The Spectacle Blog

The Government Is Here to Help

By on 11.29.06 | 9:53AM

Only something so infuriating could break me away from the reverie of supplemental jurisdiction and trespass to chattels.

The wonderful, benevolent government of Fairfax County is requiring that kitchens that handout food to the poor be approved by the county.

Several problems here:
1- Such a regulation raises costs for those who operate out of the goodness of their hearts -- and will probably crowd out all those except for the largest, well-financed operations.
2- It will probably discourage start-up operations, or just everyday benevolence. You want to share your leftovers with the guy on the corner? Nice try, but is that kitchen approved?
3- The county is monopolizing food charity. This is the very area of public life that is supposed to be free from government regulation -- and thrives best without it. Private actors need to ask the county for permission to act charitably.

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