Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Banning Things in California

Great minds think alike. Mark has posted below about California's recent bans with a fantastic take on the issue. Here's mine:

Hearing about LA banning fast food in some neighborhoods, San Francisco banning tobacco in small drug stores and California banning trans fats statewide simply makes me sigh and want to move out of this reason-forsaken socialist state.

To some degree, bans do work. After prohibition, per capita drinking levels never returned to what they had been previous to it. However, enforcing that ban wasn't worth the blood or money.

Most importantly, bans on things that are simply unwise violate the principles of America and weaken bans on things that are actually harmful to society.

America was founded on self-reliance and personal responsibility. Every time you take a reasonable decision out of the hands of the individual, you make them less an adult and more a child. You also get them thinking in terms of "what can I get away with?" instead of "what is prudent and best for me?"

If you ban unwise things, then people get used to circumventing the law to make poor choices. Instead of seeing it as harming themselves, they see it as flipping off the man. You get them used to breaking the law, which isn't good. We want people thinking that if something's banned, there's a good reason for it. There's a ban on murder, and I don't want that one ever to be reduced in importance in someone's mind because they're used to ignoring bans. It seems ludicrous, but it's an attitude that builds over time.

What will these bans do? People will walk a little farther for their cigarettes. A lot of cold happy meals will be sold at a slight markup off the backs of trucks in Los Angeles, and people will be proud of how they're bucking the system.

No comments: