Monday, April 30, 2012

In the 90s it was smoking

Then in the 00s it was global warming.  Terrorism came in a close second.  But in the twenty-teens, it's Obesity!  Oh no!  The thing that is the cause of all suffering.  Why is America dying?  Obesity.  Why did the Byzantine Empire fall?  Obesity.  Why did I fail my math test? Obesity!  It's the problem that explains all problems.  Only this one strikes at a new form of liberty infringement.  Smoking and terrorism were at least able to be shown to cause some harm in some way to others.  Second hand smoke could kill even if you didn't smoke. And terrorism doesn't need explained.  Global Warming was a little more broad, with talk of vanishing coastlines, dying polar bears, and bad Hollywood special effects being enough reason to legislate, legislate, and legislate more. 

But with obesity, it hits a new tactic in the war against freedom (or WAF for short).  The others more or less said that the threats were direct, therefore we must be willing to give up a few freedoms.  In the case of smoking, the threat was direct and so if you don't smoke, you have to be willing to make others give up their freedoms.  But in obesity and other health issues, the idea is that this leads to a host of health problems, this makes health care costs soar, this puts a burden on the American health care system, this therefore costs everyone money, and therefore it hurts you and me.  We're all affected!  Oh no!

Well, pardon me for not taking my copy of the Constitution to the trash heap, but I'll take this whole 'we're all going to die because of Obesidty' version of the latest panic scare more seriously when they also mention the catastrophic effects that our era of sexual promiscuity has had on society, including health care costs in the form of AIDS, HIV, and various STD treatment and care.  When they lump that behavior in with all the other bad behaviors that need regulating because they cost health care money, then I'll imagine this is serious.

As long as focus on sexual promiscuity is noticeably absent from the call to regulate all behaviors because it can cost health care money, I'll assume it's simply one more in a long line of hysterics meant to get a lazy, foppish, and tech-obsessed society to sell its birthright of liberty for a bowel of bad stew. 

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