Should Government Tell Us How To Live?


I just got off the phone with another reporter asking for a comment about the new ordinance San Francisco passed last week banning McDonald’s from putting toys in high-calorie Happy Meals. This is about the 10th interview I’ve done on this, the biggest of which was CNN World News in London. (You can see the CNN interview by clicking on ‘Steve on TV’ on the Mental Toughness Blog header)  This story goes far beyond kids getting fat eating happy meals. The larger issue is this: does any government have the right to tell companies what they can sell to their customers? Today, toys in Happy Meals, tomorrow, who knows? Where does the regulation end? The United States government is slowly and systematically infringing on our freedom and removing our rights as free citizens, and I resent it. How about you? Watch this short 3 minute video and please take a few seconds to weigh-in on this important subject. Almost 17,000 people a week follow this blog, not to mention reporters from CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC Europe and others. Your comment will literally be seen around the world within 24 hours. Maybe if enough of us speak up we can turn the tide and take back our freedom. On the other side of the argument, if you think I’m wrong, don’t be afraid to let me have it! Mental Toughness is about thinking for yourself, and we welcome all sides of any argument. All of us are smart as individuals, but together, we have the brainpower to positively impact the world. As always, I’ll look forward to your comments and a robust discussion on this very important topic.    Steve Siebold  ( 3:04 )

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  1. Jenny says:

    I hear you, Steve, and I agree in many areas where that can be applied effectively. However, it places trust in a contract that is not reliable. Our paths diverge when powerful folks go after the powerless. I read a study that seemed carefully executed to me that said a large number of the most successful executives of very large corporate interests were diagnosable sociopaths. Sociopaths, by definition, will not treat people the way they would like to be treated. My hands have to leave my lap when they go after hapless folk.

    I see those of us with good minds and middling power as stewards, though we don’t want the job. And have no right to it. It’s arrogant to think that way and we will blow it. But we can’t stand by, because it’s immoral to do so.

    No one who wants to be a president should be, as the saying goes. The really messed up folks at the bottom lack most of what is required to defend themselves. That leaves us.

    Rand would disagree; she would say the natural order when left to unfold is best, no matter how cruel. But I reject that. We all have to turn inward for this answer. It’s not the “right” one, just the one I can live with.

    Anyway, thanks for your thought-provoking videos. Nice conversation — thanks for responding!!!


  2. Jenny says:

    I just discovered your blog Steve, and I really like your coaching work. I like you too! Most of your social commentary leans libertarian and I’m a progressive, but I always like to hear other views from reasonable, sincere, thoughtful folks. (Let’s face it, there aren’t enough of us out there on any either side!)

    On this one, I was moved to comment. In short: actually, we are not “all smart people.” That’s the problem here. Lack of education and poverty beget lack of education and poverty, and people in that trap are sitting ducks, pawns for corporate abuses of a wide variety.

    Should customers be able to sue McDonald’s for not alerting customers that the hot coffee they serve is hot? No. Should they be prevented from really dark manipulation of vulnerable populations — Camel cigarettes’ marketing targeting children, toys in Happy Meals in a country being brought to its knees by diabetes? Yes. If you extrapolate from those two example, you’ll have my philosophy.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks for your comment. While I agree there is an education problem, the people with influence are educated. These are the people making the laws and leading the way. It doesn’t take education to discriminate against a minority.
      The bottom line (for me) is a libertarian leaning philosophy: live and let live. If you’re not hurting anyone else, live on your terms. And leave others to do the same while showing love and tolerance for the people and actions you don’t agree with or understand. In actuality, this is a kindergarten philosophy: hands to yourself. Be nice to others. Don’t take things that are not yours. Treat people like you wish to be treated. Do we really need much more than that to have a moral society? Do we really need a book or ancient scripture to figure that out? It seems pretty basic to me.

  3. Vonda says:

    Steve, I like the way you think…this is what I call the tough love approach to a turn around…I was raised with it and I know that it is the reason that I never got into any real serious trouble, because my parents was not going to bail me out…and to stay out of trouble I learn to ignore hurtful words that people say rather than take them to heart…my grandmother use to say in so many words that no one else can validate you, only you and GOD can do that, and make it a habit to always encourage yourself….because people will some times say and do things that will disappoint you!!! Keep up the good work Steve…!