Overgovernment: Regulatory Racket Edition
New York continues to lead the way down the path toward tyranny, with petty bureaucrats running up to any business they can find and saying “That’s a fine small business you have there, shame if something were to ‘appen to it:”
The city continues to blitz merchants with ridiculous fines — raking in cash for scuffed cutting boards, too-short napkins and failure to recognize the medicinal properties of ChapStick.
“It’s not about protecting the consumer or the food. This is a money racket for the city,” said Declan Morrison, owner of Blackwater Inn in Forest Hills, Queens.
A Health Department inspector recently spent several hours looking for ticket-worthy violations, before spotting five thermometers in the pub’s refrigerator.
“The inspector said, ‘This is way too many thermometers,’ and docked me points,” said Morrison, who also owns the nearby Tap House.
But on paper, the offense read, “Accurate thermometer not provided,” a fine of $300. The charge was later dropped, but Morrison said he has forked over about $20,000 in fines in the past year.
…Leslie Barnes, owner of London Lennie’s in Queens, said he was fined $300 for having too many marks on his cutting boards. Now he spends $2,000 on backup boards each year.
Consumer Affairs Department inspectors charged a Ditmas Park barber $650 this year for using an antique register that didn’t print receipts and for posting different prices for men’s and women’s haircuts.
Can we end now the fiction that large regulatory states exist to protect the people? They do not. They exist to enrich the coffers and enhance the power of government officials.
This sort of behavior is nothing more than legalized gangsterism – pay your masters or something bad will happen to you. It has no place in a free society.