[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Mon Feb 4 15:12:11 PST 2008

On Feb 4, 2008, at 2:06 PM, Ian Andrew Bell wrote:

> On 4-Feb-08, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> The *very same* logic that justifies prohibition of smoking  
>> supports this sort of thing.  And my argument is supported by the  
>> fact that I predicted THIS VERY THING many times over the years in  
>> discussing smoking prohibition.  If the theory is predictive, it  
>> must have some validity... :-P ;-)
> Oh, here we go..
> The logic that is in practise used to justify the prohibition of  
> smoking has much more to do with "Second Hand Smoke".

Bzzt, thanks for playing.

One of the more "sophisticated" arguments that's been used e.g. in  
Texas and other more conservative parts of the country to sell  
smoking prohibition to people who are inherently anti-regulation is  
this:  that smoking-related disease costs *everybody* whether or not  
you smoke, are exposed to second-hand smoke, or none of the above.   
It's a public concern because it's an economic concern;  i.e., it's a  
pocketbook issue.  From the primary costs (burden on public subsidies  
of health care) to the derivative costs (using up healthcare  
"bandwidth," effects of absenteeism, etc.) --- so the prohibitionists  
say --- it's a serious enough economic burden that it warrants an  
otherwise-unacceptable regulatory response.

And that sells.  And I suspect, though it would be difficult and  
costly to prove, that that sort of reasoning is the "straw that broke  
the camel's back" in many of the local prohibition votes in otherwise  
ultra-conservative areas (Lubbock, TX for instance...)  I.e., it's  
the argument that got folks who don't go to bars and who otherwise  
don't give a damn about the issue to actually cast a ballot in favor  
of prohibition.


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