So this story has recently received a lot of media attention. A Michigan-based company has decided to ban smoking. Ok, sounds reasonable. But wait, not just in the office or on the premises, but anywhere. They now say their employees are not permitted to smoke at all. Ever. Anywhere. Even when they're off the job. At home. On vacation. Now that's a new one. So what do I think about this (I know you're dying to know). Well, I'll skip talking about how revolted I am at all things smoke. But the idea that my employer would try to dictate how I live my life outside of work--lunacy. All they should care about is the quality of my work. Right?

On the other hand, we require them to foot a large chunk of the bill for our healthcare. So it seems only reasonable that the company try to minimize that bill. First with a smoking ban, followed by other health requirements, such as diet and exercise.

So does this ban still seem anathema to the rugged individualism that is the American way? Maybe that's the price we have to pay for all the various welfare systems we've built up. If we want to be left alone to smoke and drink and overeat (or whatever, name your vice), then we can't very well turn around and expect someone else to foot the bill for our foibles. So let's just end welfare of every kind and each take responsibility for our own lives. Let's all pay for our own health insurance, just like we pay for our own car insurance, life insurance and homeowners insurance. Or not--let it be just another choice that we each have to make as the rugged individuals we are.

But if we still want someone else to step in and solve all our problems and pick us up every time we fall, then we just have to accept that we cannot be free and deal with these sorts of strictures on our lives. I for one, choose freedom--and all the risks and responsibilities that come with it.


Blogger Class of 1996 Reunion Committee  said...

Paul, I like your commentary on the smoking ban. I'd post my own thoughts but I agree too much with you to do anything but rewrite your post.

I love your site. It is the best blog I've visited in the 8 whole days I've been visiting blogs (but I have viewed hundreds in that time). Your topics are exactly what interests me and are the kinds of things I will try to discuss on my blog. Your points on Best Buy are funny and true (Simpsons joke). Even if they want to get statistics on where their shoppers are from, why isn't the damn area code enough? However, last time I was there I heard a girl respond that she has an unlisted phone number and the clerk just moved on without any further discussion.

Friday, January 28, 2005  

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