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Five Regulatory Heartbreaks on Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Tomorrow we celebrate our significant other by showering them with affection and chocolate—but is government regulation getting in the way of your date night? Here are several rules you may run up against as you plan that special night out with your sweetheart.

Step 1: Purchase the perfect gift
Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, and this year you are determined to get your sweetheart something special to show how much this special someone means to you. You selected the perfect gift, but that diamond necklace or designer watch is a wee bit outside your budget this pay cycle. A short-term loan can hold you until you get your next paycheck and help you make this purchase. Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working on a regulation that will make it much harder for you to get this type of loan.

Step 2: Primp and prep for date night
It’s time to get ready for the evening so you can look your best for this special night. As you open up your medicine cabinet to freshen up, you realize that you are almost out of your favorite face wash with microbeads. Tough break, since you will soon have to switch products. While in office, President Obama signed a federal ban on microbeads, requiring manufacturers to phase them out of products by early 2017. This legislation was based on claims that microbeads are dangerous to humans and wildlife, but evidence of these claims is harder to find than these tiny plastic balls

Step 3: Select the perfect wine pairing
You spent a little too long in front of the mirror getting ready, so now you’re feeling rushed. As you head out the door, you remember that you need to pick up a bottle of wine to toast the evening. Thank goodness the holiday doesn’t fall on a Sunday, or you may run into state laws restricting alcohol sales! But this relief is soon met with panic as you frantically search the grocery store aisles with no wine selections in sight. You may live in a state that still bans the sale of all forms of alcohol in supermarkets in order to protect existing liquor stores that have a monopoly on alcohol sales.

Step 4: Pick up your date in style
It’s finally time to pick up your dashing date for a perfectly planned evening. As it is a special evening, you want to pick them up in a high-end vehicle, so you request an UberLUX. Thank goodness you don’t live in Austin, Texas! Rejecting a proposal by Uber and Lyft to self-regulate their drivers, voters in this Lone Star State city demanded stricter rules for these sharing economy businesses. These burdensome regulations caused both ride-hailing companies to pull their operations from Austin.

Step 5: Enjoy something sweet with your sweetheart
After finishing that delicious meal, your sweetheart offers you chocolate from a heart shaped box. Since it’s a special night, you will resist looking at the label, but if you did, you may see evidence of the FDA’s efforts to interfere in Americans’ diets. Presumably to encourage people to consume more fruit and less sugary treats, the agency targeted “added sugars” in their 2015-2016 nutritional guidelines. This type of labeling may make matters worse as it could confuse consumers into thinking that foods with low added sugars are okay to in indulge in without thinking about the total sugar they are consuming.

Tonight you encountered several regulatory roadblocks, but fortunately it didn’t derail your evening. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, however, you may consider contacting your elected representatives to tell them how much you don’t “love” government regulations getting in the way of a romantic evening.