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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13857/old-statism-new-statism/

Old Statism, New Statism

September 10, 2010 by

The old statism (Progressivism, New Dealism, Stalinism) was all about forcing material progress on people even when the economic structures and people make them work were not prepared for it. So we had these huge dams made to force electrification in the U.S. and Russia. Wires had to be stretched all over rural areas so they could be modernized. We had interstate highways built. Everyone had to be industrialized and abandon the old agricultural ways. We did the whole space thing.

It was all about progress, progress, progress, onward and upward into a future of blissful embrace of all great things. Government would give us civilization in replacement for the backwardness of the settled ways of the population and the too-slow process of market exchange. It was hello yellow-brick road, courtesy of the central planning elite. That was the idea anyway.

Today everything has changed. The ethos of statism today is that the market moves too fast, wastes too much, gives us too much luxury and progress, exalts materialism over quiet reflection and pastoral scenes of organic beauty. Capitalism has wickedly taken us away from our roots and ties with Mother Nature and made us all too dependent on artificial realities constructed by machines, chemicals, and digits. Statism in our times is all about forcing change in the other direction: goodbye yellow-brick road.

In other words, government used to promise to force civilization on us; now it promises to force de-civilization on us. Examples that pop readily to mind include recycling (blech on sorting through garbage), tricks for conserving water like reduced water pressure and shower-head water restraints, low-flush toilets, less frequent trash pickups, the imposition of lukewarm water on our homes, the push for bicycling and punishment for individual drivers, the attack on toilet paper, taxes on gas and punitive regulations on coal and industry, the subsidies for wind and solar power, electric cars, you name it: public policy is all about reducing our standard of living for our own good.

And so the state can add another victory it its campaign to take away great things in our life: the last GE factory that makes incandescent light bulbs is shutting down. The government has banned them, all in the interest of improving our spiritual attachments to saving mother earth and putting an end to the sin of wanting warm and pretty light in our rooms. I guess we should all start investing in candles.

{ 39 comments }

Ronny September 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

Great post!But I see it like this: The politicians forcing this agenda also has another problem to solve, for example; 60 % of the price on oil is based only on pure financial speculation. Finance got way to much power over the natural market and politicans can not form an agenda built on cheap access to ANY commodity. Every commodity entering the market is being put under pressure by massive speculation. Politicans can only base their politics on weaker and weaker “public” access to commodities.

Slim934 September 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

1) Source please? I am curious as to how “speculation” is calculated in this analysis.

2) To a huge extent commodities are heavily speculated upon because of government intervention in their respective markets. Take your oil example as a case. Most of the oil production on earth is done by state owned corporations, only a relatively small fraction of the worlds oil reserves are under the control of privately owned oil companies. This means that in this case production decisions will not necessarily be made based on market fundamentals: but by state dictats. Since bureaucrats come and go and there is no way to know who will be making what decision in the future, traders try to overcome this by hedging bets one way or the other in very complex ways. THEN there are the indirect interventions like wars, trade law changes, etc. which also make this even worse.

The whole corn ethanol debacle from a few years ago is another instance of this. The price of corn went nuts after the government forced not only corn based ethanols into the tank but also trying to incentivize its production as a fuel in of itself.

No crap these people speculate, they have no idea what these moron politicians intend to do in the future.

J. Murray September 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

There is nothing wrong with speculation. EVERYTHING we do is speculation. Nothing in life is a gurantee (exept for people who jump onto State-sponsored anti-market hype). The problem with the wild oil prices is that it was being lifted by a massive production bubble. When the production bubble burst, the oil came down with it, not some independent oil bubble busting all by itself. The production bubble was financed by the credit bubble. No credit bubble, no production bubble. No production bubble, no oil bubble. Oil doesn’t just speculate its way upwards when no one is demanding its use. Your two government sources, obvious environmental activist group, and financial organization that relies heavily on government provided data are unlikely going to catch on this as the first three have it in their best interests to not identify the real cause of the problem and the fourth is reliant on tainted information.

Peter Eek September 10, 2010 at 10:02 am

Provocative but good.

