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New York City councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) is largely responsible for the plastic bag fee about to hit the Big Apple. And why is he so gung-ho about it? Because he wants the government to "irritate" you.
"It works by irritating us into changing our behavior," Lander said of the bag tax.
It works by irritating us. There can be some debate about the accuracy of one of those verbs, but not the other. Government, when it's being honest, acknowledges it isn't your buddy, your helper, your protector, your go-to source for inspiration and dreams.
Nope, the government is now proudly proclaiming itself your irritant. Let me suggest a very slight rewording of Lander's remark: "Our work is irritating you." And let it be inscribed in granite in public places.
This is the Progressive Democrats' raison d'etra, to irritate you.
And of course to signal how virtuous they are.
Do they care if their irritants cause real hardships for real people?
Don't make me laugh.
It's a display of self-love by upscale liberals. The Emmas and Sebastians of New York are already gaga about their nifty canvas tote bags and their virtue-signaling designs (NPR, Ready for Hillary, whatever) — and are crazily obsessed with getting the poor to act more like eco-conscious social-justice warriors.
But being poor is so stressful, so saturated with worry, that remembering to bring a reusable shopping bag stands to be more difficult for many of those with lower incomes (though those who buy with food stamps will be exempted). The same goes for old people. It can take a lot of bags to bring your groceries home. For some, 50 cents is a significant expense. Forcing the grandmothers of New York to pay up to teach them a lesson is an exercise in cruelty.
Hey, they bankrupted an entire industry (coal), putting millions of people out of work, devolving vast swaths of West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio into soul-crushing poverty. Do you really think they care about some old lady in Queens living on Social Security? Her electricity rates have already "necessarily skyrocketed." What's another 50 cents?
Think of how many Democratic party policies have at their core the propensity to irritate us. Which they always manage to say is for our own good, of course.
It's dictatorship of the nanny state.
Progressives always know what's good for us better than we do. Just ask them. It's necessary for them to control us, because then we're busy complying with their mandates and we don't have time to get our own ideas. Once in a while they throw us a bone and we lap it up like good little automatons, because making choices is hard and making good choices is harder still.
Several years ago I actually had a person tell me in response to some new bureaucratic diktat or another, "why should I worry about that when the government has already decided the best way to handle it?"
Then in the next breath she complained about the Iraq war, but the disconnect in those two statements was completely lost on her. The government is only omnipotent when it's doing things Progressives believe in, I guess.
Oh, by the way, those reusable cloth bags come with their own problems. So get ready for an "unexpected" jump in e. coli infections, disproportionally affecting the elderly and the poor, that all the progressive media outlets will dutifully report on but dare not connect with Councilman Lander's plastic bag ban.
And then the progressive virtue signalers will mandate cloth bag testing
stations, manned by unionized government workers, who'll issue Certificates
Of Cleanliness that must be exchanged for your groceries. Sure that'll cost
a lot, but it'll save lives and you didn't think the government
wasn't going to protect you, right?
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