June 15, 2001 (Ira Pilgrim)

There Ought to be a Law

A law is valuable not because it is law, but because there is right in it.

Henry Ward Beecher

When I am elected president, the first thing that I will do is send the following bills to congress:

1. The Truth in Packaging Law. The last time that I was in the frozen food section of the supermarket, I saw that most packages had the most appetizing pictures on the cover. I know that none of the food inside of those packages looks like what is inside the packages. They are, in fact, all lies. The law will state, "It is against the law to place a picture on the outside of any package that does not exactly depict what the contents of that package look like. All packages that do not conform to this law will be confiscated by the appropriate authority and donated to poor people through an organization designated by local authorities."

2. The Truth in Television Advertising Law. I have seen automobiles and pickup trucks perform feats on television that could ordinarily only be performed by a snow cat. They are obviously faked. "It will be against the law to advertise any motor vehicle using such vehicles to perform feats not encountered in ordinary driving. Companies using such forbidden tactics will not be permitted to advertise on television for a period of five year and will be fined 10,000 times the retail price of one of said vehicles per ad. Advertising firms that create such ads will be similarly fined."

3. Repeal of Daylight Saving Time. Daylight saving time was initiated by an act of congress during World War II when people were all required to set their clocks one hour ahead. After the war, with typical governmental ingenuity, it had people set their clocks ahead for the summer only and returned to regular(standard) time for the winter.

Daylight saving time doesn't save anything; the days are as long or short as ever. What it does do is screw up millions of people twice a year. I would abolish daylight saving time and make life easier for everyone. If companies, stores or golf courses wish to change their working hours during the summer, that is their privilege. Safeway and Radio Shack don't have the same hours now. Schools could start later, so that kids and teachers aren't on the street before daylight; or earlier to allow more time for play. You don't need governments to do this. School districts could do this on their own as could stores and factories.

4. Coupons and Rebates. I would abolish all coupons and rebates. Any business that wished to reduce the price on any item could do so and could advertise said price reductions. Coupons are a nuisance to both the customer and the merchant. The only reason that stores use them is because their competitors use them. They are also a waste of time, paper and the trees that are used to make the paper.

5. Billboards. Large billboards would be abolished. Signs no greater than 6 x 10 feet could be used next to roads to indicate what facilities or services are available at the next exit or town.

6. $999.99 The price of all items that cost more than one dollar must be rounded off to the nearest dollar. The price of items costing more than $9 must be rounded off to the nearest ten dollars. No more items priced at $9.99; it would be $10. $19.99 would be $20 and items over $90 would be priced at $90 or $100. Gasoline would be priced to the nearest penny. No more $1.9899 per gallon.

7. Drug advertising. Prescription drugs may not be advertised to the public. The advertising costs double the cost of the medicine. I would prefer that NO drugs be advertised; but first things first.

8. Advertising agency liability. Advertising agencies will be legally liable, along with the manufacturer, for any adverse effects of the products that they advertise.

9. No noise in public places. Nowadays if you go into the Willits MacDonalds, you will eat to the sound of something that, if you have no ear whatever, might be called music. To me it sounds more like a steam engine running wild. A similar sound is so loud in Safeway that it is difficult to concentrate on what you came to the store to do. Store owners will be required to turn off the sound if a single customer asks them to do so. It's just too damn bad if some people can't stand silence!

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