As if every community, county, state and the national government didn’t have pressing problems in these stressful times, we have seen Republican-led legislatures local and national propose all sorts of bills that spend money but create no jobs. Unfortunately, it is not only Republicans. We saw yesterday how fundamentalists are attacking Halloween, but now we see a Democrat doing so – albeit for very different reasons.
In Connecticut, State Representative Tim Larson, D-11, of East Hartford, South Windsor, the problem isn’t spirits or Satan but convenience. It’s just inconvenient to have Halloween on October 31. He wants to make it a Saturday instead – specifically, the last Saturday in October: And why not? They’ve already moved Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November.
“Halloween is fun night for the whole family, but not so much when you have to race home from work, get the kids ready for trick or treating, welcome the neighborhood children and then try to get everyone to bed for an early school and work morning,” Larson said in a Monday, Oct. 24, press release. “Halloween has also become one of the top holidays for retailers selling candy, decorations, costumes and general party supplies. Jobs are created by this holiday, so let’s make it a little more fun and safe for everyone and create some jobs too.”
Republicans, of course, disagree. According to NaugatuckPatch State Sen. Rob Kane, R-32 had this to say:
“While well-intentioned, this proposal symbolizes what’s wrong with Connecticut government,” said State Sen. Rob Kane, a small business owner and lead Republican on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.. “Less government is the answer to our fiscal problems. You want to create jobs in Connecticut? Start by getting government out of the private sector’s way. Start by lowering taxes and regulations. More laws like these will continue to take Connecticut in the wrong direction.”
I would have to say that Rep. Kane needs to understand that this is also the problem with Republican-controlled governments. If less government is good in Connecticut then it is also good in other states, and nationally. But the Republicans, where they are in control, are actually reducing neither the size of government nor spending, because somebody has to administer all these morality-policing bills they are passing. Not to mention the funds to defend them in court. The problem is that anti-women’s reproductive rights bills, anti-marriage equality bills, like moving-holidays-around bills, do not address jobs and they spend money we’re being told we don’t have.
Somehow, Larson thinks moving holidays around will actually boost the economy, saying, “This would be good for the economy and make Halloween a more family-friendly event every year. Everyone looks forward to Halloween a little more when it falls on the weekend.”
It’s unclear exactly how this would benefit the economy. Yes, like any holiday it is good for retailers. We have to buy candy and costumes and decorations and various accessories, after all, in order to participate. But it is more likely that trick-or-treating has fallen off over the years due to safety considerations than because it falls inconveniently on a weekday. Having it on a weekend isn’t going to make it any safer, whatever he says. People will still worry about predators and poison and so forth.
NaugatuckPatch reports that “According to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s press secretary Juliet Manalan, Halloween will stay on October 31” but that “Larson is hopeful the 2012 General Assembly will consider the idea.”
Yes, by all means, let’s waste time and money moving holidays around because it’s inconvenient to have them where they are. By Rep. Larson’s logic we should also be moving Christmas because it’s damned inconvenient at times too. My guess he won’t consider this. Moving this particular stolen Pagan holiday will not sell. Neither should moving Halloween. This is a head scratcher, and Americans have a right to be dubious about government if the best they can do in response to this economic crisis is to shuffle a few holidays around. The only thing that will really accomplish is to change the day fundamentalist Christians end up attacking.