People who know me and the topics of my writing might be shocked and dismayed at what I am about to say. I don't like having the Federal Government intruding in my life. I don't like have a bunch of bureaucrats telling me what to and not to do. I think that businesses flourish best when left alone in a Liaise Faire atmosphere. While they are flourishing they are leaving behind a trail of tears.
I want to be able to order and eat a cheesy-eggy-bacony muffin or biscuit, some fat fries and a sweet-fizzy-caramel -colored water without some government wonk telling me it is not good for me to eat this stuff. I can make that informed decision and have this meal once a month or twice. The problem is that there are other adults who do not understand the connection between that meal three to five times a week on a human body that is only fifty pounds and still growing. When we let a corporation mascot have the freedom of speech to encourage naive children and adults to maintain brand loyalty and over eat too much of the calorie-laden, fat-laden, sugar-laden, salt-laden foods, we the people will pick up the medical tab several decades later.
I am conflicted in these ideas and the ideas that I have come to hold sacred in my educated maturity. Federal employees of any agency, administration or department aught not be dictating what s right and wrong. This is especially true since they themselves cannot be sure that what they say is right or wrong. Is it global warming or global cooling? Is it what man does that warms the planet or is it the strength of the sun or the variation of the tilt of the planet or the impact of volcanic ash and gas emissions that alter the heat capacity of the atmosphere?
Some geologists have asserted that the Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Pinatubo, and two other recent volcanoes have placed more carbon into the atmosphere than humans have in all of human history.
I personally believe that if you are an addict of alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin or other drugs that you deserve to die for your stupidity. I think that if you are dumb enough to use an electric hair dryer while in the bath tub, Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest just might make humans a more intelligent species. If you eat a poor diet, you will get fat, develop diabetes, have any of a multitude of other long term illnesses and die before you otherwise would have.
If you smoke tobacco or even just suck on a wad of it in your mouth, you have a high likelihood of needing medical intervention to prolong your life. So if you are free to have your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as guaranteed by the US Constitution, why have some DC liberal whack-job telling me and my businesses what to do?
Recent movement has been made to add salt and fat content to the regulated substances that the Food and Drug Administration regulates. Why should I limit the sodium content of my dipped potato fries or the fats in which they are fried, when actual people will pay good money to be allowed to eat those potato slices and feed them to their children with abandon and be freed of the parenting responsibility of knowing what is good for them to consume? Who are they to tell me what to eat or to feed my kids?
Well here is the reason.
Lets's back up to 1970. Mom is a very busy woman who has three children who are quite astute and impressionable when a Clown or a Colonel or a King or a little Red-haired Girl says come and eat at my place. Mom and dad both find it so much easier to pass a few dollar bills across the counter in exchange for ready-made food than it is to shop, prepare, serve and clean up after a nightly meal that happens 7 days a week year after year, ad naseum. The children love the ambiance and entertainment. They may even get a toy to remind them of how good a time they had.
Jump ahead 40 years. It is 2013 and the children are 45 years old, 245 pounds heavy, with cholesterol levels of 345, and type 2 diabetes that if not now, may eventually require three dialysis sessions per week.
Now who is paying for this dialysis sessions? Who is paying for the Cardiac ICU days? Who is footing the bill for coronary stent surgery, stroke rehabilitation and all the durable medical hardware that is essential to maintain the lives of the children who ate themselves into this condition because their parents had no idea what they were doing AND the Federal Government respected the privacy and freedoms of American adults to do what they want to do, eat what they want to eat and most importantly feed their children what McDonald, Yum Brands, and Wendy's tell them to?
There is a direct connection between what parents feed their children at a "family restaurant" and what taxpayers have to pay later on in the lives of the brand loyal customers of the franchise. The Federal Government is US. It is those of us who think ahead and try to head off the expensive disasters that are steaming at us at full throttle. Unfortunately, it is also people who are positioned so as to stymie the intentions of the thinking people.
At 45 and older, people will arrive at a hospital seeking treatment for the downside of their lifestyle choices. They will get services whether or not they can pay for those services. The rest of us will pay the difference. It is an extremely difficult task to turn someone away for medical treatment when they are in pain, sinking slowly into death or are in jeopardy of greater losses if not treated. It is even more difficult when it is an ignorant adult who presents a child for treatment of a condition that could have been prevented with education, regulation of a business practice, or with an earlier intervention.
The Harley Factor
One middle-aged white man on his new Harley who crashes into a utility pole without a helmet and sustains a brain injury is just one stupid dude. But when thousands of middle-age white men start buying Harleys and crashing into fixed and moving objects, it is someone's job to raise the warning flag and make them think before they ride. The motorcycle manufacturers aren't going to say, "Don't buy our machines." The sales rep won't be doing that either. It would not be so bad that they crash like this, but too many of them are surviving with severe long-term disabilities that cost society hundreds of millions of dollars to treat. They leave families without a means of support. We the people end up talking care of them and their families when the healthcare insurance runs out.
The bottom-line is that We The People do have the right to say what a business can and cannot do to promote a negative product or service.
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