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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Steve
steve@mentaltoughnessblog.com

61 thoughts on “Should Government Tell Us How To Live?”

  1. Mike,

    You are Spot On. Politicians and the press have managed to turn the masses into sheeple instead of people. It’s going to be difficult to turn the minds of enough Americians to make a difference because sadly, it is so much easier to be a follower than it is to be a leader. Followers who know they can put their hand out when things in their safe little world fall apart, knowing the government will be there to bail them out.

    And lets not overlook the new generation of followers who come with a great sense of entitlement, who text on their iphones while driving their brand new cars that were given to them who think they live above the law. The ones who think the world owes them something simply because they breathe. If you want a real challenge, try to make employees out of these people. It’s a joke.

    Yes my friend, I too miss our Ronald Reagan and I’m so glad to see the tide is turning against Obama. 2012 can’t come quick enough for me. Let’s hope to GOD we get some decent candidates to choose from this time.

  2. Steve,

    You’re welcome. I think the world of you and what you are doing on your blogs. I really can’t wait to get out there and practice mental toughness on a much bigger scale. You have a lot of great folks that follow you. Perhaps in the years to come you and I can find those people with our level of passion to stop this government take over and maybe we can make an epic difference in our world. Keep doing what you’re doing Steve.

  3. Lisa,

    here is another thought: Through politicians and the press the American people have been purposefully re educated:
    R stands for right and not responibility. They say you hvae a right to education, health care, social security etc etc. But all these are basic responsibilities. Until this is turned around in the minds of enough Americans, nothing majorly will change. Fortunately with the uproar against Obama and the emergence of teh Tea Party, we hopefully are moving in the right direction again. I am still a Reagan optimist.
    Mike Jacobi

  4. I’m with you, Lisa. It’s going to take a lot of people with your level of passion to stop this government take over. Thanks for your comments.

  5. Ok. After reading all of the comments being posted on this blog for a week, and sifting through the logical comments vs the emotional ones, here’s what I have to say.

    Shame on us. We are a nation of finger pointers and it is DISGUSTING. WE, the entire human race are responsible for our own shortcommings. Period. This post is about personal responsibility and the tremendous LACK of it in general when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

    I can’t even believe that someone wants to demonize McDonalds and go as far as to insinuate that McDonalds and their marketing strategy is the cause of childhood obesity, diabetes and any other ludicrous claims some dim wit special interest group can come up with. Give me a break.

    Here’s the deal. When we begin to elect our government officials for all the right reasons instead of our own selfish ones, then and ONLY then will things change.

    Bottom line. IF McDonalds wants to put toys in a happy meal, it should be McDonalds SOLE decision, and right to do so WITHOUT government regulation. Our government has NO right telling private business what they can or can’t do. I don’t care what anybody thinks about that.

    Personal responsibility.

    If you’re going to take your kid to McDonalds 3, 4 or 5 times a week or more, then yes. You are killing your child. But is that McDonalds fault? Really?? I think not. And CERTAINLY it has nothing to do with some silly plastic toy.

    If you take your kid to McDonalds once a week when they have earned a treat and you make sure they are eating a healthy nutritious meal all the other times of the day, 7 days a week and you encourage them to get off their X-Box butts and get outside and play, I think they probably could collect those little toys and grow up to be healthy, happy, disease free adults.

    This is absolutly retarted! Oh. Did I just say the “r” word in this politically correct world we live in? Yes I did.

    This all comes down to personal responsibility.

    Imagine what our world would look like if we ALL decided to practice personal responsibility a lot more often than not.

    Leave McDonalds alone. Lets focus on the stupid TSA where people are being felt up and molested on a routine basis now.

    Gotta love our government. NOT!