I would still have enjoyed a little something about how some might choose to sort through garbage if it was sellable (like alu cans and PET bottles) or might choose to only buy LED light sources etc due to lower price, nicer form factor, lower energy bills etc.

Augie September 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

Might have mentioned, (am I wrong?) that the new curly-q bulbs are poisonous.

Tennanja September 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

yes they contain mercury, just like other florescent lights, there is a high likelihood that the politicians banned the incandescent lights because of business pressure from people manufacturing the compact florescent lights (CFLs) because their was too much competition in incandescents as the manufacturing technology for them was quite outdated, and CFLs had recieved a poor view from the consumer because the early ones cast a sickly yellow light and took ages to get to their full light rating, not to mention it takes do long to make the electricity savings (which most people don’t have an idea how much impact the bulb makes on their bill) pay for the initial investment of these more expensive bulbs. As a result of all of these things the average person was slow in getting CFLs so the factories who made them were likely seeing too little demand to expand or even maintain production levels, but if you call in the government to outlaw your competitors then your product will see a demand spike and other companies who were still increasing incandescent production are now caught behind the curve as they struggle to develop CFL manufacturing capabilities.

In short the argument never really was about which bulb is better for the earth, as one uses more electricity requiring more electrical production and the other contains a poison, but it was sold to the public as an environmental issue to disguise the fact that politically related companies received a great benefit from the new law. Not to mention but wasn’t the law banning incandescents passed in the first few days of the year (i forget which one), a time when it is common for less people to be watching the news as they are spending time with family for the holidays, and therefore less people would be commenting about it and it would carry less political baggage as people get angry over it because they will learn of the law over a spread out time period and it will quickly be covered by newer current news.

Sarah September 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Fantastically and persistently poisonous, as implied by the EPA’s own brochure: http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.pdf It’s a good example of sanctifying the sacrifice of the self for the community.

Instead of dosing the world’s air, soil, water, and fish with trace quantities of a very mobile toxic metal (in the burning of fossil fuels for electricity), the mandatory switch to CFLs imposes a potential high-dose, deferred payment body-burden tax on anyone who invites them into their home: the benignly green, the low-income, and those like me who are careless with the mop handle in an old low-ceiling home. Not to mention the occupational exposure of people like those shown in the GE slideshow, or people like me who work on the business end of disposal.

I refuse CFL freebies on a monthly basis. As a result of my decision and some very old household wiring, I hand-wash dishes by lamplight (I prefer the lamp to candles). And CFLs don’t do squat to hatch eggs, or keep pipes or diesel engines from freezing at night.

I do see an opportunity here. Since I’m well-positioned in the green scene (waste diversion and disposal), I think I’ll offer a free removal service for those pesky old tungsten bulbs, particularly for the gov’t buildings that are retrofitting to comply with our state’s new energy standards.

Fephisto September 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

(*not it promises -> now it promises)

But, nice article, I very much agree. Even though I try not to be a materialist, I will defend to the death your right to be one.

Fephisto September 10, 2010 at 11:39 am

(not it promises -> now it promises)

Jeff,

I try not to be a materialist, but I defend to the death your right to be one.

pussum207 September 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Good post!

Rick September 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Oh come on now Jeff, candles are good for love making. I’m sure you agree that people should have universal access to sensuality and middle class fantasy?

Tennanja September 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

The problem is the unsound money, as more money is created it leads to more people investing (speculating) with it, so just by having unsound money we should expect to see commodity prices rise through the actions of people who are bidding up the futures market. They end up being rewarded for this bid because the people buying the good have more money (in dollars, not in real terms) and are therefore willing to pay more. But the simple truth is as inflation happens (due to newly created money entering the system) prices can rise (in dollar terms) and so they do. All you have to do is guess prices will go up (buy up in future markets) and in the end you are proven right since the commodity price will go up (As long as people do not change their valuation between different commodities) . The only way to loose is to guess that price will go up faster than it ends up going, or for you to get caught in a commodity that people value less over time (in which case the price will drop as less people buy it)

In conclusion it is not the speculation that is the problem but the unsound money that goes to speculators early in the cycle and then goes out into the publics hands, so that the prices are guaranteed to go up.

