The North County Times in Escondido, Calif., recently editorialized against the proposed California plastic bag ban with a column that blasted the legislative "nanny state" trend. "... if plastic grocery bags can be banned, what other popular consumer items will the nanny state try to take away from us? After all, if plastic grocery bags are bad, then plastic trash bags can't be much better. Or perhaps the gurus in Sacramento will decide that we all have to purchase our movies and music digitally to keep CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays out of our landfills," the editorial asserts. "Keeping plastic out of our landfills (and more important, our ocean) is a good idea, so be a good steward and recycle that plastic. And offering tax credits for those who invest in research into biodegradable or recyclable alternatives to the many plastics would be a wise government policy indeed. "But micromanaging our lives and imposing what amounts to a regressive tax on the poor and middle class -- while fundamental government tasks like passing a budget remain undone -- is, to put it as kindly as possible, irresponsible." For more on the "nanny state" argument against plastic bans, check out this funny story from the San Francisco Chronicle, which notes that Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado is using a similar tact against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Maldonado sponsored a booth at the state Republican party convention with a table of products "banned in San Francisco," including plastic water bottles.
"With a pen and piece of paper and an executive order, he bans Pepsi and Coke," Maldonado told The Chronicle. "You know what? If I don't like Pepsi and Coke, I just don't drink it. But if Gavin doesn't like it, he bans it for everybody."