Trans fats, cigarettes, salt, soda, firearms, baby formula, Styrofoam, the list goes on and on. Yet even now, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg manages to indulge his personality disorder by finding new aspects of our lives to hyper-regulate. He has discovered that people enjoy listening to MP3 players through earbuds; hence Big Government must intervene. Barks Nancy Clark of the city’s bloated Health Department bureaucracy:
“With public [i.e., coercively financed] and private support, a public-education campaign is being developed to raise awareness about safe use of personal music players … and risks of loud and long listening.”
A quarter of a $million is to be frittered away chiding youth not to listen to their music so loud. As always, if the voluntary methods don’t work, involuntary means will quickly follow.
Bloomberg’s 2005 “Operation Silent Night” law cracked down on noise other people can hear; now he is going after noise that isn’t bothering anyone.
Like all of Bloomberg’s endless crusades against personal freedom, the earbud campaign is for his subjects’ own good. As C.S. Lewis wisely observed,
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Imagine trying to explain to the Founding Fathers how it is the government’s business how loud you listen to music that no one else can hear. Of course, statists will reply that they didn’t have iPods then, just like they didn’t have AR-15s.
On tips from Sean C, Wiggins, and Mickey Shea.