Today In Overregulation

Aug 30 2011 @ 3:10pm

by Zack Beauchamp

Apparently New York City has banned bringing dogs to bars, even if you're sitting outside. Thom Lambert makes the principled case against the law:

 We classical liberals are often criticized for undermining communitarian values by emphasizing individual liberties.  In reality, though, a liberal society (in the classical sense, not the welfare-state sense) fosters community by allowing people to associate in ways they find most meaningful.  … Nothing builds community better than a collection of spaces — bars, coffeshops, diners, etc. — where neighbors can go to relax, converse, and share their lives.  And nothing is more likely to keep people coming back and to get them talking to each other than to allow them to bring their dogs.  If you don’t believe me, head down to your local dog park and watch people interact.  Nobody’s a stranger at the dog park. 

Ilya Somin concurs. This sort of regulatory overreach is a clear area where liberals and libertarians have far more in common with each other than either conservatives or illiberal leftists who prioritize public morality and values over individual liberties. But I'd rather stay away from the political philosophy for the moment, and say "fuck that!" to the city telling me where I can and can't take my dog.