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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, January 12, 2009

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...

...he's gonna be ordered to attend government-mandated diet and exercise classes.


Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia?

No, this is contemporary Japan.

The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs.
I'm holding out hope that this isn't true, but it sure sounds possible. Why do we have helmet laws, seatbelt laws? Why are communities outlawing trans-fats, or restricting new fast-food restaurants? Because when people make bad health decisions, it impacts us all through our taxpayer-funded health care programs.

This "reeducation" program in Japan is simply the next step.

Oh, and I might point out: when we ask the government to spend billions upon billions to "stimulate" the economy, we might just get something similar coming out the other end.