Friday, January 20, 2012

Lawn Nazis and Trash Fascists

Today I want to tell you a tale of two cities.  Call one "S", for "stylish", and the other "R", for responsible.  (The identities are hidden to protect the guilty.)

The residents of "S" are very concerned with outward appearances.  In particular they want everyone to have impeccably groomed lawns.  They have even gone so far as pass an ordinance that grass must be kept below 6 inches, and one of the town officials goes around in the spring with a ruler to make sure that people comply.  Those who don't are given one warning and then face a $300 fine.

People living in "R" want to make sure we leave the planet in as good a condition as possible.  They are very strict that people recycle everything they can.  The refuse collectors are charged with watching the trash as gather it.  People who fail to separate out recyclables get a note on their trash can warning them they could face a stiff fine.

Why does this matter?  Because as long as these Lawn Nazis and Trash Fascists only hold power at a local level, you can choose whether you want to be stylish or responsible.  If you find yourself in the wrong town, you can easily move to another more to your liking.  Heck, you might even find a town, call it "SR", that has both, if that is what you want.  Once they start taking over state or national governments, however, escaping them becomes much more costly.

Having as much local control as possible will help us navigate the Long Ascent.

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