Every year this item rears its ugly head. Some lunatic, anti-property rights, nanny-state authoritarians come around trying to tell private business and property owners what they must or must not allow on their property when it comes to smoking. This is despite there already being a ban in place on most everything but bars, private clubs and casinos.
I wrote about this back in 2009 when some Republicans on the Indianapolis City Council were threatening to push through this kind nanny-state, anti-freedom garbage. And now, IMMEDIATELY after the elections where, as usual, Republicans spill rhetoric about the “free market”, “property rights” and “small government” they turn right around and spit on those very ideals.
This time, the person spearheading this nonsense is council president Ryan Vaughn (R). This is the same guy who helped push through legislation against individuals selling their own extra or unneeded event tickets. The line of the day which highlighted either his willful ignorance of private businesses leveraging the machinery of government OR his own naivety (you pick) was when he said that the ticket brokerages (paraphrased), “…want to be regulated.” Well, DUH, they want me and anyone else to be forced to sell them our excess tickets at their low-ball prices and to not have to compete with us when they sell them. Amazing that so-called small government Republicans (as if) would allow this kind of obvious interference in the free market.
Since people voluntarily work at places that allow or don’t allow smoking and individual consumers patronize places, voluntarily, that do or not allow smoking than this is the smoking ban issue, in a nutshell and it is arrogant and selfish. It is one group of people trying to use the government to force THEIR OPINION on everyone else.
They are basically saying, “I may want to come to your establishment, despite there being smoke-free options already in the marketplace, so I demand that the government threaten you with violence if my personal opinion on such smoke is not adopted by you. I am either not informed about or too lazy to seek out smoke free alternatives. I don’t care if it violates your property rights or the wishes of your existing clientele.“
That’s it. People do not care who owns the place or what clients that owner may or may not want to serve. As with so many liberal, nanny-state causes, they want YOU TO DO WHAT THEY WANT rather than just take their business elsewhere or themselves create alternatives in the market.
And, once again, it seems we have those that the typical Conservative elects to protect us from this kind of authoritarian, anti-rights garbage helping make it happen. Apparently, they’re afraid they’ll be embarrassed if out-of-towners come to Indy for the 2012 Superbowl and see anyone smoking. And, don’t think for a minute, that ticket scalping legislation wasn’t also about trying to polish up the city in advance of the Superbowl. And one even wonders about the panhandler ordinance of a couple of years ago that made it illegal to even hold a political sign on a street corner.
I shudder to think that the elected city overlords are really willing to trade away freedom, rights and free market principles in exchange for a football game. And people wonder why the Libertarian brand is increasingly popular. Of course, it is because of consistent principles and ideology.