Weekend Quick Takes

New York’s plans to help its subway system and will plastic straws be the new black market in California?As Socialism Always Does…

New York city has seen a rise in Uber and Lyft car services in recent years. Taxi drivers, of course, complain at the competition. And recently, New York Mayor Bil DeBlasio has linked increased dissatisfaction with the city’s subway to competition and the easy availability of cheap Uber and Lyft services.

New York’s solution? Stop Uber, Lyft and other internet-based ride services from growing. The city passed a law that refused to allow any new licenses for these types of ride sharing services for the next year. Rather than try to improve the subway or ask taxi companies why they can’t lower their prices to compete, the city reacts to innovation by stopping it.

Here is an example of one of the fundamental differences between a conservative perspective and an activist government perspective. One perspective applauds innovation, knowing that it will force change and be hard for those who refuse to change but feels that is outweighed by the benefits to consumers and that consumers, making their own choices, are the best to decide what they want.

Those in favor of a big and activist government feel that the government can and should decide what is best and should often step in to ‘protect’ those that aren’t able to keep up with a changing environment. And by doing so they are, in effect, deciding to transfer money from consumers to, in this case, the government run subway and higher priced ride sharing taxis.

Civil Rights Memorial Defamed (Again)

Emmett Till was 14 when he was abducted and killed during the night of Aug. 28, 1955 in a small town in Mississippi. He was badly beaten inside a barn, killed and then his body dumped in the river. An African-American, Till had been accused by a white woman of whistling at and grabbing her. Some time later, the woman recanted her story.

Till’s mother’s decision not to hide Emmett’s disfigured body and to have an open casket for the funeral service made the crime a symbol of the brutality of the Jim Crow era and shocked the nation during the early civil rights movement.

Roughly fifty years after the incident, a sign was erected in 2007 along the river to remember the brutal killing. The sign was torn down by vandals and a replacement sign was riddled with bullet holes over several years making in unreadable. A new sign was erected in June and it has also been shot at and again has bullet holes defacing it.

It is a shame on the country that this violent incident continues to stain our national memory because of the continued defaming of a part of history, and one that we need so badly to learn from even today.

Six Months in Jail for Sale of Plastic Straws

Santa Barbara, California has passed a bill banning the sale and distribution of plastic straws. The city has announced that the penalty is up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

Movie producers have said there is a script proposal making the rounds for a remake of the classic ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, where the plot will be that they are running plastic straws—including a load of bendy straws, which command a higher price on the black market—to California.

Ok, that last part isn’t true…yet.

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