Modern Complexities

November 21, 2014

Way back in the Dark Ages of the 1950s, I was taught a simple lesson: people who talked to themselves out loud on the street were, as my mother explained clearly and explicitly, “a little touched” and were to be avoided or at least grumbled at.

Now, of course, they are just as likely to be talking to their broker on their hands-free mobile phone. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

I’m easily confused, so I avoid them all.

I’m Not A Liberal …

November 21, 2014

… nor a Socialist nor a fascistic fanatic.  I’m not anything that believes it knows better than the individual.  So when a government decides it knows how people should eat or drink or how they spend their money it makes my skin crawl.  It matters not to me if that government is driven by “liberal” views concerning care for others or society or whether it is guided by some sense of religious or corporatist obligation.

The latest such skin-crawling episode was today when the government of New York City decided it would try to get a ban on the use of food stamps for the purchase of soda drinks.   This will help the city’s push against obesity, they say.  This “initiative will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment,” said the Mayor.

Dr. Farley and the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Richard F. Daines, said in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Thursday that the ban would not reduce the ability of food-stamp recipients to feed their families. “People would still receive every penny of support they now get, meaning they would have at least as much, if not more, to spend on nutritious food,” Dr. Farley and Dr. Daines wrote. “And they could still purchase soda if they choose — just not with taxpayer dollars.”

I wonder if the liberals who want to force poor people into better eating habits recognize that this is exactly the same as when right wing politicians demand that those in receipt of unemployment insurance need to pass drug tests in order to receive money.  It is no different in kind than jurisdictions banning the use of government funds for abortion.  In each case, the jurisdiction is saying “we know best how you should run your lives and we will use our economic power over you to ensure you get the message.”

I’d give legislators huge pay raises if they promised to discuss and act only on ways of getting the government OUT of everyone’s life!


First published: 10th October 2010