Note: I will admit that this is a very dumbed down version of how commodity investing works, it is by no means a sure thing for the individual investor but the market in a gross fashion operates in this way.

newson September 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm

here in australia low-efficiency incandescent bulbs have been forced from the market, leaving only the efficient halogen variety, and the cfl’s.

no doubt in the following years we’ll witness the first major mercury-in-groundwater scare, as proper disposal areas for cfl’s are few and far between. i ditch them with the normal household waste, and i know of no one who doesn’t.

Gil September 11, 2010 at 1:31 am

So it’s cool to be anti-progress and anti-materialist when Libertarians advocate it?

Matthew Swaringen September 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

No, it’s cool to let people keep their own money and progress as they desire by spending accordingly.

Gil September 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

So if well-to-do Greenies demand ethanol cars and personally pay the price for farmland to be used for growing fuel for ethanol cars (i.e. no subsidies) which just happen to push up the price of food then what’s the problem?

Ted Sonnier September 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

Nothing.

Mundi September 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

In Australia the government makes the claim that the globes end up cheaper because they last longer and draw less power. If this was really true why did they need to ban them? The real answer of course is that there are more characteristics than just purchase prices, energy use and energy cost. CFL’s cant be used in dark rooms, because they glow. CFL’s age badly. After about 1/10th of their life they start to take several minutes to reach maximum brightness. Some people I know horded bulbs, I was stupid enough not to. Now I live with a rediculous situation where if I go to flick a light on at night it takes about 5 minutes to get to a decent brightness, or I can go and buy a new bulb for $9.95 that I replaced just 6 months ago, yet the bulbs are meant to last 10 years at 4hours a day… hahah yeah right.

newson September 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm

“If this was really true why did they need to ban them?”

malcolm turnbull wanted the doctors’ wives vote.

alnetloc September 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm

This author has it wrong – While conservation may mean sacrifices or changes in behavior (e.g. turning off the light when you leave the room; turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater), energy efficiency means only making smart choices and sacrificing nothing (e.g. efficient buildings, efficient cars, etc.). The author suggests that government is the evil-doer causing us to regress. In fact, businesses all over the country are willingly choosing to save energy so they can save money – money that they plow back into their business. A smart builder would no sooner throw away lumber, than an smart manufacturer will throw money at energy costs that they don’t need to. In fact, since 1970, energy efficiency has met 77% of new energy service demands in the US (Ehrhardt, Martinez, 2008 – http://www.aceee.org/research-report/e083; see graph at http://energy.ky.gov/resources/Pages/EnergyPlan.aspx page 14).

nate September 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I think that you totally and utterly missed the point of the article.

It’s not some sort of ‘freedom’ or ‘business’ versus ‘conservation’. It’s about how the government pushed agendas to force progress on society. They created tax breaks, did huge land-modification projects like what was carried out by the TVA. Railroad projects. A slew of laws, tax breaks, and all sorts of other manipulations in the hope of pushing economic growth. A whole host of things like this, much of it having very negative and lasting effects on the ecology of the United States.

They did this claiming that if they left things up to the free market then progress would be slow and people would suffer.

Then thirty years later, the same government, is pushing a whole new bunch of laws, taxes, and other manipulations to counteract this damage and blaming much of it on the ‘free market’ and corporations.

They now do this saying that progress is to fast and to wasteful and they need to force us to slow down and get the good old days of the small town communities and keep them from suffering.

I, personally, buy CFLs because they make sense to me. I get tired of changing light bulbs all the time and they are cheaper to operate (although their average life span is greatly over stated. Yes they will not burn out quickly, but the other components in the bulb do not last as long as the lighted part). I don’t care about if it takes a quarter of a second for them to light up or if they contain trace amounts of mercury. I am a informed person and have a pretty good idea of how they are manufactured, how much energy they use, their life span, what is likely to go wrong with them, and probably what is going to happen to them after I dispose of them. Yet I still use a lot of incandescent bulbs for a variety of reasons, mainly because I have light fixtures that the other types cannot fit into.

Most people used to using computers can find all the information they need to make a informed decision. They and I do not need anybody leading us around by the nose. Education is important, control is not.

