fredsmith: (Default)
[personal profile] fredsmith

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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