Nov. 1st, 2006

fredsmith: (Default)
I have a stack of unopened mail about a foot and a half high on my desk at home. My basic life-maintenance tasks have fallen significantly behind.

doctors apt
dentist apt
eye apt and new glasses and contact
taxes (last year and this year)
law society fees
insurance payments
phone bill
gas bill
loan payments (private and government)
internet hookup
job applications
job search
wasp extermination
drivers licence replacement
health card replacement
lawyer card obtain
canadian passport replacement
british passport replacement
credit card application
fredsmith: (Default)

I feel a need to develop a coherent position on government intervention on self-inflicted/risked harm.  At the moment:

  • I have little to no problem with an outright ban on driving without a seatbelt 
  • I would have a problem with an outright ban on alcohol or smoking. 
  • I would have a problem with a ban on skiing, mountain climbing, (general risk activities) 
  • I do not have a problem with 'sin taxes' to discourage alcohol/smoking. 
  • I do not have much of a problem with user fees for rescue services for some clearly defined risk activities (mountain climing etc) 
  • I abolutely have a problem with any departure from no-fee medical services for any reason, self-inflicted injury, risk-taking injury or whatever. 

    I'm pretty sure I want to limit the governments ability to dictate my behaviour, short of behaviour that causes harm to others.  So I'm pretty sure I want to defend the proposition that the Government shouldn't limit/ban/impose costs on behaviours that have negative impact only on the individual doing the activities. 

    As against that three arguments
  1. Whole premise is wrong - there is a principled argument in favour of a democratic governnment taking steps to prevent citizens from harming themselves.
  2. Whole premise is wrong - there is no principled argument against a democratic government taking steps to prevent citizens from harming themselves. 
  3.  Facts are wrong - in a society with a publicly funded health care system, there are no truly self-regarding harms, because hospital/doctors/rescue etc all a shared tax burden therefore its always the governments business.

    aggh.. must do actual work.  I'll comb back to this later.

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