GE’s plants should be shut down if there was a lack of demand for those types of bulbs.

But they were not.

They were shut down because people ruling you decided they should not be profitable and that you should not be able to use them anymore.

That is what is known as ‘bullshit’.

kelley September 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Good post???

Did you write that because you don’t know how to spell “nonsensical rant”?

This is the kind of drivel that is usually reserved for AM talk shows, catering to a willfully uninformed and generally under-educated audience that opts to listen to ridiculous nonsense instead of being productive.

This is nothing more than a collection of unrelated claims and alternatives, all leading to false conclusions. It makes me wonder what sort of article the author produces when he’s sober and possibly able to think and use logic. I would hope it’s better than this garbage, otherwise, other than knowing how to use spellcheck, he’s no better than the trolls that post inflammatory and grossly inaccurate comments on the internet.

Jeffrey Tucker September 11, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Oh good, seems like some green nuts linked here.

kelley September 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

If by “green nuts” you mean able to think, then, yes, you are correct. I suspect it’s more likely, however, that you simply don’t agree, but are incapable of making a credible argument, so you use a tactic you’ve resorted to since First Grade: name-calling.

FYI: The license plate on my V12 BMW doesn’t say greennut.

But I do know that the only water that rinses the soap off me in the shower is that which touches me, not all the rest that goes past me and down the drain. So why would I pay extra, just to waste the product?

So, if knowing that and acting on it saves my money, and that makes makes me a nut or a liberal or a tree hugger, then so be it.

Thank you for the compliment.

Matthew Swaringen September 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

How did you original post amount to anymore than name calling, except that you were using it to call his argument names rather than himself? (These aren’t altogether different in my view).

You didn’t even describe what it was about the article that you didn’t like, so at this point I have no idea what you actually “think” outside your ability to make quips, though you supposedly do think so I imagine you think… something.

If your overall belief is that you shouldn’t waste, then I don’t think you’ll find too many here who believe that we should waste. That’s all you’ve really said thus far. If your belief is that the state should force us not to “waste” at that point I definitely do have disagreements with you.

Franklin September 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm

You have said absolutely nothing, and in nearly a dozen paragraphs!
No counter-argument. No fact refutation. No logical rebuttal.
Nothing… well, that is, other than a salute to your gas-guzzler.
You might want to switch to the ActiveHybrid 8-cylinder.

kelley September 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

My “gas-guzzler” is used for highway travel almost exclusively, where it consistently gets 22-23 mpg, even at very illegal speeds. Once it’s used up, I will probably get a more efficient model, but it would be wasteful to discard a highly-functioning vehicle, only to replace it with a different machine.

The actual point I was making with that reference, though, was not to boast about a car, but rather make the point that the obvious insinuation I was a raw-food eating Prius driver, aka “green nut”, wasn’t accurate.

kelley September 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm

My primary argument is the author’s claim that somehow the government is forcing and requiring all these ostensibly sacrifices. The vast majority of the claims are just plain wrong. Beyond that, the assorted premises that alledgedly support the argument that our “standard of living” is being ripped away from us by the same governments, is ridiculous. There are so many valid complaints and observations, why would someone feel they need to fabricate others?

“Examples that pop readily to mind include recycling (blech on sorting through garbage)”. First, it’s your garbage, so it’s exactly where you put it. There is no requirement for you to put one particular type of discard in with another, then later separate them. There is also no requirement, in most communities, to even separate them. The trash companies (privately-owned, for-profit businesses), in many towns, provide receptacles to allow you to separate the items, but the government doesn’t mandate you to keep plastic or glass out of your other garbage.

“It was all about progress, progress, progress” Really? It wasn’t about jobs, jobs, jobs? Or demand, demand, demand? Only “progress” for the sake of progress?

“tricks for conserving water like reduced water pressure and shower-head water restraints” Another business that knows how much it costs to convert crap-filled water into drinking water. And again, you are not required to use those devices. They do impose restrictions during periods of drought. Conserving water for basic human health should trump washing down your driveway. Personally, I’ve never had a government official knocking on my door, demanding to know how long I shower and verifying I have a low-flow toilet or shower head. And they’ve never attacked my toilet paper, either.

