Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

Bio

March 25, 2013 - 2:35 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Bryan has already covered Mayor Bloomberg’s comments about there being “certain times we should infringe on your freedom,” and I would like to add to Mr. Preston’s short but sweet commentary. Who is it hizzoner believes he is referring to when he uses the pronoun “we”? Is it “we” in a government sense, where he and other political hacks think themselves our overlords, magnanimously allowing us some freedoms while infringing on others?

Perhaps he means “we” in the sense of a royal “we,” as in “we are not amused that you object to us infringing on your freedom.”

Maybe he is implying a kind of communitarian “we,” as in all of us collectively can place our boot on your neck if you as an individual do something we don’t much like.

Frankly, I think Bloomberg thinks of “we” the same way a British lord might have referred to his fellow nobility 100 years ago. “We” as in the ruling class. “We” as in “those of us who control your destiny.” “We” as in those who think themselves smarter, more capable, and more privileged to run the lives of the rest of us.

All for our own good, of course.

Along those lines, Sarah Conly writes in the New York Times: “Three Cheers for the Nanny State.” I began to read thinking it a tongue-in-cheek paean to Bloomberg and his insufferable pretensions, but was shocked to discover that, yes, Conly believes that “infringing on our freedom” is just a starting point. She is an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College, and is the author of Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.

Yeah — she goes there:

Is it always a mistake when someone does something imprudent, when, in this case, a person chooses to chug 32 ounces of soda? No. For some people, that’s the right choice. They don’t care that much about their health, or they won’t drink too many big sodas, or they just really love having a lot of soda at once.

But laws have to be sensitive to the needs of the majority. That doesn’t mean laws should trample the rights of the minority, but that public benefit is a legitimate concern, even when that may inconvenience some.

So do these laws mean that some people will be kept from doing what they really want to do? Probably — and yes, in many ways it hurts to be part of a society governed by laws, given that laws aren’t designed for each one of us individually. Some of us can drive safely at 90 miles per hour, but we’re bound by the same laws as the people who can’t, because individual speeding laws aren’t practical. Giving up a little liberty is something we agree to when we agree to live in a democratic society that is governed by laws.

The freedom to buy a really large soda, all in one cup, is something we stand to lose here. For most people, given their desire for health, that results in a net gain. For some people, yes, it’s an absolute loss. It’s just not much of a loss.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I agree that this specific policy is wrong-headed, both because of a horribly arbitrary implementation (half of all establishments, like convenience stores, get exceptions, in that they can still sell pre-packaged sodas in large bottles, etc) and because it interferes with individual freedoms.

However, there is a legitimate issue here -- obesity has, in fact, reached epidemic proportions. Statistically, obese people have far more chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, etc). The obese (again, statistically) consume significantly more health care than most of the population, and they expect everyone else to pay for it.

It is a serious, legitimate problem. The higher the percentage of the population becomes obese, the more money gets taken out of *MY* pocket to subsidize their healthcare!

At what point do I get to say "enough? When *your* bad lifestyle choices start to cost me money (and I have to pay for them), shouldn't I be able to start dictating that you make healthier choices?


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Apparently nothing whatsoever was learned from Prohibition. That was a long time ago anyway.
Speaking of a long time ago, they used to give "Common Scolds" a ride on the Dunking Chair. In Bloomberg's case (and Prof. Conly, too), instead of dunking in a pond, these buffoons should be dunked into a giant pool of Coca Cola. We can charge them with being Uncommon Scolds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The professor would likely have been a Nazi collaborator had she lived in the Holocaust era. The same is apparent for the Bloomberg dope.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
She was not born to be a slave, she sees herself as the enlightened, destined to rule. She sees me as the slave to her superior thought.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everything in politics, government and religion is about 'control' over people and systems of judicial, economies, commerce, etc., and if thats not enough, common people strive 24/7 to control others minds and actions these days.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sounds like that Worthless C--T of a professor lost her job at Moscow university back in the day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great post, Rick. Your conclusion had me cheering.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“...certain times we should infringe on your freedom,..." Well that's damn mature of him. I notice he graduated with a masters in 1966, and no mention of any military history in his Wike. bio. So, Bloomberger, what was your draft status? 4f? 1a? Did you hang out in the Peace Corp so your freedom would not be infringed by conscription? Are you a chicken hawk?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow. I'm surprised to read this. I had assumed that since you favor elite-D.C. (cave on everything) control of the GOP, that you would naturally back Bloomberg. Or are you just stringing us along, Rick?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Conly states, “Making these analyses is something the government has the resources to do, just as now it sets automobile construction standards while considering both the need for affordability and the desire for safety.”

Some government mandates have been positive. High-back and stronger constructed seats, that help prevent whiplash injury, and seatbelts come to mind. But does the good doctor ignore the problems associated with the government’s interference with domestic energy production which it tries to mitigate with C.A.F.E standards that results in the production of lighter and more fragile vehicles that contributes to several thousand otherwise preventable deaths annually? Sure she does because she couldn’t care less.

Then there is the government’s outlawing of even the prudent use of DDT which results in tens of thousands of needless deaths annually due to malaria. Oops! But it did bring in tons of political donations from the greenies. See? There’s always a positive side.

I believe I see Dr. Conly’s elitist mindset which goes something like this. Sometimes we may get it right and we will never let you forget those times. But when we get it wrong and it kills you then there must be someone else who is at fault. That’s why you need us…to protect you from the evil “someone else”.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All