Thursday, January 19, 2012

When regulation jumps the shark...

Put down the coffee and feast your eyes on this. Read carefully.

Again from Balko:
But if a vending machine is in violation of the notice requirement, there’s no notice to notify the consumer that the machine is in violation. And there’s no number posted for the consumer to call. The only way this serves any purpose whatsoever is if you have a consumer who sees the notice on a compliant machine, then goes to the effort of writing it down and keeping it on his person at all times, in case he happens upon a non-compliant machine. But then to report it, the consumer would have to find some way of identifying the non-compliant machine. Location, I guess. A serial number. Then what? Does the state then send out an inspector to verify?

And assuming all that happens, you then have a vending machine owner fined for nothing more than not complying with a law requiring the owner to post a notice about the requirement to post a notice. And “teacher, you forgot to collect the homework” guy gets a cash reward.
Your tax dollars at work. Or something.


wrm said...

Bloody crazy.

The only sensible explanation I've been able to come up with (and this is speculation on my part) -- seems that vending machines used to have names and addresses on them. Seems they're not allowed to do that any more. Maybe the process is, remove names and addresses, stick this label on.

So a machine without the label would presumably still have the old names and addresses on.

This label shows that the old labels were removed.

I think.

Tam said...

There actually is a reason, as it turns out, and it makes a sort of sense once you parse it through (and of course it has to do with taxes and fees) but the resulting sign is such a pluperfect example of bureaucratese that it's impossible to not make mock of it.

Anybody who doesn't laugh at this sign probably still has all the tags on their mattresses and is terrifically dull at parties.

Tam said...

But wait! The real story is even dumber than that!

It's a zombie law! Shoot it in the head!