Thursday, June 7, 2012

Soda Cops

I was listening to a talk show host ranting about how we do not need a nanny state government telling us how many ounces of soda we should drink.  He started talking about how ridiculous it would be if we went to a restaurant to order a steak and the new laws required us to eat broccoli.  He was arguing with a caller that insisted that the government needed to do something to help.  I started to agree with the caller then the host stated that people know that cigarettes are bad and you can't stop them from smoking.  It does not matter how much you tax the cigarettes or how much you limit their ability to smoke, a smoker will always smoke.  Yeah yeah yeah, I said.  Well, I consider myself a limited government freedom loving American.  But I am sure a benevolent loving overlord could do something to impact a person's health and well being.  That was until I was confronted by a person I know well, who also knows better, that was walking around without having bathed for days and smoking.  I felt an almost overwhelming sense of anger and righteous justice rise up in my throat.  I had to suppress my urge to shout while I explained that his behavior was unacceptable.  An hour later while still trying to get the stench out of my office it occurred to me that I was trying to be the nanny.  I was insisting that he do things my way and he was the metaphorical and literal 64 ounce soda drinker.  I could tax him and limit him but he was still going to do what he wanted to do.

Well the caller argued, "what about the impact the obese and the smokers have on taxpayers?"  The host responded, "It is called personal responsibility!"  "Well, how is that working?" responded the caller.  The host's reply was perfect, "Freedom walks hand in hand with responsibility."  If you want to be free you must be responsible for your actions and their consequences.  Stink on my friend, stink on.

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