Promoted from diaries.
Last week, news was made as today’s deadline approached for commercial and municipal swimming pool owners to install means, by which disabled swimmers could enter the nation’s swimming pools. It is the kind of regulation that would make a great punch line for the conservative version of the Daily Show, if conservatives were that funny. The Obama Administration has recently construed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Standards for Accessible Design to apply to the act of swimming.
Today, this regulation was supposed to go into effect, opening up the owners to $100,000 fines as well as trial lawyer liability. However, thanks to the kindness of the Justice Department, existing pools now have until January 2013 to comply. “Newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation, commercial facilities and state and local government facilities” operating swimming pools will now be required to install permanent structures that lower physically disabled patrons into the pool. These establishments may also be forced to remove “accessibility barriers.”
The premise of this entire concept — allowing bureaucrats in DC to tell Americans how to run their swimming pools is more outrageous than the overly scandalous title to this article. Purchase and operation of these mechanical arms or “elevators” that lower people into the pool cost northward of $10k.
The fact that the Justice Department and the Obama Administration are allowing a regulation like this to go into effect demonstrates two important points — first, democrats are the party of over-regulation and second, democrats are not friends to poor people.
Democrats have spent the better part of the past six years demonizing republicans for seeking less regulations. To be sure, many regulations are necessary. But there is two sides to the regulatory coin and the dark side is a government that is so large and intrusive that it tells us how our toilets will flush, what light bulbs to put in our kitchen and what our community swimming pools will look like. It is academic arrogance by both parties that allow people living in Washington DC to know better than people in their own communities.
This is the type of regulatory nightmare that hurts small businesses like hotel chains. It is the exact opposite of what a government should be implementing during a recession. In fact, many pools throughout the U.S. may now have to shut down.
More importantly, this type of act showcases how out-of-step the Administration is with the American people. Growing up in a lower-middle class family, summer time was a time where my mother took my brothers and I to public pools for recreation and to save money by not running the air conditioning at home. In fact, for many poor people throughout every city south of Chicago, a community or municipal pool is the only social recreation that the poorest among Americans can afford.
Many hotels will be shutting down their pools until they can afford to install the robotic limb. Not only does this kind of regulatory overreach hurt small businesses, it hurts the poorest amongst us going into a very hot summer.
For all of the demagoguery we here about republicans being the party of millionaires and billionaires and democrats caring for the poor, no millionaires or billionaires will be required to alter their pools. It will mainly be poor minorities in the south that will feel this kind of heat from the administration.
Liberals (both Rs and Ds) want more regulations, but there is a line that goes too far and the Administration is stomping all over it. It won’t be rich-white-Republicans that will feel the Administration’s pressure on this one, it will be lower class minorities that are hurt the most. And that, is something to be ashamed of.