So perhaps the gov't (all levels) should also help you protect yourself with health insurance, a retirement plan (Kept in the Gneral fund so Congress can 'borrow'), and safety laws that forbid smoking, driving without a seatbelt, motorcycle helmets, etc.
We can not be "free" and buried under laws rules and regualtions at the same time, can we?
Mayor Bloomberg's crusade is ostensibly about the health of his constituents, but all these thou-shalt-not initiatives, in his city and across the nation, are about dollars.
Fat people are expensive.
The health risks associated with obesity are chronic and the amount of money spent to control them is staggering, especially if added up over a lifetime.
We all share in those costs, even if the obese have insurance but especially if they do not.
So. Do we all have our super-sized sodas taken away from us, do we have obese people sign waivers absolving the rest of us of the costs associated with their care, or do we just not allow overweight people to buy them? Who would police THAT law?
Are we "free" to deny treatment to the accident victim who choses not to wear a helmet or a seatbelt? No man is an island.Personal irresponsibilty affects us all.
Why not try something other than government regulation?
Social pressure used to be enough to curb some of humanity's less desirable traits. Then, somehow, America cut loose and suddently everything is OK.
What ever happened to common sense and moderation?
Good grief Katie. Get real. Smokers and drug users are just as expensive and if you are thirsty you'll by a second soda.
Back in the good ol' days, I don't think that "social pressure" was used to discourage people from overeating, smoking, driving without seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, etc. I recall it setting limits on who you associated with (based on all kinds of personal attributes), what church you went to, how your home and yard looked, etc.
In an imperfect world, I suspect the best compromise between personal freedom and personal responsibility may be something like katieog's waiver approach: sure, you don't have to wear a seatbelt if you don't want, but you'll have to pay higher insurance premiums to cover the greater risk you incur on us all. And if you don't pay those premiums but don't wear a seatbelt, then your insurance company isn't liable for any injuries you may incur.
And what would happen when some idiot who signed a waiver (cuz only an idiot would) has a car wreck and doesn't die, but incurs millions in healthcare costs and the creditors take every thing he owns and his family ends up on the street?
That, of course, assumes he had assets. What if he is a 30 something with 4 kids across two former marriages and a 5th child out of wedlock? No chld support from him.
"OH MY! What will we do? Look at those poor children!"
The villagers (democrats, social progressives, bleeding heart liberals in my world) will grab their torches and pitchforks and march right up to that mean ol' insurance company and DEMAND that they pay!
Nope - I don't see waivers being anything but another avenue to more lawsuits.
Charlie, Unless we can stomach children starving to death, the state would have to assume responsibility for the children's welfare. Feel sorry for the taxpayers.No insurance company would write a policy for a waiver signer.
Yes, according to katie and others, dude signs the waiver and pays a higher premium. But the premium will likely be out of reach, so it turns into the same game it is now....
Sign the waiver, pay a month or so of high premiums, then stop. Dude has his license and a car with a tag - who needs insurance? Dude crashes, become a vegetable in a coma state. Insurance won't pay, family loses support, villagers rise up. 9th circuit court rules that the mean ol' insurance company took that man's money and then dropped him. There! Bob's your uncle!
I would certainly feel for the children, but I have my own kids to feed.
Catch 22 - we don't want the law/regulation. We shouldn't need the law/regulation. But shirking responsibility became all the rage in the late 60's and early 70's... and the beat goes on.
Charlie, shirking responsibility is not the sole province of the 60's and 70's. There have always been shirkers. There will always be shirkers. Obviously you feel the antiwar movement in the late 60's fed the "shirker revolution", but I do not.
I think the burgeoning population, the rise of suburbia - with the loss of community feeling, and decline in the concept of moral turpitude play far more important roles in "shirking" as a way of life.
For some it is a function of lack of education and therefore the ability to earn a living wage. For some it is a lack of mental and/or physical capacity to do so. And for some, it is just plain old sorriness. But I believe the first two categories account for the majority while the third, unfortunately, is the most noticeable, the most egregious, and the least correctable under our current system.
Yes, the beat goes on. Too many people are irresponsible. Too many people are lazy.Too many people are dishonest. Too many people are adrift. How do we ever find our way back?
People make choices.....(to eat too much or poorly, to drink too much, to use drugs, to drive recklessly, and the list goes on)
People reap what they sow. (We need to get back to teaching and embracing personal responsibility.)
Scott... you have some good points I think... I would encourage you to look deeper and ask the question "Why?".