by Eric Andersen
After a public hearing Tuesday, the El Cajon City Council, a supposedly conservative council of five Republicans, voted unanimously to crackdown on free markets again, this time prohibiting new electronic vapor inhalation businesses from entering the market place.
City Councilman Gary Kendrick said, “This is a victory for the citizens and businesses in El Cajon,” and “This shows the public that we’re willing to protect them.”
Kendrick is right. This is a great victory and Christmas in July for Amir Khan, the owner of the only hookah lounge in the city.
No doubt Kendrick’s intentions are good as were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s to ban large sodas and food donations to homeless shelters, but is this the proper role of government in a free and prosperous society?
Aren’t higher prices the result of a lack of competition?
Isn’t this the same city council that lost $600,000 of tax payer funds last year in a failed attempt to subsidize a local brewery?
Thomas DiLorenzo and James T. Bennett in their book From Pathology to Politics: Public Health in America point out that many public-health “experts” are not so concerned about health as they are about politics and their social agenda, which means more government control over our lives.
“The denial of individual responsibility for one’s own life and well-being has become the keystone of the public health movement. For if individuals are responsible for their own health, who needs the “public” health establishment’s political agenda? The very word “public” in this regard is a euphemism for “socialized.” And once our health is socialized, then all behavior becomes the “legitimate” province of state control and regulation. But once it is agreed that the state has a “right” to control any and all behavior that might possibly have a negative effect on “public” health, then we are on the road to losing all of our privacy and our freedom.”
Milton Friedman made the simple statement in his “Free to Choose” television series that a voluntary exchange will not take place unless both parties believe they will benefit. Every time you buy cigarettes or unhealthy food, and every time you do not buy food that’s good for you, you are weighing your own costs and benefits.
Yes we do have a problem in our communities with smoking, obesity, high cholesterol etc….but I do not believe it is the role of government to address it.
Where do our city councilman derive this power? If I don’t have the authority to address my neighbor’s eating and smoking habits how can I transfer such authority to my city councilman?
Those things fall into the area of self-government, individual freedom and pursuit of happiness.
In The Constitution of Liberty F.A. Hayek wrote, “Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.”
Let’s get back to making the GOP the “pursuit of happiness” party.