Thursday, October 15, 2009

Smoking Bans and the Well Meaning

A new government report shows that second smoking may lead to a heart attack.

Thus, the evidence is clear that we must ban smoking in public places. There comes a point where well meaning people have to basically stop caring so much. I sometimes feel as though the government thinks it cares more for me than my own mother. It's going to protect me from secondhand smoke, save me via seatbelt laws, help me if I have a flood, get unemployed, need food stamps and housing, and give me a check and ensure I have healthcare when I'm old.

I can't help but think that there is a price I have to pay in order for all these wonderful gifts. The dollar price is clear enough. I do pay about 6.2% of every dollar I earn for that check that will come from the Treasury when I'm old. Assuming the fund is still solvent in 25 years. That's a big assumption. There is also the 3.1% I have to pay for my medicare gift.

Then there's the basic enjoyment people get from eating out, drinking soda and alcohol, or smoking cigarettes or cigars. I personally do not understand the attraction of cigarettes. I do smoke cigars. But it is more often a social thing and it helps me unwind. It's my guilty pleasure I suppose. But I've made many friends because of our common interest in cigars.

I get a sense that all this caring can't help over time but make people maybe a little dependent on its source. I like to think I care about myself and can weigh risks and rewards regarding how much I drink and smoke, what and where I eat, how I enjoy my leisure time, and so forth. Apparently, the government folks from on high feel they need to help me by studying the matter and than drawing clear lines about what I can and cannot do based on the results of the analysis.

I know that at some point I am going to die. I know that at some point I am going to get sick. I know that life is filled with risks from driving to entering into a bar where people smoke to possibly crossing the street. I am thinking that this type of control and this general lack of maturity in the population is taking its toll and government mandates are only going to increase in the coming years. When people can't police themselves and act somewhat modestly, the police have to step in and regulate and create more and more laws to deal with the more and more forms of lawbreaking. Maybe this is where we are. Maybe the government is justified. Maybe the American people no longer really deserve to be respected as reasonably capable to act responsibly. So long as we have what we need, what do we care? Just give me my checks and protect me from myself and others. Thank you dear leaders.

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