I would think that part of the reason for seat belt laws is the cost of health care for those who are injured during the accident even during minor fender benders.
Seatbelt wearer gets whiplash from the accident, the cost is $50 bucks to the health care system (obviously an example). They also have to take 3 days off of work, costing them $300.00 in lost wages (again, example).
Seatbelt non-wearer gets a broken nose, a broken rib and whiplash in the accident, costing the health care system $200.00. They also have to take 5 days off of work, plus more down the line for further checkups on the brokenness, costing them $500+.
All of this is pure and simple speculation, mind you, so take it for what you will. :) Most laws are in place to try to prevent higher costs to the health care system, I would think. That's how *I* would think as a legislator. I mean, smoking can at least be "taxed" by having higher premiums on insurance, but seat belt wearing not so much.
As for the smoking thing, not only do you need to think about the business owner, but also the employees. You could surely use the "If you don't like it, don't work there" argument... but how many people do you know that are working in jobs that they don't like already but can't at all afford to go to a new one? I know I'm currently in that position! In fact, I don't know many people in my "social class" that can do that.
If my job currently suddenly started allowing smoking in the building for the 34 out of 40 employees that smoke, the 6 of us that don't would be out of luck. Or, even if it was known that a workplace allowed in-building smoking, should I have to choose between a well-paying job and my health? Does that mean I'm essentially paying for my health?
Take in consideration that I could be completely obtuse and missing something in the equation (which I'll readily admit), but as a non-smoking employee who has had to work in a place that allowed smoking, I was SOL because there were no other jobs that offered that kind of wage (or those kind of tips) and couldn't afford to switch jobs without adding piles of stress or having to get a second job.
|From: nylan||Date: June 1st, 2009 - 11:26 pm||(Link)|
I'm fairly sure insurance costs are exactly the reason the seat belt laws are in place. Even so, couldn't you make the same argument with a healthy diet and health insurance? Isn't that the next logical step? Where does it end? The government should not be living our lives or dictating them to us. If we aren't free to make our own mistakes, what's the point? Where do we draw the line?
Perhaps it's because I don't have the same healthcare system. I have to pay insurance costs now to cover the "above and beyond" stuff for health care because people abuse it and because of higher drains on the health care system.
If I was living completely on my own without any subsidy from the government, if I didn't gather any "group benefits" from living in my country, I would say "Go for it!" If my sister and I lived on an island where she paid for her health care and I paid for mine and never shall our costs meet, sure, fly/jump/skydive/runwithscissors. BUT, if we both paid for each other's costs, I would hope that she would be as responsible with her health care as I would be so that I wouldn't have to pay for unnecessary costs.
If the unnecessary drains on the health care system weren't there, I'm certain that all of our health care would still be completely free. If Drunk McDrunkerson didn't hop in his car and wrap his car around a tree, we could use those health care dollars to pay for breast reconstruction for a cancer patient. Or if Mr Seatbeltsdontsavelives hadn't gone through his windshield, those health care dollars will allow an elderly woman to get a free walker.
AND, regarding laws, if people Just Did It(tm), rather than it needing to be enforced, we could use those public service dollars for something else. A new shiny fire truck or more ambulances on the road for rural communities.
I think all of it, every single issue with the health care system and it's governmental bretheren, comes down to "if we lived in a perfect world". But we don't. Common sense isn't common anymore.
I dunno. there's flaws in my logic (and my grammar and paragraph structure, but I'm writing this over the course of an hour using an entry box the size of my thumb which doesn't allow me to see "the whole thing(also TM)"), I know.
Huge gaping holes appear in my logic. Sadly, my logic doesn't apply to the real world. Please, thank you and 'allow me' do not affect logic and the real world, however much I wish they did. Oh, but if they did...
I'd also like a pony and world peace for my birthday.
|From: nylan||Date: June 2nd, 2009 - 06:35 pm||(Link)|
I mean, the big issue we're talking around is this idea that we should be able to do what we want. It's a free country, after all. At least, speaking for American, I dunno what craziness goes on up north :P But there's certainly a lot of individuality in our culture, and it's fairly central to our cultural identity. Having said that, it's certainly the case that our actions have consequences not just for ourselves, but for others in society. And those two things are always going to be in tension. Finding the sweet spot where we can co-exist in harmony without being restricted from living the way we want is very difficult.
At the risk of hitting a sore spot (because it's a case that's been in the news and on my mind), a good example of where there's a clash because of that tension now is gay marriage. The individualist in me says that you should be allowed to do whatever you want with your life. But the flip side of that is that allowing gay marriage means that we, as a society, are recognizing that homosexuality is a viable life choice. Not only that, we're making it much more prevalent in society at large. Assume I think that homosexuality is a sin and you can see the problems that come from that. You'll likely never change my mind about it, but because my children grow up in a world where it's accepted, they will be less set in their ways on it, and within a generation or two it'll just be the way things are. Yeah, some people are gay. So what? Consider how terrifying that scenario would be to someone who really believes that homosexuality is evil. Obviously, that person aint me, but you get the point.
It's a similar argument to what comes out in Angels and Demons: how do you hold the line on morality against rational arguments? Morality isn't something we often approach rationally. It's like that court ruling on porn: I'll know it when I see it. We just know right and wrong, good and bad. We don't often think about why they are that way. And because of that, we often tear ourselves apart with these debates. Gay marriage is one. Abortion is another. Civil rights. Women's suffrage. Capital punishment. Torture. Think about how often discussions of those topics break down into "because it's wrong"? How do you fight against that? More importantly, how do you resolve it?
Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?
is there anyone who really recalls
ever breaking rank at all
for something someone yelled real loud one time?
oh, everyone believes
in how they think it oughta be
oh, everyone believes
and they're not going easily
(from Belief by John Mayer)
Cupcakes. They fix everything.
Except for leaky faucets. That just requires virgin sacrifices. :)
|From: nylan||Date: June 2nd, 2009 - 07:13 pm||(Link)|
Remind me to send you a pic of cupcakes tonight, can't get to it from work.
Sorry for poofing last night, you were doing deadmines so got up thinking I'd just watch TV for a sec and ended up crashing out. *oops*
So how's your day going?