  6. Chris say’s: “Why not rebudget the money spent on toys on more nutritional food?”

    Chris, this would be government dictating what a private business should do with their money. Business owners often risk everything they own on one single shot at making their company a success. They’re always one bad decison or downturn away from trouble. When they succeed in our system, they’re rewarded with riches. They provide products and services people want and they make a profit from it. Thats what America was built on, not government stepping in and telling them how they should run their business. People need to make their own decisions. Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean they’re stupid. They are fully capable of deciding what’s good for their kids and what’s not. The more regulation you impose on business owners, the fewer of them will be willing to take the risk that comes with starting and operating a company. Businesses aren’t the bad guys; they are the entities that employ people who aren’t willing or able to take the risk of starting their own business. Let’s not bite the hand that feeds us. If we do, they will find a new country to operate in that’s business friendly, and they will take all their money and jobs with them.
    Your thoughts?

  7. Steve,
    true, anybody should have and must have the right to believe what they want. My point is that putting a cross at the side of the street, where a loved one died, is not establishing a religion or forcing once religious view on anyone. Why this needs to be prohibited makes no sense. The same with the cross in San Diego and other examples like this. Most religions are fearbased and manipilative, that’s were their power comes from, coincidentally(?) the same tactics used by socialsm. That’s why socialist need to destroy any beliefs in a Higher Authority, so they can become that Higher Authority.
    Just my two cents.
    Mike Jacobi

  8. I love liberty and freedom but with it comes great responsibility not to abuse it, by taking advantage of the weak. Greed and selfishness are real, and people think i got mine and the hell with you. And yes the government has mine and I know all about hell. But I also have a prior employer, some rich guy who stole funds from my 401k plan, so the government is not the only ones stealing. I don’t have the power to stop the thieves..they are everywhere; poor, rich, government and private alike.

  9. Should the government ban baby formula with melamine added to it, so it shows a higher protein content? Clearly the melamine is harmful, and the same here..clearly the high fat diet is harmful and should not be incentiveized with toys. I am… sure if they served fresh organic foods and gave out toys there would be no problem, now would there?…lol. Why not rebudget the money spent on toys on more nutritional food? There are two types of people in SF…many poor and the rich. The poor people are saying to the rich…don’t tempt our children to eat dog food…we’ve had enough. The rich better listen…that is all I can say.

  10. Mike Jacobi,
    I agree that America is the last hope against socialism, but disagree that any religion is being suppressed in this country. In the modern age religion should be a personal matter, not a public one. The days of any one religion being dominate are over. People are far too educated to buy into the fear-based, manipulative tactics some religions are famous for. I think everyone should have the right to believe anything they want, up to the point where it infringes on the rights of others. Your thoughts?

  11. Leo,
    Thanks for your comments. I agree with you that we should help people who are incapable of helping themselves. Obesity does not fall into this category. Anyone of sound mind is 100% capable of getting fit, yet more than 50% of the population refuses not to. People also choose to drink too much, smoke too much, and a host of other things that are good for them. These are choices, and it’s not the governments job to be a nanny for people making poor lifestyle choices. If private citizens or charity’s want to help, thats great. But it’s not the governments role to hold our hands or fix our mistakes. We’re not children, yet the current administration is treating us as if we were. As Mike alway says, your thoughts?

  12. This blog was on being a critical and tough thinker. So, let’s pose some really uncomfortable questions.

    On liberty: Does everyone at all times have the knowledge, the willpower and the character to do what is best for them? Should one interfer if people are incapable of doing what is best for them? (Now, some individuals obiviously are incapable otherwise obesity, for instance, would hardly exist.)

    On capitalism: Is a system based on private property and competition the best there is? Is private property allocating resources in the most desirable way? And what would be desirable? Does competition bring out the best in people or the worst in people?

  13. Steve,
    as we talked about before, just blaming the electorate does not help much. We MUST return to the original constitution: Have the States select the Senators again, so have re establish the balamce of power and give the 10th amendment some teeth, abolish most federal departments and give these powers back to the States, decertify any union of government employees, both Federal and State, stop administrative directives, which dictated our lives without direct approval from congress, impeach judges who nullify laws, (this power is not in the Constitution), reaffirm Property Rights and freedom of speech and religion, without “political correctness” and the suppression of one religion, the Christian, to the benefit of secularism and Islam. All this would a good starting point. Let us NEVER forget: AMERICA IS THE ONLY AND LAST HOPE AGAINST INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM. We are the last bastion of freedom and we cannot abondon our freedoms for any reason, unless we want to sink back in worldwide leftish slavery.

