Tormented by the sight of the lush green grass on the other side of the fence, my two-year-old, clad only in a diaper, stares longingly from her dirt and rock prison otherwise known as our yard. The whining from our five-year-old becomes deafening as he voices what she cannot. Released from the cement cage, we let them stand on the grass —only for a minute— while Daddy untangles the strings of a kite. Perhaps they will be so lucky as to be able to fly the kite for a couple of minutes. Off in the distance, I see a woman walking purposely out of a neighbor’s yard. She approaches my husband and they exchange a few words. My husband shuttles our now shrieking children back into the cement cage of a yard, their faces now wet with streaming tears. A glance to my right reveals a smug-looking couple peering over their bushes at us as we confine our children. The smirks on their faces leave no doubt that they had called security on our fun-loving children. The rules are the rules.
In California we have an overabundance of rules and regulations. Some rules and regulations are, of course, necessary and important in society. But over-regulation or too many rules can stifle freedom and independence.
The California legislature is now in the last two weeks of their session. They are busy making more rules and regulations for us all to follow. With over 740 bills to vote on by midnight September thirteenth, they are officially in crunch time. Hundreds of bills will move through the legislature this week, many classified as job killers by various groups and the Chambers of Commerce. Whether it’s Senate Bill 276 which will strengthen control on exemptions for vaccinations, or Assembly Bill 5 which will reclassify the workers of the gig economy from independent contractors to employees, there are plenty of protests going on at the Capitol these days. Truckers, not happy about having their independent status removed, blare their horns outside of the State Capitol building in a thunderous protest. People shout for their cause from atop chairs until the legislative session was ended due to “safety concerns” for the chair-balancers who could fall and hurt themselves. The majority party, the Democrats, most certainly feel that protests are the highest form of patriotism and should not be curtailed —until that protest is against them— and then they shut it down. They also most definitely think they know better than the average working citizen and claim they are working to ensure the people of California are taken care of. In reality, many of these new regulations will cost the companies that hire workers millions of dollars and cause them to cut hiring. Many people like the freedom and flexibility that working for companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash offer. Rules and regulations tend to take away freedoms in the name of caring for workers’ well-being. In California, we all must be controlled. For, who knows what we could accomplish should our freedoms remain intact?
I stare out my kitchen window and feel a twinge of sadness when I realize what is missing from my view. The children I used to watch across the way, gleefully running or throwing a ball, are no longer there. Now they are relegated to playing video games or watching videos on an electronic device inside their home. They too have fallen victim to the cantankerous couple with nothing better to do than squash fun in the name of rules.
The rules are the rules.