Thursday, December 06, 2007

More big government by the democrats

It's stuff like that that makes me want to take up smoking just as a middle finger to big government.

From the AP

An outright ban on smoking in workplaces -- restaurants and bars included -- was approved by the House on Wednesday, giving anti-smoking activists their biggest victory in the Capitol so far.

Smoking would still be allowed in casinos, cigar bars, horse racetracks and bingo halls, under the legislation.

The bill faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where restaurant owners and other opponents are certain to try to kill it.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she would support a workplace smoking ban.

The 56-46 House vote was the result of months of hearings and lobbying by anti-smoking groups who argued that second-hand smoke is a health hazard.

If smoking is so damn bad for you that government can not allow PRIVATE businesses to make a choice whether to allow it in their places far away from the people's republic of Lansing - than ban the damn things altogether. I oppose that as well, but I could respect that decision. This is just another instance of big government claiming to know best in how to regulate another person's privately owned business. With the way government is running their own ship and tax policies, we don't need their "help" in doing so.

As far as smoking itself goes, there are places here in Livingston County which do not allow smoking. The Copper Pickle banned it completely. That is their choice, and they should be entitled to make their choice. Other places rely on smokers for their business. That should be their choice at the same time. In fact this ban hurts existing smoke free places, as that is a niche they can use in their marketing.

The big government statists here aren't pushing to ban smoking in public buildings. That's already the case for the most part. Public buildings are government buildings. The statists are pushing to tell what private business are allowed to do on their own property. That's not right, and the senate needs to kill this turkey of a bill and keep the goon squads off the backs of private businesses.


Matt Evans said...

This bill is about employee safety. An employer may not expose their employees, even with consent, to dangerous substances. This has been the state of the law for well over 60 years.

Second hand smoke is a killer. Are these establishments willing to pay for the true costs of their enterprises? When New York did the same thing there was no harm to businesses.

Unknown said...

I always have mixed emotions on this subject. I'm no fan of cigarettes. Just about everyone in my family smoked while I was growing up, and at least 3 close relatives have died from various lung diseases in the last 10 years. Several other relatives died from cancer or heart disease which may have been related to their smoking. And many non-smokers in my family suffer from severe asthma (including myself) which doctors say may have been caused by years of involuntary exposure to cigarette smoke.

Like I said, I have no love of cigarettes.

But I'm also a libertarian leaning lover of freedom. I think that if someone wants to damage their health by smoking (or by being fat, or by engaging in risky behavior like skydiving, bungee jumping, etc) it is their business, not the business of government.

My solution for smoking in bars and eating establishments is that if a place allows smoking I don't go in. Plenty of places are smoke free and I'm happy to go somewhere else. If a bar owner wants to attract a certain type of customer by allowing smoking, so be it. He is the one who will suffer if he drives away too many customers.

This might seem to be a strangely mixed opinion, and maybe it is. But if we allow government to limit freedoms under the guise of protecting our health we open ourselves up to all kinds of other government intervention in the name of 'safety'. Personally, I'd rather keep my freedoms even if I have to put up with a few things I don't like.

But I do agree that parents should not smoke around their kids. That is just common sense. said...

I sort of have the same reaction as you, RM. I'm tempted to spark up just to tell them what I think of them telling me I can't.

Just one more layer of red-tape for Michigan businesses to deal with. Frustrating.