Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Potluck Rites, and Rights

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Progressives are becoming increasingly defensive about nearly all forms of Big Government, relentlessly telling us that we need government for everything from money and roads to food inspection and subsidies and . . . well, the list is endless.

Food safety is one of their favorite subjects, but I’m increasingly skeptical. Do we really need to be protected from our neighbors’ produce and cooked goods, as can be found in community bake sales and potlucks?

In Arizona, legislators had long carved out an exemption from commercial food safety regulations for potluck and similar “noncommercial social events.” Great. But there was an unfortunate limitation to the exemption: it applied only to such events that took place at a workplace.

Home or church? Potlucks there are still against the law.

So of course officials took the occasion of said “loophole” to crack down on some neighborly events in an Apache Junction mobile home park, in Pinal County.

I’m sure hundreds, perhaps thousands of these events are routinely ignored by Arizona’s police. Indeed, I bet half of the state’s better cops engage in such activities themselves — just because potlucks are part of everyday life all over the country.

But the idiotic regulation allowed public servants (loosely so called) discretionary powers to attack a few people for reasons tangential to community safety. Thankfully, Rep. Kelly Townsend has introduced HB 2341, which would extend potluck freedom beyond the office or warehouse workplace.

Let us be clear: this was not a problem waiting to be solved by Big Government. It is a Big Government problem to be solved by new legislation to de-regulate home and community potlucks.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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By: CS Admin

3 Comments

  1. Brian Richard Allen says:

    Surprise! Surprise! The people we call totalitarians, really are! 

  2. Not So Free says:

    Like anything involving government, give them an inch and they take a mile.

  3. Kenneth H. Fleischer says:

    Back in the late 1960’s, I worked for Hughes Aircraft Co. in Culver City. Every weekday at noon, a woman drove her car onto the grounds, into a space between two buildings and designated for this by the company. She sold home-made soup, and everybody who tried her soups rated them delicious. She would not be allowed to do that in adjacent west Los Angeles, because L. A. has a “food safety” law that specifies that all foods that are sold for consumption must be prepared either on commercial-zone property or on licensed catering vehicles. The presumption, then, is that a home is a place intrinsically poisoning to food, but that a brick-and-mortar restaurant is intrinsically safe. The law, of course, was sponsored by restaurants.

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