Many of you may have noticed the quality of Mondays blog, "I said NO!", being of a higher grade than usual. It is due to the fact that my wife wrote that specific blog. I appreciate her stepping in and also appreciate the quality of her work, even if it does make my work look even more sophomoric...
Now for my thought for the moment:
Lately we have been hearing about the sins of fast-food and the affected, overburdened health care system. There was an article yesterday stating that Los Angeles is considering a year long ban on fast-food in the impoverished southern section of the city. And there was another article saying that by 2030 or so, all Americans may be overweight. I must confess that I did not read the articles but I have read similar articles in the past and I do have some thoughts on this.
To begin with, combining the two articles, or two types of articles, is an open door for higher taxes on fast-food/junk-food. While I'm not as conspiracy minded as my friend Rupert, I do see where a government appointed committee could combine statistics and see an area that could be exploited for higher tax gain, albeit under the guise of protecting the poor citizen from the evil and immoral producer of such junk/fast food. The same thing happened with cigarettes.
While I am not a smoker (I used to be) I am maddened by the manner of which smokers have been treated. The tobacco industry was absolutley wrong in placing additives into the cigarettes making them more addictive. So the government stepped in and penalized them. Not to mention the big trial lawyers who saw an opportunity to cash in on the opportuinty. While they pretended to come to the aid of the smoker via class action suit, the smokers received about $75 per capita and the lawyers of these cases made out with 20% of the total gain of $15 million or so, depending on the class action case. Then the tobacco industry raised the prices to offset the penalties they incurred. Where did that leave the smoker/consumer? Picking up everyone's tab is where it left them.
I don't know about you, but I don't think I would appreciate much help like that. I don't think that I could afford much of that kind of help. And that is the kind of help that we would get if junk-food/ fast-food continues in this direction.
I do think that smokers and obese people should pay a larger part of the insurance premiums. I think that they are a problem, A problem not THE problem, with our health care system. And I think that there are ways we could begin to move into that direction. But by no means do I want the help of the government or class action trial lawyers.
But who will help? What does a consumer and a citizen do? I wish there were something that I could do.
Time, space, intellect, and my one year old will not allow me to dig in much deeper here. We could focus on taxes, misappropriations, politics, pork, failing social programs, illegal immigration, moral decline, lack of responsibilities, universalism, as well as a myriad other topics. There is no quick fix for our situation. Big government and small minded people have tied it all together now, creating an overwhelming, depressing grey glob of messy confusion.
This isssue with the junk food will be another ingredient in the messy glob. There will be more studies that will have to be paid for; ridiculous studies to determine what obese is and what junk food is. Next will come the splitting of hairs, politics, and finger pointing. They will find that anyone weighing over 120 lbs is obese and anything other than plain rice cakes is junk. The media will fuel the frenzy, whether being responsible or not, and we will get worked into a dander since we mindlessly follow what others tell us. Then it will become a campaign issue and draw the lines in the sand. As we become polarized the government will eventually have to step in and do something. We will demand it!
Now the government has grown larger by twenty committes, three cabinet positions, fifty people who no one know what they will do, fifteen chickens, and one tambourine. And all of this will have to be paid for. By someone. And the unethical lawyers will be ready to step in to befriend the persecuted. All of this running the costs up into the billions by the time the issue is resolved. And the outcome will only be worse for the citizen.
So what do we do? How do we avoid this? Can the direction be changed?
I think it can be, but I am a little on the doubtful side. And I am not being a pessimist. If I didn't feel that people could do better, I wouldn't take time to point out the faults. If people didn't have such potential for greatness there would be little need for exposing the trivial. If I didn't know so many truly good people and love so many in my life, there would be nothing to fight for. Acts of compassion are getting fewer and farther in between but none the less still exist.
Getting back to what we can do, we can make better decisions in our lives. We must realize that our individual decisions affect other people, regardless of the "size" of the decision. Be it good or bad, our decisions can cause a change, even if only in thought, in our fellow man. And remember, one bad apple can spoil the whole barrell.
And we can't accept and settle for the fact that other's actions and decisions affect ouselves individually. We must take responsibilty for our own decisions and actions. No one can make us behave or react in any manner other than the manner in which we are willing to behave ourselves. We are stronger in our resolve. We must be more resilient. Regardless of how we are viewed or how we are treated we are responsible for our own individual actions, not responsible for the actions of others; with the exception of our children. We are responsible for their actions to an extent. And we need to teach them to behave responsibly and make the right decisions, regardless of their age.
We also need to be more active in our government. Not just talking around the water cooler or venting on a blogsite. But become informed as to how and why things are the way that they are. We need to be educated on the issues and we need to be in a position to hold our elected officials accountable. They are to represent the citizens and should make decisions accordingly. But when trying to make decisions for an uneducated, self-centered, finger pointing mob, the elected official will be left to his own devices. We see this too often already. We don't have to all agree or be in complete unity but we must all be accountable and responsible. We need more voice from Main Street not more noise from Washington...we need bigger people and smaller government. Then the trivial problems, such as fast food, will not be such big issues. And we could have hope for a outcome that will better suit the citizen/consumer.
I realize today's blog may be more of a soapbox style tangit than a concise treatise of any sort. I guess its almost a blog inside a blog... Maybe Everyone will see my genius in this. Probably not though...I ended up going in a totally different direction than the direction I had initially planned. I will not make any apologies, for my words are thought over and heartlfet, and my skill is limited and developing at this point. And many times issues are tied togethter and difficult to isolate for the puropose of social dissection.
I do hope anyone who reads this can glean over today's words and find something useful. And if no one can find it very useful, just blame my kids for distracting me or the web site for not being easier to publish my musings. There are alot of factors that I can't control... Meanwhile I'm going to get a Big Mac.
Morehouse Flood 2011
6 years ago