How Free Are We, Part Two
Continuing a series of blog posts that began in April 2007, and which was on hiatus until now, let us again consider the numerous atrocious ways government has entered our lives, from the most overreaching nanny-state activity to more complicated financial instruments. Sometime in the mid-’90s, Bill Clinton declared, “The era of big government is over.” How wrong he was.
The International Herald Tribune has a kick-to-the-gut article about how it is now the responsibility of the federal government to buy people a home and send kids to college. I am by no means an expert on these issues, but I find it offensive that the government steps in to save everyone from themselves. In this entire mortgage imbroglio, it always gets overlooked that people bear the responsibility for taking on too much debt to buy a house. Nobody forced them to buy more house than they could afford at an adjustable rate mortgage with no money down. And why is it now the federal government’s job to guarantee all the student loans for college? It just sickens me that so many people are so happy to have the government take care of them.
Now, we’ll go into the think tank world for Reason’s newest video from Drew Carey. I have had discussions with plenty of people who support these types of health mandates / control freak laws. (I, myself, can even see the benefits of a few of them, like smoking bans.) The crazy thing, to my mind, is that many supporters argue that because the public pays for the health costs of so many people, the government has a right to regulate the way we live — i.e., banning trans fats or forcing people to wear helmets when they ride a bike. The insane thing is that this argument always comes from people who support greater government involvemnt in health care (i.e., socialism), so they put themselves in the perfect circle of arguing for more socialism in health care out of some moral imperative, and then arguing for the right to control our lives out of fiscal responsibility in health care. The idea that maybe we should let people live their own lives and then let them deal with the consequences of their actions — which, in come cases, will be negative — does not seem to enter their mindset. That would, of course, be too much freedom.
How does all this connect to Missouri? Well, we are the nation’s leader in saggy pants ordinances, so we have struck a blow for decency and telling kids we don’t want to see their boxer shorts. It’s also a nice excuse to stop them and check them for drugs, while we’re at it. It’s all very depressing, and my mood is not helped by the fact that the Cardinals will now be playing in Stella Artois Stadium.