With the unemployment rate still over 9 percent, regulators have been very busy tending to their own job security. Here are some of their more recent make-work programs:
- In King County, Washington, swimming without a life vest is punishable by an $86 fine.
- New food regulations in New York would make it illegal to cut cheese in farmer’s markets.
- A new California regulation would require retailers to provide seating for cashiers.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission adopted voluntary new standards for cribs in 2008. Now it has decided to make them both mandatory and retroactive. That means that roughly 100,000 unsold cribs currently sitting in stores will have to be thrown away. Hopefully smaller retailers can survive the hit.
- San Francisco is poised to ban goldfish.
- New EU regulations would require farmers to look after their pigs’ emotional well-being.
- A weakened version of Texas’ TSA pat-down ban passed both houses of the state legislature. TSA agents found guilty would face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The loopholes in this version appear large enough that it would do little to stop the pat-downs. Other states are considering similar measures.