  14. I agree that the government has no right to tell us how to live our lives, and I support much smaller government. However, the government was elected by US; and if we do not like it we can elect different leaders. If you want to know who is to blame for the growth in government and shrink in our personal freedoms and rights, just look in the mirror.

    Support candidates who promise smaller government.
    Vote for candidates who have demonstrated their support of smaller government.
    Write letters to editors and congress showing your support for smaller government.

    1. Hugh,
      I think you’re right on. We all need to be proactive and take control back from the government.
      Thanks for your thoughts.

  15. The government has no right to say what a retailer or restauranteur can sell. It’s Fabulous how many fellow bloggers got involved on this issue – We need to speak our minds in these situations in true American tradition. Way to go!

    1. Denise,
      Here’s an interesting statistic based on what you said about subscribers sounding off on this post. Whenever I post something like this, about 1/3 of the people who normally watch the video tune in, but we usually get twice to three times the number of comments. What do you think that says?

  16. Steve,

    You are awesome. Thank you for speaking out.

    I live a very healthy lifestyle. I eat well, exercise frequently, meditate, although not a 100% purist – I get tired of my health insurance going up every year when I don’t even use it.

    Everyone should be responsible for their own behavior. But, the bottom-line is we all pay the price for addiction and bad choices. If I lived in a vacuum, I would agree with you. We don’t live in a vacuum. What the masses (or as Randy Gage says the herd) do impacts all of us. Think of the criminals we feed and house everyday. While I don’t like someone telling me what to do…I’d like them to tell others!

    This isn’t an easy question. There are no easy answers. Regarding the Happy Meal toys —-that is also an environmental issue – all that plastic junk that gets thrown into the land fills – yuck.

    I am going to go back to focus on what I can control…or try to which is myself!

    1. Karen,
      I totally agree with the idea of self-control. The problem I see is the U.S. government is infringing on so many of our freedoms so fast they are literally altering the structure of our democracy. I don’t think we can afford to stand by and only focus on self control. Whats your take on that?

  17. You’re absolutely right Steve, get the government out of our lives!

    So what that means for me is that I’m all for decriminalizing marijuana, and heck why not everything else that brings me (and my children) ecstasy and joy like crystal meth, cocaine, heroine, etc. And alcohol should also be deregulated so that I can send my minor daughter to the liquor store to buy my beer, and oh yeah, cigarettes, too.

    Oh, and by the way, the sale of everything (including Happy Meals) should definitely not be taxed as it is an intrusion into my right to life, liberty and the pursuitof happiness.

    And that’s why I voted Tea Party, how ’bout you?

  18. I agree that the government should not legislate lifestyle choices like the choice to eat fast food, or the choice to wear a helmet on a motorcycle for that matter. It creates a society of dependent people who can’t think and choose for themselves, because the government is constantly trying to prevent it’s citizens from the negative consequences of their foolish choices. But how else does anyone learn not to keep making stupid decisions unless they experience the repercussions of those decisions? Now that being said, I think there’s been alot of tom-foolery on the part of corporations, particularly fast food, serving so-called “food” that makes people sick, because it’s loaded with everything but nutrition. So there should be an HONEST checks and balances on what is pawned off as “food”, such as genetically altered vegetables, and our meat supply being loaded with chemicals and antibiotics. The bottom line – people should be able to chose, but those choices can only be properly made if they have the facts, so the facts must be disclosed. Once disclosed, let people make their own choices.

  19. It is a State Rights Issue. The States Attourneys could file a lawsuits based upon the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. It states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohhibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  20. Having been unhappily married to one for thirteen years, I can spot a control freak a mile away. In my opinion the government and our school systems are rife with control freaks on both sides of the aisle. Personally, I abhor the thought of having someone control my life. I subscribe to the personal responsibility ethic. I was under the impression that Americans accepted personal responsibility as their civic duty and that is what made this country a world leader. Personal responsibility is the price we Americans pay for freedom. Americans need to “man up” and stop whining to the government every time there is a percieved grievance and take resonsibility for the choices they make in their own lives and “butt out” of everyone elses. Control freaks are miserable people and they will not be satisfied until everyone else is as miserable as they are. Please check out my blog for a satirical look at food regulations. http://reedasrebellion.blogspot.com/

  21. I agree with you. Government is definitely overstepping it’s responsibilities. Especially when you consider first amendment and the desire for various government to impose limitations on religion. Too much “interpretation” of the constitution and not enough outright compliance with the constitution.

  22. Dear Steve,

    The government has every right to tell us how to live when WE FAIL at self-governance. If you don’t want the government butting in LIVE RIGHT. Doing the right thing goes for individuals who live in families,who live in communities, villages, states and provinces who live in a nation that is a part of the global community. Businesses and corporations consist of individuals that are a part of the human continuum just delineated. When humans get the message that each of us need to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason at the right time, then we will truly have a government “of the people, for the people and by (all) the people”. Reference: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+13:3-5&version=KJV. Romans 13:3-5.

  23. Steve,

    On a individual level, everything you been teaching is spot on. However, when it gets to the group level, it seems different dynamics are at work.

    What I mean is individually, we have self responsibility and so we should have the freedom to act. But if you were to manage a group, then there are different considerations.

    From your teachings, we know that a large percentage of the population is working on middle class or lower thinking. You can agree that these people may never be like the world class. They may never awaken to self empowerment and be able to pursue self-development in a sustained and meaningful way.

    Now take Micky Ds (McD), we know it has produced unhealthy food for a while and the group (public, gov., policies, society) has not sanction it, because the reasoning goes it should be free to do whatever it is currently legal to do.

    Yet we know, many of the health problem that these unhealthy people have can be attributed to the Micky Ds of the world. McD is just a leader of the group. These unhealthy people are not going to get better, but worst. The cost of taking care of them have been draining the resources from the society or group,

    Now the group have to pay all these cost to maintain these unhealthy people, who are not the most productive part to the group and will foreseeability not be so. Due to this dynamics, Individuality, you and I and our friends are worst off because we get bad road, less public service, etc,

    The question then is “Why should the rest of us pay for the maintenance of these unhealthy people?” This leads to other questions, “Since McD put all these bad food out there, shouldn’t they bear some of the responsibility?” Just as individuals have responsibility for themselves and the consequences of their actions, Corp. or groups (Mcd, Banks, Car Co., etc) do not?

    My point being, just as on a sub-atomic level, the physics are different than physics that apply to a basketball, when we discuss the group the considerations is different than what applies to a person.

    More discussion is needed on the difference, but we should not confuse the two, because it’s like discussing apples and oranges.

    Please let me know what you all think. Thanks for allowing me to express these thoughts.

  24. I guess I’ll start giving out toys at home if this happens. That’s what makes it a special trip – no clean up for Mom and toys and fun for the kids even if Dad is paying the bill…..is our government anti-family or anti-happy?

  25. When the government gives, the government taketh (more) away! When the Health Reform Bill passed (“giving” citizens government healthcare), it was only a matter of time before they started taking away freedoms that involve heathcare (restricting what and how restaurants serve food). We neither need the government interfering in our choice of health insurance or the lack thereof, nor do we need the government telling us what we can and cannot eat. We are not dumb sheep (well, most of us aren’t) to be led around and told what we can and cannot do in our personal daily lives!

  26. Fear breeds stupidity! As a nation we have been scared silly by our elected officials, community groups, and the media. As more and more people remained glued to the TV, they are becoming brainwashed with fear. We have 2 important roles in our country- vote at the polls responsibly and vote with your dollars. Both take a little time to research what is best for you instead of a an emotional vote. The best part about America is if it doesn’t sell we will not produce it.

  27. I believe the goverment is okaying medical drugs that is more harmful then a MacDonald hamburger.
    Common sense tell us what is good and bad for our bodies.
    Don’t let the government do the thinking for us or force us what to do, let us be responsible citizens and do the right thing
    I believe America has the most laws then any other country and the most money hungry lawyers and courts.
    We the the ones suppose to tell them government what to do.
    The government is over grown lazy, obese, dinosaur that we have to constantly feed.