Why is there so much offense taken with subsidies for solar and wind-sourced energy development? Is the outrage matched by the reaction to the tax breaks and subsidies given to oil companies. And how does that lower my standard of living? My refrigerator is not that particular about whether the electricity came from a hydroelectric dam, windmill, or nuclear plant. I still have cold beer whenever I want.

With regard to the light bulb issue, do you even know what the restrictions amount to? Completely disgregarding how far behind the rest of the world the US is in pushing for higher efficiency, the idea that you must choose candles and relinquish “warm and pretty light in our rooms” lights is absurd, as is the notion that by not allowing people to cling to an old, inefficient technology, they are anti-progressive. Generally, new innovations that offer improvements over existing or older technologies, is, by definition, progress.

I’m not stopping because I’ve run out of material. I’m just getting bored. Virtually every statement is full of holes. When you add the obvious lack of proofreading to the lack of logic and the lack of real facts, the combination does nothing to flatter the author or the message. (“The old statism…economic structures and people make them work were not prepared for it”) (“another victory it its campaign “).

kelley September 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I had hoped my observation would lead you to be more critical of the arguments on your own. My apologies for overestimating the impact.

My primary argument is the author’s claim that somehow the government is forcing and ostensibly requiring all these sacrifices. The vast majority of the claims are just plain wrong. Beyond that, the assorted premises that alledgedly support the argument that our “standard of living” is being ripped away from us by the same governments, is ridiculous. There are so many valid complaints and observations, why would someone feel they need to fabricate others?

“Examples that pop readily to mind include recycling (blech on sorting through garbage)”. First, it’s your garbage, so it’s exactly where you put it. There is no requirement for you to put one particular type of discard in with another, then later separate them. There is also no requirement, in most communities, to even separate them. The trash companies (privately-owned, for-profit businesses), in many towns, provide receptacles to allow you to separate the items, but the government doesn’t mandate you to keep plastic or glass out of your other garbage.

“It was all about progress, progress, progress” Really? It wasn’t about jobs, jobs, jobs? Or demand, demand, demand? Only “progress” for the sake of progress?

“tricks for conserving water like reduced water pressure and shower-head water restraints” Another business that knows how much it costs to convert crap-filled water into drinking water. And again, you are not required to use those devices. They do impose restrictions during periods of drought. Conserving water for basic human health should trump washing down your driveway. Personally, I’ve never had a government official knocking on my door, demanding to know how long I shower and verifying I have a low-flow toilet or shower head. And they’ve never attacked my toilet paper, either. During water restriction periods, however, I could be fined for washing my car at home or watering the lawn in the middle of the day. Of course, the middle of the day is the dumbest time to water, anyway, but that’s a different issue.

Why is there so much offense taken with subsidies for solar and wind-sourced energy development? Is the outrage matched by the reaction to the tax breaks and subsidies given to oil companies? And how does that lower my standard of living? My refrigerator is not that particular about whether the electricity came from a hydroelectric dam, windmill, or nuclear plant. I still have cold beer whenever I want.

With regard to the light bulb issue, do you even know what the restrictions amount to? Completely disgregarding how far behind the rest of the world the US is in pushing for higher efficiency, the idea that you must choose candles and relinquish “warm and pretty light in our rooms” lights is absurd, as is the notion that by not allowing people to cling to an old, inefficient technology, they are anti-progressive. Generally, new innovations that offer improvements over existing or older technologies, is, by definition, progress.

I’m not stopping because I’ve run out of material. I’m just getting bored. Virtually every statement is full of holes. When you add the obvious lack of proofreading to the lack of logic and the lack of real facts, the combination does nothing to flatter the author or the message. (“The old statism…economic structures and people make them work were not prepared for it”) (“another victory it its campaign “).

Richie September 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

Looks as though we have another “michael” visiting the site.

DixieFlatline September 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

Kelley,

We object to subsidies because we are libertarians. Pay for your own social agendas without taking from others.

