Pressing state business

by CalWatchdog Staff | June 3, 2010 1:55 pm

Steven Greenhut: The California Legislature continues to grapple with the tough issues. For instance, SB920 by Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would, according to Capitol Weekly, “prohibit phone companies from delivering telephone directories to people who opt not to have them delivered to their homes.” Californians Against Waste puts it this way: “Phone books have become obsolete in the age of fast internet connection and mobile phone apps. According to consumer surveys, 76% of respondents state that they ‘never’ use telephone directories. Another 20% say they rarely use them. Yet, it takes trees and energy to produce these phone books, and recycling them is a burden to local government and taxpayer dollars.”

Seriously, this is what the state Democrats believe is pressing business. Obviously, to folks such as Yee, there is no area of life that can function without state intervention. Yes, phone books are becoming obsolete, but apparently it takes state intervention for people who don’t want them not to get them. I guess it’s impossible for phone customers to call the phone companies and tell them they don’t want the books.

Of course, the biggest nonsense of the week is passage of the ban on plastic bags at grocery stores — a piece of environmental craziness that will inconvenience families and add costs to our grocery shopping experience, which already is miserable enough. The governor said he will sign the bill. The main goal of nanny environmentalism to to annoy the average person. In the enviro worldview, people are the problem and we all must be prodded into conserving and tormenting ourselves as penance for our impact on the sacred environment.

Per the Christian Science Monitor[1]:  “According to the bill’s the sponsor, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, the state spends $25 million annually to collect and bury a portion of them. China and Bangladesh already have plastic bag bans in place, and the United Nations has called for the bans to go global. North Carolina has banned plastic bags on its Outer Banks. ‘By passing AB 1998, Californians are signaling to the nation their commitment to wean themselves from a costly plastic and paper bag habit that is threatening marine life and spoiling the natural beauty of this state,’ Ms. Brownley said in a statement. ‘Single-use bags are major contributors to marine debris, which has injured or killed 267 species worldwide.'”

Notice Brownley’s words — it’s about weaning ourselves from our nasty habit. It’s odd that China and Bangladesh are the models here. Or maybe it’s not so odd.

Now we’re going to have to bring our own bags to the store or purchase ones from the store — which explains why the grocery industry likes it. This means fewer costs for them while the rest of us act like vagabonds and travel around with dirty old bags in our cars.

I can see this leading to unforeseen results — less sanitary situations and even more trash. We need some sort of bag to bring home the groceries. Whatever we use will end up in landfills.

Meanwhile, the budget mess continues.

California is not a leader, but a laughingstock.

  1. Per the Christian Science Monitor:

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