  28. I believe it is a huge issue. Right now there is a bill in the government with UN regulations for parenting. Obama says it should pass but it limits how much we can require of our own children.
    Happy meals are just the tip of a very large iceberg. New rulings and voter initiatives and bills are infringing on our everyday freedoms and we don’t even notice. We have gotten lazy and are not paying attention to what is happening.
    We need to wake up before it is too late.
    I am one of those who has only recently awoke to the losses we are sustaining in the name of government.
    The government cannot make people be nice to each other, eat right, or make better choices without taking away our right to make those choices. They cannot be God. Didn’t communism already try that?

  29. I think the crucial message you gave was “Is it hurting anyone?”. As far as I’m concerned, the MacDonald company is largely responsible (how ironic) for the world wide obesity epidemic. No other company has had such a pervasive and detrimental influence on the bad eating habits of so many countries.
    Yes, every government that has any thought for the welfare of its citizens should immediately ban MacD from operating in that country.

  30. Steve – your books and articles usually refer to the point that most people have the wrong mindset, only the top percent think the right way and consistently make the right decisions.

    Yet here you want the peoples decisions to go unregulated.

    I don’t know that our country and citizens have the time the learning curve will take to make the wrong decisions over time and learn from them. They and we will perhaps need guidance along the way.

    Unregulated business assumes that those who own and operate them will have societies best interest at the forefront of their thinking. It also assumes that the average consumer (who you consistently state makes unhelpful decisions and actions) will make the right decisions and not be influenced by them.

    In my opinion, these are not assumptions that we can make.

  31. The two politicians mentioned agree with your ideas of leaving business alone. As for government keeping it’s hands off business I wonder if the weak banks had failed and the account holders were paid the federal deposit insurance would the cost be less than the bank bail out? After all the deposit insurance is paid from out taxes! It makes me wonder why government restricts one sector and coddels another.

  32. The purpose of McDonalds is not to feed people nutritious food but to return a profit to its shareholders (It’s the same with pharmaceutical and insurance companies.) Once you understand that, you can appreciate that the power of advertising and incentives are to snare children into demanding that their parents take them to the Golden Arches, and, eventually, converting them into lifelong customers. Toys are one more way of creating influence in that fun is now equated with MacNuggets (which, by the way, have a limited shelf life due to their toxic transformation).

    One could argue that years ago liquor and cigarette commercials should not have been banned from broadcast television. That was clearly government intrusion into the “freedom of speech” of corporations to get their message of pleasure into our living rooms. Unbridled corporations do whatever they can to profit their shareholders. It’s the nature of the beast.

    We do not live under a capitalist system. We live in a market system that allows government regulation to keep the economic wheels turning. We have recently seen what happens when deregulation goes too far. Our current economic woes are the result of too little government regulation and too much corporate greed.

    I grant you that not all government is good. I have my own issues with the FDA and the USDA with respect to their never-ending intrusion into food supplements and farm policy (including the safety of GMOs and cloned beef cattle), however, government regulations can protect us from many harmful chemicals that cause health problems. The ban on DDT use is one example that had a great beneficial impact upon human health and the environment. The government intrusion into our lives by disallowing the use of DDT angered farmers but saved our nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle, whose eggs had become too thin to hatch because of this chemical. When it comes to toxins in our food and in our environment, I do not think government does enough – at least not smart enough.

    If we go back to allow a “Wild West” approach and allow more deregulation, we will create more economic bubbles that will burst – housing, savings and loan, stock market, commodities, etc. Sure, you can privatize social security, but you can also lose all of your retirement in a stock market plunge. Sometimes, government works better than the market in creating a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens. Sometimes, neither business nor government help us – witness the current foreclosure crisis. It’s an example of failure on both sides.

    Government needs to do more than just seal our boarders and defend us from enemies both foreign and domestic. Some would have us eliminate public schools and return to the days of private schools only. Others would like us to radically cut our defense budget. Some would nickel and dime us to death with fees instead of taxes. If we privatize our highways and roads, we can adopt the “pay as you go” approach. If you drive on a road, pay up! If you use clean air, pay up! If you use a sewer system, pay as you flush!

