We often talk about the dangers of government trying to micromanage our lives and about the slippery slope on which such nanny-statism puts us. This week's best example comes from our neighbor to the north where the city of Vancouver, Canada, has decided to ban the use of ... wait for it ... doorknobs in all future housing construction!
Of course, the city claims to have a good reason for this—because a handful of people such as the disabled or the elderly might find traditional doorknobs difficult to operate. Thus, all doorknobs should be eschewed in favor of "lever handles."
The goal, according to Tim Stainton, a professor and director of the school of social work at the University of British Columbia, is to implement "universal design" standards that allow all facilities to be used by all people regardless of age or disability.
The flaws in this logic are obvious, however. Not only do such laws inhibit the rights of individuals to use their property as they see fit, but where does it end? Will staircases have to be replaced by elevators? Will all the doors and hallways in private homes have to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs? Should ceilings be raised to accommodate the unusually tall?
It would almost be amusing to consider all the potential changes that could be required in the name of total inclusion if these ludicrous laws were not actually being implemented by actual governments not all that far away from Idaho.
Now there are certainly some people with special needs, but thanks to the free market, there are numerous products and ideas that have been developed to help them to live rich, full and independent lives. We certainly don't need the state to interfere in that free market process and to start demanding that everyone live in exactly the same way. The best way to support true inclusion is to give everyone more liberty so that they can pursue happiness in their own unique ways.
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