Until the clock struck twelve on January 1, that is.
That’s when 40,000 – count ‘em, forty thousand—new laws took effect in the United States.
Some of the new laws are, no doubt, good and proper. Some restore liberties lost. But others bind. And some are silly.
Utah’s banning happy hours. (Why not ban melancholy hours instead?) California now prohibits people 18 and under from using tanning beds. Georgia requires golf carts to have turn signals and horns if driven on public roads.
In a cruel joke, many states are raising the minimum wage, making millions of unemployed young people feel like they’re missing out on even more.
Logically, after more than 230 years of legislating, you’d think we’d be just about done making laws, wouldn’t you? Someone suggested that we stop calling people in legislatures “law makers,” hoping they’d stop assuming their job requires new laws. I’m starting to agree.
Some families have a rule about new things: for every new thing that comes into the home, something else must go out. Get a new toy, pick an old one to donate. New suit? Old suit to Salvation Army.
The idea is to live within some parameters, to avoid the accumulation of crap. The practice is a bit tough for most of us to follow, until the producer of Hoarders knocks on the door and asks if you’d like to be a TV star.
Maybe it’s time we pass one more law in Jefferson City and Washington: for each new law, you must sunset another.