I respectfully submit that any strategy that relies on enlightened federal officials declining to abuse their power never held much promise at all.
Whenever you try to educate people about the problems with any particular piece of government legislation, they always come back with "oh, it's well meant, and they'll never go after you for violating it".
That's wrong. Why can't more people see that?
A law in North Carolina that makes it illegal not to recycle plastic bottles. While it's wrong on so many levels, one of them in particular illustrates this quote.
State officials say ordinary citizens need not worry about being penalized if they forget to salvage every last bottle. No one will be picking through trash cans or searching for recycling scofflaws.
Any fines that would be assessed would likely come from state landfill inspectors if they spotted a trash hauler trying to dump large amounts of banned items. But even that is pretty unlikely.
For now, the state is concentrating on making the public aware of the law and encouraging more communities to set up strong recycling programs.
A law just to raise public awareness? Well why the heck didn't they just pass a binding resolution that all the politicians favored this action, and not attach any penalties or requirements at all?
Now we have a recession on, and local governments are starting to get really strict with laws they never enforced before, to raise revenue. The laws ride in on a wave of emotion, and pass because they have great potential to raise lots of money, should the state ever need it. Now that states are beginning to "need" the revenue, perhaps some people will start to think before they vote.
But go ahead, citoyen. Live your comfortable life, feel good about all the laws your government passes to raise awareness, and pray to your gods that you stay in their good favor, and their pocket books stay full on someone elses' back.