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So I read about this the other day. Arizona contemplating levying a $50 fee on smokers and the obese to prop up the solvency of Medicaid. (Obligatory rear-view photo of people with big butts:)
Apparently this fee will fix people who are suffering from a deficiency of $50 fees.
(If we were truly concerned with this country's excess of butt tissue, we'd remedy this by correcting the liposuction deficiency, right? Har, har.)
I have no problem fining the smokers. Smoking stinks, it generates obnoxious, spit-covered litter, it encroaches on my right to not smell like a$$, and I'm damn sick of getting hit in the windshield by chain-smoking twits who ditch their cigarettes on the highway by flicking them high & away. Rule one: If you smoke, you're obligated to use your car's ashtray. It's your punishment for being the lackey of Big Tobacco. Yeah, I'm mean. But I'm also an ex-smoker (college makes smoking sooo coool), so I can be a jerk about this. (Obligatory smoker's mouth photo:)
I also have no problem with drug testing for welfare recipients. These folks can pee in a cup just like every other guy with a job. Or they can find a job, where they'll probably be drug tested. Either way – stop sniffing glue. Yeah, it sucks that mary-jee-wana is illegal; it's arbitrary, you want to smoke it, it's a plant, free will…but sometimes, you just have to not smoke stuff. Such is life. Just be glad that raw milk isn't illegal. Wait, er…
Smoking and obesity aren't even close to being in the same class. Obesity is a condition that even the most brilliant scientists don't fully understand. The mechanisms behind body fat regulation don't boil down to simply stuffing in more calories than you burn = fat butt. (Sorry, Jillian Michaels.) Though type-2 diabetes is commonly associated with the overweight, there are type-2 folks who are slim as rails. Are they being fined? What about the skinny folks who suffer from joint pain and breathing problems? I'd say that fining someone for obesity is like fining them for cancer. Both are poorly understood diseases of civilization. Both are exacerbated, albeit indirectly, by the US government through policies on GMO foods, chemicals, and public health.
Of course, that leads to another point: people rely too much on the government for their information.
How is it that the producers of food-like swallowable products like soda and candy have again escaped judgment in this scenario? While the “soda tax” was fiercely debated on facebook as infringement upon Free Will, the folks at Willy Wonka were chuckling to themselves as their fight was carried out for them by the very folks they endeavor to distract from the actual problem. They had a good belly laugh from the ergonomic chairs in the R&D office, where their newest research on “reward centers” and “color motivation” indicated that if they make the red Skittle just a little more red, children will be unconsciously driven to throw a seismic tantrum in the checkout line at *The Wal-Mart.
And then, in 30 years, they'll be fined $50 for being fat.
*Yes, I said “The Wal-Mart.” That's how people who really belong at Wal-Mart say it.
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