San Francisco is considering a ban on the sale of goldfish. Basically, the government is afraid that people are getting fish as impulse buys and not treating them properly, so they don’t want to allow anyone to buy them at all. They’re also considering a ban on parents having their babies circumcised.
They’ve already banned Happy Meals, as they think they’re too enticing to children and parents can’t be expected to control what their own kids eat. Also increasingly regulating the daily behavior of its citizens is New York City under Mayor Bloomberg, who has banned trans-fats city-wide and smoking in most of the city and has considered a ban on salt.
The leaders of these cities have taken it upon themselves to place their own opinions of what people should or should not be doing above basic liberty. They’ve made it the government’s role to be a nanny and have ruled individual choice as unimportant. And I have one thing to say to them: Finally, someone is remembering the principles this country was founded on.
Back before the Unites States was an independent nation, people lived in horrific conditions under British rule. The British weren’t providing very good free health care (wait time for a poor person to get an MRI was over 200 years), they were refusing to increase taxes on the rich, and they had very few laws dictating what colonists were allowed to eat, causing many to become obese on the high-fructose maize syrup the Indians taught them to make.
So the colonists kept demanding that the British give them big government to regulate their lives and provide for their basic needs while confiscating all their wealth. “We’re stupid,” they’d cry out to the British. “Please rule us and make us do what you think is best!” But the British kept refusing, saying, “No, you guys are doing okay by yourselves. We want you to have the freedom to run your own lives.”
It was this laissez-faire attitude that led to the Boston Massacre, in which five people died of heart attacks in Boston from eating fatty foods a proper government would never have let them eat in the first place. Finally the colonists had enough of not being bossed around and decided if the British weren’t going to provide them the all-encompassing government they wanted, they had to make it themselves.
They started by throwing tea into the Boston Harbor since they determined it had too much caffeine and people shouldn’t have been allowed to drink it. Then they formed militias to collect more taxes from the colonists to spend on welfare and government works projects. The British tried to strike back by ending regulations and giving tax rebates, but the colonists were now ready to fight to make sure some large entity would tell them what to do. And many were rallied to the cause by Patrick Henry’s cry of “Give me a large government telling me what I can and can’t do while spending most of my money, or give me death!”
Soon, Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, which includes the famous line, “We hold these truths to be revealed after careful study by Ivy League-educated people, that all men are in need of constant care and supervision, that they are endowed by the highly-educated intellectual class with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are free Health Care, strict and expansive Regulations on all activities, and the pursuit of Big Government.”