Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Paternalism Run Amok: Djarum Edition

Please allow me to vent my spleen over the recent ban on clove cigarettes. The FDA has decided to ban them not because they're any more dangerous or unhealthy that typical cigarettes; nothing so rational as that. Rather, the Mrs. Lovejoys at the FDA have decided, evidence to the contrary, that clove cigarettes are targeted at children.

I mean... I don't even know where to start. Cloves are out but menthols are ok? How utterly arbitrary can you get?

You know, this is the kind of shit that snowballs. Most people don't care about smokers, just like most people don't care about partisans of trans fats or foie gras. But it sets a precedent... people get acclimatized to the idea that it's ok for the government to regulate personal behavior on the flimsiest of pretexts. It's for our protection, dontchyaknow? How would you feel if your little Bobby started smoking?

They come after your smokes and your donuts and it sets a precedent. It promotes the idea that protecting us from ourselves is a proper function of government. And so the regulations pile on and you ultimately end up with an infantilized populace which expects that Uncle Sam will keep bad things from ever happening to them.

No good will come of that.


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