On Sunday, November 11 history was made in Bergen County. For the most time in recent memory all commerce could be conducted legally in every town in the County. How apropos economic freedom came to Bergen County on Veterans Day, the holiday we commemorate the service of the men and women who fought to keep America a free country.
The County’s blue laws were suspended by Governor Christie after a request by Bergen County Executive Donovan to allow residents to shop because of the need for families to get back to normal after the devastating storm that destroyed scores of homes and the contents of hundreds of houses and apartments. We began the day at 10am, when we arrived at the AMC theater at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus to see ARGO, a worthwhile cinematic achievement even thought it had several historical inaccuracies about the rescue of six American embassy employees who hid out in Teheran and were whisked out of the country by a CIA hatched subterfuge.
After the movie ended about 12:30pm we walked through the mall. Many stores were opened, several were closed including JC Penney and the Apple store. Nordstrom’s and Macy’s were opened. In other words, store managers made the decision to open or close, not the country board of freeholders or the Paramus town council. This is called economic freedom, a concept that is foreign to most Republican and Democratic politicians who serve in the state legislature or municipal councils.
We spent a couple hours shopping in Paramus, and the major roads in the County, Routes 4 and 17, were not congested. In short, the fear of Paramaus’s mayor that suspending the blue laws in Paramus would “upset” the tranquility of a typical Sunday in the town was unfounded. But moreover, the blue laws should be abolished because they violate would America is supposde to be all about—freedom, free enterprise, and individual rights. In addition, the blue laws are grossly discriminatory. Food stores, gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters and other establishments can be open on Sunday despite the blue laws. This is a violation of the equal protection of the Constitution. Everyone should be treated equally under our system of laws.
New Jersey’s state motto is “Liberty and Prosperity.” On Sunday, November 11, 2012 could mark the beginning of the state’s motto being a reality in all 21 counties.
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"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."- Nelson Mandela
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