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Is Personal Responsibility Dead in America?

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 12: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) attends a press conference about the health impacts of sugar at Lucky’s restaurant, which voluntarily adopted the large sugary drink ban, March 12, 2013 in New York City. A state judge on Monday blocked Bloomberg’s ban on oversized sugary drinks but the Mayor plans to appeal the decision. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

New York Mayor Michal Bloomberg has been making headlines over the past few months. He’s been dubbed the “Nanny Mayor” in some quarters for his attacks on things like circumcision, large soft drinks, salt, fast food, sugar, gun control and now cigarette displays.

How Much Babysitting Do We Need?

Government has a responsibility to do certain things. The Preamble to the US Constitution talks about things like, “… form a more perfect union,” “insure domestic tranquility” and “promote the general welfare.” It seems like many politicians, like Bloomberg, have interpreted that to mean, “creating the perfect union as they see it,” and “controlling the general welfare.” I’m not sure how removing peoples right’s to do stupid and unhealthy things “insures domestic tranquility.”

It’s For The Good of Everyone

If we look back over history we can see that when it comes to taking care of the American citizen, government has a tendency to overreact. And that’s putting it mildly. Thanks to the “shoe bomber” and “underwear bomber” all the rest of us are subject to a near fully body cavity search if you want to fly somewhere in the United States.

Government sticks its tentacles into everything from baseball steroids to where we keep our money. I fully expect some government lackey to show up in my bedroom some night to tell me I’m not doing it according to strict government standards.

No matter the cause, government always falls back on the excuse that we are doing this for the “good of everyone.” We are going to increase your taxes for the good of everyone. Since you are incapable of packing a lunch that meets OUR nutritional standards, we’ll just force you to pay for school lunches that end up in the trashcan every day for the good of everyone.

Since you are incapable of reducing your intake of large soft drinks we are forced to take action for the good of everyone. Children might take up smoking if they see a cigarette display so all cigarettes must be kept out of sight. I wonder if your kids would be compelled to do laundry if they saw Tide on the shelf? This is going to make shopping much tougher in New York.

Government Picks and Chooses

The government doesn’t always force themselves on us in all areas. In recent years it seems that the government ignores laws they don’t like no matter what the public wants. Some of those laws were actually enacted to “promote the general welfare.”

Things like closing our southern borders, enforcing drug laws, voter ID, to name just a few. Instead, Uncle Sam ignores those “laws of the land,” in favor of controlling our intake of salt and soft drinks.

Some Final Thoughts

One of the great things about America is our freedom to do all kinds of things that are bad for us. We overeat, under exercise, smoke, drink alcohol to excess, drive our cars impaired, and point our fingers at all those dummies that are doing exactly the same things we are. In spite of those actions I still believe that most people if given the opportunity do act responsibly. Very few of us try to carry box cutters on airplanes or have bombs in our Fruit of the Looms.

But it’s our God given right to be stupid if we choose. Somewhere along the line government is going to have to realize that human beings are going to live the way they like. And if government would just butt out I think that would be the best thing they could do for the “good of everyone.” What’s your opinion?

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