Thursday, January 29, 2009

Free To Do What I Want

Grant e-mails to hep us to a poll on American's attitudes toward government inference in various areas of life:

With concern growing over the health implications of secondary smoke, 62% of adults say there should be a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, and five percent (5%) are not sure.

Just 38% of adults, however, support a complete ban on the use of cell phones while driving. Fifty-eight percent (58%) support the alternative of letting drivers use hands-free phones in their vehicles, and four percent (4%) are not sure which is the better option.

Seventy percent (70%) of Americans also oppose a national tax on all non-diet soft drinks. Eighteen percent (18%) like the idea of a so-called "obesity tax" like the one proposed by New York Governor David Paterson. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

While it is good to see that most Americans oppose a "fat tax" of non-diet soft drinks, the overall results are ultimately depressing. They show that most people have no core principals on what government's legitimate role in dictating personal behavior should be. Rather, they believe that government shouldn't tell THEM to stop doing things THEY like--drinking sugary soda or talking on their cell phone while driving--but when it come to the government telling OTHERS to stop doing things they don't like--smoking in public places--they have no problem with it. The danger with such an approach of course is that when the day comes when it's YOUR activity that that majority disapproves of and wants the government to ban, you won't have a leg to stand on to make an argument against it.

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