Looky here all you rambunctious delcons and deplorables. You think that you’re all thinking for yourselves when in actual fact you’re carrying around a chain of mental strangulation that’s heavier than a semi-truck laden with fat chicks on their way to a concrete eating competition. It’s my job, nay, it’s my public service to point this out to you whenever the opportunity arises. Your role is to take it on the chin, get back up off the canvas, and consider whatever it is that I am on about. Not what I am on. There’s a difference. Capisci?
Okay. So the other day I wrote a wee little post on the lunacy of bicycle helmet laws. The post got some open discussion which was nice as usually it’s either, “Adam, you are the shit!” or “Adam, you are shit!” (Nobody commented on my old awesome bike. Almost blew my brains out over that one). Regular commenter Lady Moonlight was a touch confused at my stance against this onerous law.
However, as a parent, would it not be smart for me to want my child/teenager to wear a helmet? What I am asking is, does wearing a helmet not prevent head injuries and, therefore, a sensible thing to do? I am also against governments regulating every aspect of citizens’ lives; don’t eat this, don’t drink that, etc. People should be smart enough to demonstrate common sense and not have the government force them to do this and that, I agree. However, if someone suffers a head injury because they refused to wear a helmet, should they be entitled to free hospital treatment and on-going medical treatment paid for by the tax-payers?
Let’s leave aside that helmets cause more fatalities than they save, (skin cancer), and confront the bugbear on the blog here, so to speak. On the surface this seems like a reasonable question. Why indeed should we pay for your medical expenses if you choose not to wear a helmet and bang your precious head?
But this is another example of mistaking the symptom for the cause. It was the same old hoary chestnut that was rolled out to marginalize smokers under the presumption that treating them costs far more than smokers pay in tax, (which is not the case at all).
The fact is that almost all medical systems are terribly inefficient and overpriced due to government regulation. The only system that works is that of Singapore but nobody wants to follow that model because that would be too hard. Taxpayers should not have to pay for someone’s medical bills full stop. But we do so due to the government over-regulation that has resulted in both wasteful and inefficient systems, and private health insurance costs that are off the charts. (My wife and I pay over ten grand a year.)
(And if we really want to talk about burdens on the taxpayer then why don’t we start off with the huge number of diabetics that are in that condition precisely because of their diets.)
But the complete inefficiency of government medical providers is something that we have become habituated to, much like the fact that the current generations do not want to work. But both are symptoms of the disease that is government spending and over-regulation. In a small government market almost everyone could afford to pay for their medical bills, (like Singapore), and thus feel free to take the chance to knock their head on the pavement.
But the fact that our medical systems are in disarray due to fleecing the taxpayer should not be used as evidence in favor of mandatory bike helmets. It is a sad state of affairs that we have become so inured to our poor circumstances that we use that as evidence to enact even further outrages on ourselves. Creeping tyranny as another commenter put it.
It’s not just the frog boiling to death slowly in the pot of warm water. The frogs are pulling in all their mates that almost managed to escape. We’re like a cross between frogs and crabs. What would one of those look like? Pretty ugly I would imagine. But perhaps its an apt metaphor for our current mental state of affairs. Mental welfare slavery.