Albuquerque’s Growing Nanny State

From a fiscal policy perspective, the growth of government during Mayor Chavez’s term is easy to quantify and well-publicized. Whether we’re talking about the streetcar or taxes, Chavez is not shy about increasing the size and scope of Albuquerque governmnet.
But another are in which government has grown in troubling ways is in so-called “nanny-state” activities. Simply put, Chavez seems hell-bent on becoming the third parent most Albuquerque residents never had. There are almost too many examples to cite, but red light cameras and regulations on pet owners are two examples.
Chavez also pushed for and got a ban on talking on your cell phone while driving and he singlehandedly banned smoking on all city-owned land save golf courses.
Not to be outdone, the Legislature-passed ban on riding bikes or skateboarding without a helmet if you are under 18 also went into effect recently. Apparently parents and their children are simply not able to make this decision for themselves.
Ultimately, what it all boils down to is that we have put our politicians on such a pedestal that they have nearly unlimited powers to tell us what we must and must not do. While some may agree with one or more of these particular laws, there is unquestionably a trend both locally and at the state level to allow politicians to make more and more decisions for us. With each nanny-state law that passes, New Mexicans will become a little less free to choose what is right for themselves. That is unfortunate.

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