Of rules and regulations, flow restrictors and fitted sheets

I noticed a sign yesterday while filling the car with gas. Did you know the government restricts the nozzle flow rate? Trivial, yes. And it turns out there are valid reasons for the EPA to have such rules and regulations. But the idea that such a mundane, daily task was so strictly regulated struck me. Does the EPA reconsider if an entrepreneur is able to engineer a delivery method that’s both faster and safer? Not very likely, is it?

This jogged my memory: it seems as though the California legislature–so busy trying to sink the state budget that all common sense has flown out the window–will now ban non-fitted sheets in hotels. I didn’t think to check the sheets while we were there last month. How California plans on watching even more jobs evaporate into thin air:

California, the state trying to deal with a massive $26 BILLION dollar debt, is considering a law that some hospitality industry experts claim would add an estimated $15 to $30 million dollars in costs to an already hurting hotel industry. The low-end estimate of fifteen million is the projected cost to purchase new fitted sheets for the 550,000 hotel beds in the state. Of course the hospitality industry is claiming that these added costs will hurt their business and put jobs at risk.

The liberal legislators in California sport a terrible track record on predicting how their constituents will respond to intrusive nanny-state laws. After the passage of the “Amazon tax,” businesses have “unexpectely” hit the road:

Online businesses and entrepreneurs are leaving the state, thus risking an actual reduction, as opposed to marginal increase, in California’s tax revenue.

Last month, news broke of one California-based online entrepreneur who had decided to ditch California and move to Nevada in the aftermath of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the law.  ”I always figured that in California, home to Silicon Valley and a million tech startups, they’d never pass a law like this,” said Nick Loper, who formerly operated ShoesRUs and has now opened a new venture, ShoeSniper.

Per the piece in which Loper is quoted, more than 70 affiliates had at that stage already left California, according to online businesses.

Then, last Thursday, another online entrepreneur, Erica Douglass, posted a mock “It’s Over” letter to California on her blog. Douglass, who sold an internet company she had built for $1.1 million in 2007 when she was just 26, cited multiple reasons for moving to Austin.  Among them were unnecessary paperwork requirements mandated by the state, and high taxes as well as business fees.  However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, was according to Portfolio, Brown signing the Amazon Tax into law.

Backers of the legislation seemed to believe that affiliates would be happy to work with other retailers who also operate affiliate programs, or that online retailers targeted by the law would not end affiliate relationships and the threat was idle.

Nope, not idle. How’s that reduced tax base workin’ out for ya?


2 Responses

  1. A great post. CA is hopeless.

  2. […] Political Junkie Mom it seems as though the California legislature–so busy trying to sink the state budget that all […]

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