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San Francisco Pays an $80 Million Stupidity Tax

The Left Coast has always been a hotbed of woo, junk science and nanny alarmism.  I have power tools labeled “WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”  Damn, and I’d been planning on French kissing my router.  There goes my Saturday night.

Stupidity is entertaining, but it can also be costly.  San Francisco, for instance, has just been hit with an $80 million stupidly tax.

Woo-wooers claim cell phones cause brain cancer.  They’ve got a few, very few, studies that appear to support them, but it’s not necessary to take the time to debunk them.  Instead, you just have to know that the rate of brain cancer in the US has remained the same from 1980, when no one had cell phones, to today, when everyone has them.  But woo is impervious to facts.  Instead they scrounge around for poorly conducted studies that appear to support their woo and shout “See! See! I was Right!”

The paranoid brain trusts in San Francisco has passed a law forcing every cell phone retailer in the city to label their phones with radiation levels.  Their rhetoric compared cell phone manufactures to the tobacco and alcohol industries.

Cell phone manufactures warned them they’d fight back, but no one on the Board of Supervisors was listening – perhaps they were too busy taking on their cells.  They passed the law and the CITA, an international association for the wireless industry, announced they won’t be holding conventions in SF any longer.  They have one scheduled for October, which is too late to change, but all subsequent conventions, which bring 68,000 attendees and an estimated  $80 million to the local economy, will be held elsewhere.

Stupidity isn’t always a capital crime.  Sometimes it’s just really, really expensive.

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3 Comment(s)

  1. The retailers should pass a fee on to the consumers and put it right on their receipt.

    Don Venardos | Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. What would be nice to see is the Cell Phone carriers and makers get together and start shutting down their towers. They should also stop selling cell phones in SF. If SF is so concerned for their citizens I am sure they wont mind if they didn’t have any cell service to possibly cause them harm.
    It seems to me the only way to teach them a lesson.

    Tom | Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

  3. I suggested something similar to deal with smoking bans – when CA put the first extensive one in place, state wide:

    http://www.davehitt.com/may99/modest.html

    Imagine what would have happened if the Big Four tobacco companies had the balls to do something like that. Imagine how much freer our country would be right now. But corporations, all corporations, are generally gutless when it comes to standing up to stupid rules and regulations.

    Hittman | Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

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