officials to stop there? Are you comfortable with the possibility of our government exercising the Machiavellian idea of rule through fear?

"We entrust our lives to those we elect to government. You vote for them because you believe that they will behave and act as you would, if you were in their shoes. You must then ask yourself: Would I be willing to separate my neighbor from their family, lock them in a cell and take their money, simply for using a straw after I politely asked them not to? This is the kind of self-reflection that we expect our representatives to also undertake. And it is the kind of self-reflection that we should all practice when we ask government to intervene in our lives."

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