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Old 10-03-2007, 10:01 AM   #21
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I think that helmet laws should not exist. If someone is foolish enough (in my opinion) to get on a motorcycle with no protection whatsoever then they should be free to do so. If someone wants to smoke cigarrettes while knowing the negative health consequences, they should have the freedom to do so as well. And if someone... anyone, chooses to not save any money while they were able to work, and want to risk their future on chance occurances, and the charity of others, then no one should try to stop them either
You assume that these things have an effect only on the people who are doing them. What happens when the motorcyclist without a helmet becomes brain damaged after a crash? Now, he can't work to support himself or his family and society must step in to assist (Even if you say "let him suffer for his own stupidity", you're not going to let his kids starve). Then, you and I are paying for his "freedom to choose".

Or how about the people who develop emphysema (sp?) from smoking and now make much greater demands on the health care system. If they are insured by my insurance company, they are driving my costs of health insurance up. Again, their choice, but the rest of us live with the consequences.

You also make a huge assumption that people have been making enough money to be able to put aside something for a time when they will physically be unable to work due to advanced age. Many, many people in the country work at minimum wage jobs. They have trouble living now, let alone saving for the future. I would recommend that you read the book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich for a glimpse at how these people are barely scraping by.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:03 AM   #22
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You assume that these things have an effect only on the people who are doing them. What happens when the motorcyclist without a hlemet becomes brain damaged after a crash? Now, he can't work to support himself or his family and society must step in to assist (Even if you say "let him suffer for his own stupidity", you're not going to let his kids starve). Then, you and I are paying for his "freedom to choose".

Or how about the people who develop emphysema (sp?) from smoking and now make much greater demands on the health care system. If they are insured by my insurance company, they are driving my costs of health insurance up. Again, their choice, but the rest of us live with the consequences.

You also make a huge assumption that people have been making enough money to be able to put aside something for a time when they will physically be unable to work due to advanced age. Many, many people in the country work at minimum wage jobs. They have trouble living now, let alone saving for the future. I would recommend that you read the book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich for a glimpse at how these people are barely scraping by.
Do we instead live in a society that is so safe and sanitized that it becomes impossible to do anything that is even remotely risky or dangerous? Maybe I LIKE trans-fats in my french fries. Maybe I LIKE investing in highly volotile stocks. Where is MY freedom to do as I choose, if I am forever being told what I can and cannot do just because I MIGHT get hurt, I MIGHT loose money, or I MIGHT ruin my financial future? I have heard the same arguments against gun ownership. That because a small percentage of people have abused their gun ownership rights, that no one should be able to own one, because of the bad potential.
My life, and I would think anyone elses is about calculated risk vs. reward. At any time I might win, or I might loose. Something tragic could happen to me tomorrow, and destroy my shot at an early retirement. I understand and I highly value the idea of a saftey-net. My plans for early retirement are in my mind just that.
I would certainly love to help everyone. I wish there could be a world in which no one suffers, no one makes bad decisions, and all elderly people have enough money for retirement. But it is just not possible. And it is unfair, and unjust to ask others to bring us closer to that impossible goal. I think it would be horribly arrogant of me to think that I woud know what is best for everyone. Who am I to say how much money we should all be saving, how much overwieght is too much, is riding a motorcycle too dangerous with the risk of no helmet? I can never know for everyone what is the best course of action. Therefore I would not even try. I prefer to leave such decisions to the individuals in their lives.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:40 AM   #23
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Therefore I would not even try. I prefer to leave such decisions to the individuals in their lives.
I think you may have missed the whole point of Gumby's post.

Ha
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:44 AM   #24
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I think you may have missed the whole point of Gumby's post.

Ha
Heh, never let that stand in the way of a good rant.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:12 PM   #25
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I think it is just that some people have a misguided sense of freedom. Whenever you choose to live next door to someone else in a community, there are a whole set of tradeoffs that come with that decision. Such is the nature of a mature society.

BTW you are still free to ride without a helmet, you just may have to pay for the privilege to choose that course of action. It is the same with speeding.
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