Sunday, April 19, 2009

Salt: The New Smoke?

I'm sitting at my desk on a Sunday afternoon working on my monthly retail taxes. This paperwork nightmare takes about six hours since the state governments don't seem to understand the concept of streamlining or efficiency. Much of the information I have to provide is redundant and/or useless... but I persevere because I love being a retail tobacconist. In a momentary diversion I noticed an article (and an even better article) on the internet about NYC mayor Bloomberg and the 'health' dept. rallying against salt and launching new efforts to curtail its use - not just in NYC, but across America! First they banned smoking, then trans fats, and now they are focusing on salt. All of this comes from a democrat, turned republican, turned independent who changed the state law so he could stay in power for another term. I feel like I'm living in some horrible version of the future I had nightmares about ten years ago. I fear that our nanny govt. will be dictating our weight, complexion, taste, language, opinions, and clothes ten years from now. In the year 2019 our supermarkets will probably be void of food and filled with nutritional pills made by some non-governmental organization (i.e. partnership between pfizer & con-agra), just because our legislators and health zealots deem it in our 'best interest'.

Smoking was the gateway civil right, but we are well past that now. In the midst of our economic recession all I hear politicians talking about is new taxes and laws. Whereas, I would just like to see the old laws work, govt. made efficient, individual liberty/choice/freedom preserved, and the slavery of 'sin' taxation abolished since it is unfair (albeit politically expedient). It used to be republicans would fight smoking-bans, excessive taxation, and the usurpation of our individual liberties... but today, there is no difference between the political parties in office; they are just two sides of the same coin serving lobbyists and manipulating public perceptions with junk science and a 'holier than thou'/'we know better' mentality.

I, for one, would like more options come election time. I would like to see a (cigar smoking, salty french fry eating) politician who runs on the platform of no new taxes and laws. Just a simple leader who believes in correcting the path we are on. Someone who is not afraid to look inward at the bureaucracy and make if work, instead of compounding the problems with ad hoc solutions, feel-good laws, and obfuscations. But, above all, I want to vote for someone who believes in Education vs. Legislation! Because all people are born free and the American government should be in the business of preserving that.

Sadly, I don't have a better solution as I am still waiting for the greatest minds of our time to stand up and return this great country to the vision of our founding fathers. The best I can do is fight for what I believe in and put my money where my mouth is by fighting to preserve the retail tobacconist profession - that is why Tobacconist University exists. At the very least, we should all be members of the CRA and never lose sight of the fact that individual liberty (freedom) is the greatest human value.

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