15 Legal Things in the U.S. That Should Totally Be Illegal

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The law is a funny and often nonsensical thing. You can’t legally cross the street in certain situations, but politicians with proprietary information can manipulate the stock market with impunity? That’s the law we know and love!

In an ideal world ruled by common sense, engaging in these unjust practices would be cause for breaking out the handcuffs.

1. Child Beauty Pageants

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Children of a certain age will do almost anything their parent says, but they should never do that. Where is the locked plastic security tag on makeup products when you need it?

2. High-Interest Student Loans

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In what world is it ethical to offer a high-interest, five-figure loan to someone with an undeveloped brain who just hit the beer bong?

3. Corporate Home Gobbling

Real estate agent giving keys to couples.
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The public has finally realized that major corporations, including but not limited to BlackRock, are engaged in a game of residential Pac-Man. The corporations are Pac-Man, and homes of any discernable value are the dots to be gobbled up.

And that dream home the newlywed couple is bidding on, hoping to make a den of memories for a brood of future kids? To BlackRock, that’s a power capsule. Sorry, sweethearts, that one’s going right into the investment portfolio.

4. Corporate Lobbying

NEW YORK, NYUSA - September 8, 2022: Steve Bannon, former adviser to Donald Trump, center, during a press conference outside of Manhattan State Supreme Court
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Who has more influence over political decisions in the United States? Walmart or the voters who elect the politicians? We all know that answer, and it isn’t the answer it should be.

5. Free Trials That Require a Payment Method

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Is it a free trial or a Trojan horse into my wallet? Because the whole “entering my credit card information” thing makes it feel like the latter.

6. The Washington Stock Exchange

Happy Man working in stock market.
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Nancy Pelosi serves as the prime example, but she’s hardly the only politician who is seemingly using foreknowledge of policy to make personal fortunes in the stock market. D.C. is an insider trading-proof zone.

7. Advertising Medications

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“Hey doc, I heard about this drug that’s supposed to cure my high blood pressure during the commercial break on Adult Swim.” Advertising should be reserved for Chevy trucks and movies, not medications with potentially lethal side effects.

8. Homeowners Associations (HOAs)

Woman shrugging
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So I own this home? But you’re telling me I can’t paint it or put up a fence without the permission of tyrannical overlords called a Homeowners Association? And I have to pay monthly dues to this Gestapo that rules my every domestic move?

That’s not home ownership, that’s serfdom, and the 13th Amendment (supposedly) outlawed it in 1865.

9. Lifelong Political Careers

Political activist, Carl Sagan, speaking at rally, Washington D.C.
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There is so much wrong with a career politician. Rather than doing what is right, a politician without term limits is most concerned with keeping their job. That often means cozying up to those with the deepest campaign-funding pockets. Term limits seem like a no-brainer political guardrail that voters of all parties would support.

10. Inedible Food Ingredients

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Titanium dioxide. Plastic. Ammonia, for Pete’s sake. How many Subway “yoga mat chemical”-like controversies do we need before legislators outlaw putting poison in food?

11. Debarking

Shocked woman saying o
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Did you know there’s a procedure to remove part of a dog’s vocal cords? It’s called debarking or devocalization, and it changes the pitch or volume of a dog’s bark. While you’re altering the very thing that makes a dog a dog, why don’t you clip his nuts, too?

12. Civil Asset Forfeiture

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To many, taking away assets (including money) from someone arrested for a crime violates the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.”

13. For-Profit Prisons

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There’s plenty of reason to lock up plenty of people. Surely we don’t need to add money to that list of reasons.

14. Insurer-Directed Healthcare

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One confused victim of the American healthcare system wants to know why insurers with no discernible medical credentials get to decide which procedures are necessary and which aren’t.

That new heart you thought you needed? United Healthcare called. Turns out, you don’t need it after all!

15. Lying During Interrogations

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Most criminals won’t simply hand over a confession in a gift bag with a bow on it. Of course, investigators need a good poker face and a healthy dose of creativity. But blatantly lying? Something about that seems unethical, especially when the interview subject never learned the Five Golden Words: “I want a lawyer, now.”


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Written by Sam Mire

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