Saturday, March 6, 2010
A striking feature of life in 2010 is the gross over-regulation and criminalization of doing unhealthy things. As recently as 1998, we still have many freedoms left. Now, someone restricts businesses from letting people smoke in separate enclosed rooms, hurting small, locally-owned restaurants, people are required to do all sorts of things in their cars (often observed more in the breach than in compliance), and criminalizing activities that used to be considered to be "fair use" under the old copyright laws. Fines are now usually excessive for traffic violations and local, state, and federal government constantly intrude on our lives (or they want to, at least). The courts have stripped us of our constitutional rights because they figure that some good is accomplished by doing so. In the United States, though, we are in better condition than the Europeans. Britain and the Netherlands seem doomed, if they continue as they are. In the U.S., government risks driving the people into rebellion through repressive laws and enforcement. I find the whole prospect frightening, as I liked our situation even prior to 2001, if not prior to 1999.