If there is anything more rewarding than making a personal sacrifice for a good cause, it's getting other people to do it for you. That's the thinking behind a lot of legislation at all levels of government that imposes costly mandates on private parties.
The impulse explains an ordinance proposed by a Chicago alderman who thinks there is inadequate access to restrooms in the city and wants someone besides the city to solve that problem.
Alderman David Moore was in a Subway restaurant when he saw a woman crying. She had urgently needed to relieve herself upon arriving there, she told him, but the staff wouldn't let her use the restroom until she bought something, even though she promised to make a purchase afterward. As it happened, she couldn't wait and wet herself. "It was humiliating" for her, Moore told the Chicago Sun-Times. Limiting access to paying customers, he said, "is inhumane." Steve Chapman explains why his well-intentioned proposal is bad news.