And our divided country will produce the worst of both worlds.
The LA city council has passed a resolution that bans fast food restaurants in poor neighborhoods (via Slate – worth moseying over for). This is so paternalistic it’s disgusting. Do poor people make bad food choices? Yes. Should we thus deprive them of choosing all food we consider bad? Don’t make me answer that. If you want more health choices, put incentives in for a decent grocery to move in or a farmers market (although you are still left with the issue that healthy foods are more expensive). Beyond that, you can eat relatively healthy at many fast food places if you want to; but-news flash-people don’t.
The sense of paternalism seems to be growing in the country equal to the sense that the government is responsible for everything, both reinforcing each other. I was listening to a radio recently and heard some city government official railing against Verizon for not putting FIOS into the poor sections of town as fast as the richer sections. Umm, gee, ya think? One, they’re a business, they install where they can get money back on their investment. Two, super-high-speed internet is a main concern for the poor in the city? Now, I know that there is a digital divide and we need to make sure people have access but maybe we should get crime, housing and social services in order first before we start worrying about fiber optic internet access.
So where do we stand? We have torture, hugely increased executive power, weak consumer rights, diminishing civil rights in the areas of surveillance and detention along with policies that take away choice, forcing us to live “better”. Ah, the worst of conservative and liberal wing ideas. It’s heading down the road of a communist country except we don’t even have health care.
And don’t blame the government. We are the government. Beyond that, we are the people eating too much, buying houses we can’t afford, not saving, not exercising, running up credit cards and equity loans, wasting food and products. I’m all for the gov’t stepping in when the public isn’t able to either control a problem (factory pollution), when they can’t be expected to know enough (banning harmful pesticides), or to level the playing field (financial regs) but lately ours only seems to step into areas where we know what we should be doing and do the opposite. If the future of the country is looking to the government to compensate for our bad habits so we can escape the consequences, the future is bleak indeed.
Weekly Aural Pleasure
I’m actually going to the sea this weekend but this excellent Blood Red Shoes song has been in my head all week. No White Stripes comparisons, please.