As part of my ongoing series on the small ways government wrecks our lives, I’ve been getting floods of correspondence from business people who tell amazing stories of the most idiotic regulations that are slowly ruining their lives. I receive dozens of these every day, and I’m astounded at how the details are not even published in an accessible form that I can link to. Industry is regulated so extensively that you would never know about it unless you actually were charged with following all this nonsense day after day.
Here is an example. A pizza parlor owner wrote to me to say that a new regulation set to go live in July requires that they no longer use washable aprons in their kitchen but rather use disposable ones approved by the government — and that this is a follow-up on a new regulation passed last year that did the same thing to the cloths used to clean tables. This is all part of the Safety First program of government (and don’t you know those bureaucrats really care about our safety). What could be the safety issue? The fear is that washable aprons might have leftover germs, and this might indeed be true given that phosphates are banned in detergent, so of course nothing gets really clean anymore. And so intervention piles on intervention and restaurants will now be going through boxes and boxes of disposable rags and aprons, which will undoubtedly enrage the greens.
If anyone can find a link somewhere about this case, that would be great.
In general, I can’t even imagine that the Soviets would have dared regulate life in this much detail. To the extent commerce exists at all in this country, it is despite these regulations passed by and enforced by these parasites.
Oh, and a heads-up: Skip Oliva has an article coming out on Mises.org on (this you will not believe) how the FTC is regulating the prices of low-end shampoo and conditioner.