    There will always be a debate on how intrusive government is and how greedy corporations can be. The utopian world of a pure capitalist system in which the unseen hand of the marketplace works its good for all the people is pure fantasy. Likewise, the notion of government as “Big Brother” while a terrifying prospect is not a reality either. There is always a push and pull relationship. Just be glad we’re not all serfs working on our monarch’s land or slaves in ancient Egypt.

    Get tough! Suck it up! We’ve got it good.

  33. What noone seems to have mentioned here is that the parents are responsible for the weight, for the eating habits, of their children. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a restaurant and noticed the size of an entire family. It is one thing for Mom and Dad to be fat but another thing entirely for their children to be slightly smaller mirrors of their parents. Again, whose responsibility is that? I understand when someone mentioned that teenagers drive to McDonald’s, but have their parents taught them those bad eating habits? Did they go to McDonald’s all of their younger life and if so, who is responsible for that? I don’t think the government has any right to tell businesses what they can sell because I think PEOPLE (parents) should take responsibility instead of passing the buck and then pointing fingers!

  34. The US Federal government is going to get less bossy as it is going to have shrink. America will wind up like Greece if it doesn’t cut back on spending. All world empires eventually shrink or fall and I believe in our lifetimes the world will see the shrinking of the American empire. Lots of signs pointing to it: poor educational system, obese population, high prison population, big deficit, currency declining, etc. etc. etc.

  35. Happy meals dont make happy people.
    This regulation wasnt just pulled from the arse of your government. This has come into play due to PUBLIC demand.
    Wealthy global Companies live by their own rules a lot of the time and to have rules- WHICH HELP NOT HURT- the community imposed on them by the government in favour of national health..Im really not sure what your argument is.

    Unless you like fat kids that grow up to be fat people who drain the healthcare system and cost you more tax?
    Maybe you should find something more important to focus your energy on than Happy Meals?

  36. Hi Steve, Looking forward to seeing you in Sydney on Friday!
    I agree with your stance – as the more government takes it upon themselves to decide what citizens can eat or do, or which products they can consume, the less responsibility each individual takes for themselves.
    We are all responsible for ourselves and our actions. Blaming a fast food outlet for making kids fat is simply shifting responsibility! Who wants to be a victim anyway?
    Every company has the right to market their products, just as we as consumers have the right to decide if we want to consume them!

  37. Slippery slope is right. It seems people are losing their democratic freedom with government controls becoming prolific. Organic foods are coming under controls, find a cure for cancer and the government disbars you, Freedom as we once knew it is disappearing fast, not just in US but globally. So tragic for our future generations. I have a quote I use often “A people who are sheep get a government of wolves” . So we as a people have to accept the responsibility of our actions, by allowing these issues to go unprotested. I admire you Steve for using your skills to make a freedom statement. Maybe you could ignite some of your followers. With respect B

  38. Steve,

    I am a Canadian. Like you and many of your readers I love my country. I do concur with you that governments (both Canadian and American) can be overbearing and should keep away from our private life`s, however at the same time we both know that obesity among North American children and the related Health Care Cost are skyrocketing . There are many people on your side of border as well as our side who have serious health related issues directly attributable to fast food consumption. I do agree that governments should remain neutral but we must defend the rights of our young people who often are oblivious to the power of effective marketing. The government should work with the people not arbitrarily making decisions for the people. That is bold faced arrogance and is I think it is wrong.

  39. This is government going too far. Awarning label, YES! But don’t tell companies what to do as long as they are not violating people’s rights. I believe the local government is breaking the law, and it should be repealed imediately.

    WjR. Maryland

  40. Yes – I agree with you on this. The government should not interfere with McDonalds in this situation. If people/children eat unhealthfully – that’s their choice. The line can be difficult to draw. People lobby the government for health insurance coverage – but, then the government has to put into a position of subsidizing health insurance for a lot of people who don’t take care of themselves and eat junk and then get heart attacks. I am stumped – anyone else there have an answer for how to resolve such dilemmas? I agree that the government should act to protect our borders and personal safety – but, everything else should be our own personal responsibility…right?

