Monday, January 11, 2010

Too Much Salt, or Too Much Government?

Via JammieWearingFool; Michael Bloomberg, Der Fuhrer of the People's Republik of New York, has championed a crusade to reduce the amount of salt in the average New Yorker's diet. This is after. mind you, he's gone as far as to ban trans-fats, require restaurants to post nutritional information and ban sodas and juices from New York City schools (unless, of course, your politically-connected soft drink company gives the Board of Ed. a huge financial break, in which case, yours will be the only soft drinks allowed in a New York City public school. Kids should be protected from sugary juices, but then denied the choice of what to drink by a monopoly negotiated in Gracie Mansion?).

This, incidentally, is the same mayor who's spending a shitload of money to teach heroin addicts the advanced techniques they'll need to become really proficient heroin addicts. So they won't get AIDS, you see --- because your run-of-the-mill AIDS-infected heroin addict takes public health resources away from Homosexuals with AIDS. Heroin addicts don't vote as much as Homosexuals, so as long as we're trying to keep them from getting AIDS we might as well really encourage the habit that will eventually kill them anyway, right?

Try to keep up with this logic; teach a heroin addict how to kill himself, but the rest of you need to be protected from high blood pressure? Is it just me or is there a stunning disconnect here?

Mayor Bloomberg cares about what you eat and drink. He says it's for your own good, but really, it isn't. It's about taxation, and the distribution of tax revenue and government services to politically-connected groups and individuals, and ultimately, the power to control an individuals behavior by limiting his choices and punishing those behaviors his self-appointed betters find objectionable.

Too much salt causes problems with high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure wind up in hospitals, and many of them do not have insurance, and they die or skip out on expensive cardiac treatment. High blood pressure, therefore, costs money. Yeah, we get it. But the solution to the problem is not new laws! The solution is in allowing people to actually suffer the very real consequences of their (in-)actions!

The truth is that most people with health problems caused by high blood pressure will pretty much die younger --- which actually saves the system money --- but that fact is glossed over, because there are larger principles at stake.

One of those principles is the questionable idea that if the Mayor (and by extension,any elected official) isn't pushing for new laws then what the hell would we need a Mayor for? This is a common theme which runs through most regulation, nowadays. New Laws and Regulations are not developed so much to address the consequences of certain behaviors, or to adapt and reconcile changes in our society; no, now they are a visible symbol of "government working". The fact that government often works in a an expensive, inefficient and half-assed fashion because of politics and bureaucratic forces is always, conveniently forgotten. When you combine those who believe that government must be seen with those who have inflated egos and an unjustified belief in their own superiority, you get stupid, petty, regressive and ultimately-ineffectual laws like this, that destroy personal choice, put an undue burden on business, cost nine times more than initially estimated, and in retrospect, accomplish jack shit. If we don't see Mike Bloomberg or Chuck Schumer addressing even the smallest, most insignificant concern of even the most brain-damaged asshole in his constituency, then government, somehow, isn't "working"?

This is a mindset that needs to be discouraged. Probably with gunfire.

Frankly, I think they do it just so they can hold a press conference. The Press Conferences are usually the only part of the program that go according to plan. But I digress...

Some people have the strangest notion of what the government should do, and how it should 'work', and the majority of these people believe that government actually exists to either "do things" or to "save us from ourselves". It's not supposed to do either -- it's role is to preserve the conditions under which you exercise your personal liberties, i.e. your power of choice. Instead, government seeks, at the behest of the dumbest and those who can scream louder, to reduce our choices, to limit our liberties, for our own good, but I should be the final arbiter of what "my own good actually" means. The first clue that your liberties are about to be taken away is usually contained in a sentence uttered by some pompous, sanctimonious, beetle-like little asshole with a title ... like this one:

If we achieve our goal, we would talk about saving tens of thousands of lives," Farley said, predicting that deaths from strokes and heart attacks will dramatically fall.

I don't believe for a second that Mr. Farley actually cares whether tens of thousands of people live longer. Why should it be desirable if tens of thousands more of us live? Won't it just make New York more crowded? Doesn't it just mean that those tens of thousands you're "saving' will continue to make demands on the Public Health System that we can't afford? What's the harm in letting them die young? I mean, in this day and age, if you don't know that high blood pressure kills, if you don't know about low sodium diets, and if you don't know of the benefits of regular exercise, then we have to conclude one of two things; a) you're a moron, in which case I want you to die before you procreate, and b) you're an irresponsible, lazy fuck, in which case, I want you dead before you procreate.

Because when "tens of thousands" of stupid, irresponsible, lazy people are artificially "saved" by government, we get more stupid, irresponsible and lazy people...who require more government to pass laws against sticking your genitals in an electrical outlet, sticking pins in your eyes or picking your nose with a samurai sword, because they obviously won't know any better.

The problem we have here is not too much salt, but too much government geared towards catering to too many stupid people.

And Mike Bloomberg still sucks.

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