-By Warner Todd Huston
There is a new smart phone ap out there that is a pretty good idea. It’s called “CLOO’.” Unfortunately, no matter how good it is there is an absolute certainty that the government — whether local, state, or federal, or even all of them — will destroy this great idea with regulatory red tape.
The CLOO’ smartphone ap will help folks in metro areas make a few extra dollars while helping others find a place to go… literally. The idea is that folks that live in a downtown section of any big city can add their name to a database so that other people visiting that metro area can find a clean and safe place to go to the bathroom. Seriously.
Anyone that has ever been out and about in a busy downtown area will soon come to find that toilets open to the general public are far and few between. To cut down on vandalism and the ever-present threat of an infestation of homeless people scaring away customers, most businesses in the city do not have public washrooms. Even many fast food joints and some restaurants don’t have restrooms that are open to the public.
This makes spending protracted amounts of time downtown a bit tricky. It takes all sorts of experience to learn where all the available restrooms are and it is a major hassle, one I’ve experienced myself. But here comes CLOO’ to clue you in on where an open bathroom is in the areas you are traveling with just the push of a smartphone button.
Great idea, right?
Seems to be a great idea to me. And that is exactly why government will destroy it like government destroys many startups and small businesses.
How will that happen? Regulations.
If this idea gets big enough for government to take note — or if this idea ends up causing some sort of problem or another — government will destroy it by creating onerous regulations that will make the idea unprofitable and impossible to implement.
Government will smother this business with expensive reporting requirements, EPA rules, OSHA rules, safety requirements, rules requiring expensive upgrades for the bathrooms, even more expensive equipment requirements, tons of license fees… in short, anyone foolish enough to join this service, anyone offering the bathroom in their home to wayward travelers will soon find the iron boot heel of government coming down upon their necks and crushing the life out of this business endeavor.
This is why America is a lesser place than it was decades ago. Government has become an oppressive force and that oppressive force will kill this idea.
While Obama pretends that he wants to eliminate regulations, his regulatory regime is every day making more and more of these oppressive rules. But he isn’t the only one. Every state, every county, every city and township, every last tiny vestige of our various governments have become a destructive force in our daily lives using their power to force themselves upon your every last bit of personal business.
So, I wish CLOO’ a lot of luck. Sadly, I think they are doomed before they even start.