Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why do others know what is best for me?

There is something that I have been pondering quite a bit lately. Why is it that other people think they know what is best for me? I'm not talking about a heart specialist or financial advisor, I am referring to those who seek political power. I think this argument applies to all political parties.

There have been multiple laws proposed or passed that would force people to act in a manner that appeals to those in power. For instance the fear that the amount of salt used in restaurants would negatively impact the health of New Yorkers has lead to banning salt in the preparation of food. How about banning incandescent light bulbs because they are not energy efficient and may increase carbon emissions?

The intent behind many of these laws maybe good, however the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. What happened to the belief that people can make intelligent decisions for themselves and allow them to face the consequences or benefits? Why not explain why too much salt intake is unhealthy and the benefits from not using too much? Why not encourage people to use more energy efficient lighting because it is more cost effective and can lessen our country's dependence on foreign oil? I decided a while ago to start using compact fluorescent lights because of the the amount of money I could save on my electric bill; Not because I was forced to use them.

If we look at history and we study those who have forced their will upon others we can see that it will not work. Yet time and time again there are those who feel "this time we can do it better, we know more than we did last time...." Actions speak louder than words, we have politicians who wish to change the way we do things, yet they do not live by their own beliefs, somehow they feel they are better than the majority of Americans and do not feel we have the right to judge them. They say an open discussion of the issues is necessary however they are the only ones who can talk.

It has been said that "the pen is mightier than the sword." The pen is the written word which can affect and change the hearts of men and women, and once they change from the inside out then they will act differently. The sword can only enforce outward obedience, it cannot change the heart not the way that those who wield the sword want.

So I would like to make the following proposal to those who would decide what is best for others:

1. Lead by example if you believe we need to use less oil, then stop flying take the train etc.
2. Explain why your plan is better and then ask us to consider it.
3. Respect our decisions and allow us to fail or succeed based upon our actions.