In honor of Milton Friedman DayIn honor of Milton Friedman Day, Clearing the Air resurrects this post from May 2005.
.........the little woman brought home a copy of Milton Friedman's "Capitalism & Freedom"
In the introduction he states:
"...How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?...."
Regarding smoking bans I pondered..... was government destined to such restrictions of personal freedom on its own?......I think not. But clever marketing and lobbying by pharmaceutical nicotine companies brought this unnecessary government restriction on the hospitality industry because of the non-profits' perceived credibility with the general populace.
Local governments' have bought into the notion that it is their responsibility to ban a legal activity from occurring in privately owned establishments for two fundamentally flawed reasons:
1) Elected officials naively believe whatever the non-profit health organizations tell them, because of the historically credible clout the American Lung Assoc., American Cancer Society, American Medical Association and others have wielded with the general population.
-however once the non-profit organizations accepted donations from the pharmaceutical nicotine industry they were no longer credible and unbiased sources of information regarding secondhand smoke, and the general public is beginning to see that. In addition regarding secondhand smoke, air quality test results proved secondhand smoke is 15 -25,000 times Safer than OSHA regulations, not the health hazard the pharmaceutical nicotine marketing machine (non-profit health organizations) claimed it was.
2) Since approximately 80% of the general public does not smoke, supporting a smoking ban is a sure fire re-election stance.
-again however, the general population, especially non-smokers are beginning to see smoking bans for what they are; a violation of private property rights. The notion of a privately owned establishment being a "public" or "quasi-public" place isn't sitting well with business owners ..or homeowners. They are beginning to ask themselves.....if government can eliminate legal activities in those private facilities, how long before my private property rights will be infringed upon?
A Frankenstein in the making? .......Or can it be reversed?.....The answer lies with the people....for "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ( Edmund Burke)
Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right.
We need Friedman's ideas now more than ever......Happy Milton Friedman Day.