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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Loopy Loser Legislator Legislates Life

You have to love Connecticut politicians.

When they aren’t molesting minors (Philip Giordano), getting arrested in adult video stores (Stuart Denton), or pushing the ethical boundaries of financial favors (Gov. John G. Rowland), they’re usually suggesting absent minded and unnecessary legislation. Such is the case with Connecticut State Representative Andrew Fleischmann (D-West Hartford).
Rep. Fleischmann said last week that he wants a law that requires movie theaters to post the actual start time of the feature movie so that moviegoers can avoid the plethora of preceding previews and advertisements. Sure, they’re annoying. And, yes, they seem to be escalating in length.

But, is a law necessary? Of course not.

Keep in mind that every time the Legislative Branch gets creative and intrusive, the Executive Branch has to enforce the insanity. How, exactly, are you going to justify making a criminal out of a Theatre owner for not starting the movie at the exact chime of 735pm? More importantly, what gives a State Legislature the right to dictate a privately owned company’s perceived customer service platform? The reasonable answer is that nothing gives Rep. Fleischmann or any other law crazy politician the right to intrude on what the free market system can solve on its own.

The free market system dictates behavior. Provided a theater owner wants to make money and keep the seats filled, he isn’t going to make his customers uncomfortable and irritated. However, there is no obligation to remove the tedious prerequisite showings. In fact, the revenue received from the advertising and previews is an income for the theater owner. When the loss of business due to disgruntled customers overcomes the income paid to do so, the theater owner will make an informed decision on his next move. Rep. Fleischmann has no say in that regard. In addition, a focus on the issue will have the same capitalistic effect that it always does. Some theater franchises will use the issue to market “ad free” showings in an effort to increase their market share.

How long until we see something like this:

Samuel T. Norrison was charged with a first degree misdemeanor Tuesday under the new Movie Trailer Time Standardization Act. Witnesses stated that Norrison was lead away in handcuffs and appeared distraught, reportedly singing the “Let’s all go to the Lobby” song over and over.

Asked about the arrest, police chief, Bernard Scott stated, “I feel bad for the guy. This is his third arrest this week.”

A review of the Bristol, CT police log for this week revealed three separate arrests for Norrison beginning Sunday. Apparently, on Sunday night a citizen filed charges against Norrison after “standing an exorbitant amount of time in line for his Good N Plenty’s.” Norrison was charged under the “Subservience & Response Act” which went into effect last month.

Another arrest of Norrison was made on Tuesday morning after getting caught in traffic and not being able to open up the Movie Theatre for the hired cleaning staff at 9am. He was charged in that offense under the new “Labor Law Consideration and Courtesy Act.”

Civil cases are expected to be filed in all three matters.

Of course, up here in Connecticut the concept(s) of capitalism and free market takes a back seat to taxation and legislation. After all, it’s important for State Representatives to get their names in the newspaper on a regular basis. It’s part of the job. Perhaps there ought to be a law or something.

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