  41. I have no issues with smaller government. But I also have issues with business lacking regulation.

    If there is a worry that smaller regulation will open the door to a never ending spiral of government growth, why is there not a corresponding worry that business will grow to the size where it has similar power of influence.

    If there is even a slight agreement that business must have some oversight, then who will be entrusted with the responsibility?

  42. You are right on, Steve. I don’t care how smart a politician is. Government has no business infringing on our economic rights. Keep up the good work and thank you for having the guts to tell it like it is.

  43. I am all for “taking back our freedom” from government intrusion (witness the Medicare rules and regulations that I struggle with every week as a chiropractor). I am, however, far less sympathetic to the overreaction to a local ordinance restricting Happy Meals. Many local ordinances have helped to reduce sugary sodas sold in schools and reduced trans fats in restaurant menu items.

    Since it is Federal government farm subsidy policies that have given us all of this cheap, non-nutritous food at a high cost to our health care system (growing cases of diabetes and heart disease), that’s where our government has gone wrong. I am more concerned with children getting highly nutritious foods into their systems so that they don’t become addicted to all of the sugar, fat, and empty carbs that McDonalds offers. Toys in Happy Meals is just one more manipulative way for the Golden Arches to get their claws into our kids’ consciousness. As one previous poster said “tax the hell out of the Happy Meals.” I’m all for that. And while you’re at it, charge higher insurance premiums for smokers, drinkers, and others who abuse the privilege of having a healthy body.

    Ultimately, the individual health habits of each of us contribute to the health care costs for all of us. There’s a tidal wave of diabetes and heart disease that is about to engulf this country and is likely to overwhelm our health care delivery system. There’s your “slippery slope,” Steve – America’s health sliding down the hill and off of a cliff!

    I’m perfectly happy with local government restricting toys in foods. I’m far less happy with people over-using the term “slippery slope” in the name of the freedom to abuse themselves and others. After all, we ARE our brothers keepers.

  44. PS to my previous comment: This doesn’t mean I am anti or pro abortion. It just means that women should be fee to make their own decision as it impacts them directly and no-one else.

  45. Steve: Of course, they don’t have the right to tell us how to live our lives but they’ve been doing it since time immemorial. Take a look at some of the issues that have been in the forefront for years, abortion as a prime example. Why should a bunch of people get together and tell a woman what she may or may not do with her own body. The conservatives of the time have been trying to reverse Roe v. Wade for years and yet they tout the philosophy of less government interference in peoples’ lives. Where is it more invasive than in this particular issue. I am not a smoker but I believe it is the right of every individual to be a smoker if they wish to, if it does not infringe upon my health or well being. Government cannot save us from ourselves but politicians keep obsessing on these petty issues trying to justify their own existence.

    I agree completely – this is a slippery and dangerous slope. I can only hope they don’t outlaw hotdogs or my life won’t be worth living.

  46. Here is a point some of us our missing. The most important vote is not at the polls. We vote with our dollars everyday, if we didn’t buy happy meals they wouldn’t sell them. I agree with you Steve, tote the mail, protect the borders and let us live our lives!

    For a workable solution, the cigarette model has proven to be a “happy” medium. You want to kill yourself by smoking, great, go ahead but you are going to pay for the privilege and we are going to tax it heavily. Why not just add a “Happy Meal ” tax.

    I realize this does give “some” control and more than I would like to see to the government but I think it’s a better option.

    Enjoy Australia Steve.

  47. Steve,

    I’m in CA, where voters are stuck on stupid. I do think you do need to be careful with, “If I want to hurt myself . . .” stuff. If you choose to smoke after all those warnings, you get what you deserve, and that’s on you. There are kids out there that get into self-mutilization which, in some cases, leads to suicide. I know you weren’t going to that extent, but I think you need to be careful with the phrasiology. Otherwise, I agree. Less government is better for me. If we could just get them to protect the boarders and stop the illegles now.

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