As far as the lack of one thing or another, your ad hominem responses do not actually provide a logical argument, but rather runs from one. As this is a site first devoted to economics and second to ethics, perhaps you should stop confusing your preferences with fact. Your preferences are unjustifiable objectively.

kelley September 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

This is the third time I’ve seen “ad hominem” used in a response in the last 12 hours. I’m still waiting for it to be used correctly.

The definition of ad hominem is essentially “attacking the man/speaker”, and using that approach to sway the argument, without addressing the actual issues. It’s a commonly-employed logic-flaw, especially in political debates.

Your opportunity to use it more correctly was several comments ago, in response to Jeffrey Tucker’s post: “Oh good, seems like some green nuts linked here.”

Obviously, he offerred no response or rebuttal to any issue, only attempting a slanderous and inaccurate statement about me as a person, expecting that to justify dismissing anything I wrote.

Regarding the one issue you chose to address, my question was about the objection to subsidies. The objection appears to be highly selective. There appears to be no affront taken with the subsidies that keep the roads in your community smooth, or the subsidies that keep the cost of your food and fuel down, or the subsidies that allow your neighborhood to employ better-trained and better-equipped police and fire protection, etc. It would seem that while enjoying the benefits of a certain set of rules, laws, subsidies and protections, certain people feel justified in railing against benefits afforded to others. I don’t know the Latin words for greed and selfishness, but this would be the time to add them if I did.

I was amused by your statement “Pay for your own social agendas without taking from others.” Your choice of wording probably was far more honest than you intended. You could have said “Let me pay for my own social agendas, and don’t provide any assistance to help me.” But instead of presenting it as a personal stance or declaration of your own actions, you chose to dictate how others should behave. Here’s your opportunity to backpedal and say that you meant “We all should pay for our own social agendas…”, but it’s probably too late to cloud the truth about your attitude in your initial claim.

Contrary to your critique in the second paragraph, the information I provided is logically presented. Whether you agree or disagree with my comments is not the definition of logic. By contrast, the original article is more emotive than factual. The essence of my comments is that my preference is for facts and a rational consideration thereof, and I’m not at all confused about that.

Franklin September 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

“There appears to be no affront taken with the subsidies [for a whole bunch of stuff]….”

Then you’ve not been paying attention. Or have not taken the time to read the expansive body of work from Tucker et. al.

newson September 12, 2010 at 10:11 pm

cue walter block, on privatizing everything.

Richie September 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I’m done with this site. It’s devolving into nonsensical rants from lunatics. Good bye.

newson September 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm

pot calls kettle black?

Jon Leckie September 13, 2010 at 5:00 am

Hardly – unless Richie has form extending beyond the six months I’ve been reading these pages, there’s no hypocrisy in his post. Or maybe the two of us are just the same sort of lunatic.

Andy September 13, 2010 at 2:27 am

In my community, voluntary recycling was provided (and still is) by Sam’s Club and an area super market chain approximately 5 years before we were being billed monthly for curbside recycling service. The editorial pages were filled with opposition to “being told what to do” by the government.

The issue has become space. National Serv-All (private sanitation company) has thus far had 2, 170 acre dump site proposals rejected by referendum. The article announcing the fast approaching closure of our current landfill, and the difficulties in locating a new site, was barely noticed as evidenced by the editorial silence on the issue.

My personnal issue with the matter is the number of homes I pass on recycling day that do not participate in the program that they pay for, AND bitch about.

We are going to have forced recycling, eminent domain seizure and placement of a landfill, or garbage laying in the streets to bitch about very soon. Each of our landfills can accept garbage for 20 years. How much more time does the “market” need to find a better solution?

Andy September 13, 2010 at 2:59 am

Smoking bans seem to follow a similar pattern of private inaction and complaint, a subsequent public intervention, accompanied by the inevitable complaining.

Public smoking has been at least a 30 year issue that I can remember before the ban. People complained about the smoke in the hospitals, then bitched because smoking was banned in the hospitals. (The early bans were voluntary, only recently mandated) The protest and moaning was then focused on grocery stores. Polite discourse was insufficient for an amicable resolution, so we got another city ordinance regarding public smoking…followed by more whining from the opposition.

Our city decided 2 summers ago to ban smoking in ALL public places. The bitching has finally quieted.

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