Here is a story that shows progressive policies to be not only destructive, but also depressingly stupid. New York State recently passed a law requiring citizens to obtain a permit if they wish to gaze at the stars in public parks. No, really. You read that right. In New York, you must pay for a license to look at the freaking stars.
The Free Thought Project first reported on the story, explaining that “If citizens of the state wish to look up at the sky and view the stars at one of New York’s public parks, they will first have to obtain a ‘Stargazing permit.’” The site pointed out that pollution in the sky makes it more difficult for New Yorkers in “highly populated areas” to see the sky at night, so they travel to remote areas, many of which are located in state parks.
The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky. We were not able to find out how much it costs to wish upon a star, but we can be sure that it ain’t cheap. Okay, that last part was a joke — hopefully.
There are several obvious issues with this unnecessarily statist policy. For starters, it disadvantages low-income citizens who might not be able to afford to pay the fee for the permit. Aren’t progressives always whining about privilege and railing against the wealthy? Apparently, their compassion does not extend to individuals who just want to look at the stars in a public park.
The other problem is that there does not seem to be any real rationale behind the policy. Stargazing isn’t exactly known to be a dangerous pastime. Moreover, it does not cause any discernible inconvenience for anyone else. So why would they enact such a measure? The answer is simple: It is nothing more than a brazen money grab designed to separate New York residents from more of their hard-earned cash.
In other words, New York’s government is needlessly restricting the liberty of its citizens to make a quick buck. The same folks who claim capitalists are evil are willing to use cynical political means to amass funds. Of course, requiring silly permits for activities that do not warrant them is the progressives’ bread and butter. It’s become an ingenious way for local and state governments run by far leftists to raise money while asserting their dominance over the populace.
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