James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Who Owns Walter E. Williams?

Walter Williams on Click It or Ticket:

For those who agree with "Click It or Ticket" because it saves lives, would they agree with other possible lifesaving mandates?

Each year, obesity claims the lives of 300,000 Americans and adds over $100 billion to health-care costs. Should government enforce a 2,000-calorie intake limit per day? There's absolutely no dietary reason to add salt to our meals. Salt can lead to hypertension-induced heart attacks that kill thousands. Should government outlaw salt consumption? Sedentary lifestyles have been shown to lead to shorter and less healthy lives. Should there be government-mandated exercise programs?

The justifications used for "Click It or Ticket" can easily provide the template for government control of our diets and other lifestyle features. Maybe I'm a bit out of touch with today's Americans. With the silence in the face of attacks on Burger King and McDonald's, alleging they cause obesity, maybe Americans are pining for more government control over their lives – and "Click It or Ticket" is just softening up the rest of us for what lies ahead in the future.


  1. That's exactly correct. I was thinking the same thing about auto insurance.

    As you know, in California, insurance is required to register your automobile. Myself and at least one other Libertarian were both unsure about this requirement.

    I think people should have insurance when they drive but, by saying that, I'm also leading toward the suggestion that people should have to have some level of insurance to buy a gun, which I oppose if only because if we go there, how far will this all end up going? Should everyone be required to have some blanket insurance policy to cover any possible harm they may be responsible for in the future? I hope not, although it might be nice to have such a policy.

  2. Night vision goggles?! I am convinced that the cops on the highway are little more than shakedown artists. They aren't really protecting me from highway bandits, they ARE the highway bandits.

    I recall being present for testimony in the WV legislature's consideration of a seat belt law some years ago. Among the rationales for the law, as with helmet laws, was that "society" is responsible for your medical care and that "society" suffers from your lost productivity. Accordingly "society" had to protect you from yourself to keep its costs down. The costs of your risky behavior having been socialized, the state was justified in controlling your life. There is no logical end to this line of reasoning.