Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What's the stupid law behind that?

I spend a lot of time on the L.A. freeways commuting now, and I've yet to find a good NPR station. So I've been listening to commercial radio, and putting up with the ads. I hate those rapid-fire disclaimers at the ends of the commercials. At first it makes me annoyed at the companies themselves. But then I realize that they almost certainly have no choice in the matter. They are probably just abiding by some pointless law mandating that they say so if there are additional restrictions, if participation may vary, or if the offer is not available in some areas, or whatever. Again, the government is assuming the general populace is a mass of dolts who can't manage their own purchasing choices. I personally assume that not every detail of an offer is spelled out in a 30 second ad, and that if I want to go through with the purchase, I should look further into the matter.

This is just the latest in a long string of serious problems and lesser annoyances that I've pondered, about which I've come to the conclusion that there is an ill-conceived law behind the malady. I think when people take a look at the world's problems, we'd be much better off if everybody started asking, "What's the stupid law behind that?" I think most people would find that to be a surprisingly fruitful inquiry.


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