Free­dom is easy to give up, but hard to get back

The Saline Courier - - OPINION -

For­mer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is now run­ning for the Demo­crat’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, is not a fan of free­dom.

When he was mayor of the Big Ap­ple, Bloomberg de­cided he knew bet­ter than peo­ple who con­sumed large, sug­ary drinks.

Bloomberg banned them in NYC. His idea was that he, as the ruler of New

York City, knew what was bet­ter than those whom he gov­erned.

When a court over­turned Bloomberg’s ban on free­dom to de­cide what peo­ple wanted to drink, he said peo­ple need to un­der­stand that gov­ern­ment does know best and in those cases, Amer­i­cans should just cede their rights.

“I do think there are cer­tain times we should in­fringe on your free­dom,” Bloomberg said.

That’s the sign of some­body who thinks he is a ruler, not a pub­lic ser­vant.

As mayor of Amer­ica’s largest city, he not only wanted to ban large sized soft drinks, he wanted to ban guns and even tried to force hos­pi­tals to lock up baby for­mula to force moth­ers to breast-feed new­borns.

Does Bloomberg think he was given the royal right to de­cide for new moth­ers if they should breast feed their new­borns?

Bloomberg doesn’t re­ally want to be Pres­i­dent of the United States. He wants to be the king like Europe had in the old days. The king’s word was law and he knew bet­ter than the peo­ple what was good for them.

Here is an ex­am­ple of how “gov­ern­ment knows bet­ter than the gov­erned” doesn’t work:

Air pol­lu­tion in Mex­ico City got so bad that there are recorded in­ci­dents of birds fly­ing into the city and fall­ing dead from the sky be­cause they could not get enough oxy­gen.

In 1992, the United Na­tions de­clared Mex­ico City to have the most pol­luted air in the world.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials de­cided the prob­lem was caused by too many cars.

Mex­ico City’s al­ti­tude is 7,382 feet above sea level and this causes oxy­gen lev­els to be about 25 per­cent lower than other towns closer to sea level.

It also causes gaso­line and diesel fuel not to com­pletely com­bust in an en­gine. This makes ex­haust fumes more toxic.

In a “gov­ern­ment knows bet­ter than the gov­erned” moment, city of­fi­cials de­cided to ban the use of all au­to­mo­biles one day a week.

Th­ese elected of­fi­cials thought “less cars on the road equals less pol­lu­tion.”

The pro­gram worked like this: re­stric­tions were based on the last num­ber of a vehicle’s li­cense plate.

Per­sonal and busi­ness ve­hi­cles with li­cense plates end­ing in “5” or “6” could not be used on Mon­days. Other num­ber con­trolled use on other days.

The idea was to use force peo­ple to use pub­lic trans­porta­tion or bi­cy­cles at least one day a week.

To their sur­prise, this gov­ern­ment pro­gram did not de­crease air pol­lu­tion. It ac­tu­ally in­creased it.

Th­ese gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials could not un­der­stand how that was pos­si­ble.

In­stead of in­creas­ing the use of the city’s pu­bic trans­porta­tion, there was no real change in the use of elec­tric trains and buses.

If given a choice, the peo­ple didn’t want to use those forms of trans­porta­tion be­cause it took longer to get to work than us­ing a car.

Some peo­ple just used a taxi to get to and from work on those days their cars were banned. Taxis in Mex­ico City are in­ef­fi­cient and pol­lute more than most pri­vately owned ve­hi­cles. This caused more pol­lu­tion.

Some peo­ple bought old model and cheap cars — those ve­hi­cles usu­ally caused more pol­lu­tion — and drove those cars on the days their reg­u­lar car was banned.

Peo­ple don’t like be­ing told what to do by gov­ern­ment.

The peo­ple of Mex­ico City found ways to get around this gov­ern­ment pro­gram and still get to work in a car.

When any elected of­fi­cial says he or she knows how to do things bet­ter than the peo­ple they rep­re­sent, re­mem­ber how that worked out in Mex­ico City.

Here is an im­por­tant life truth: When Bloomberg-like can­di­dates try to con­vince peo­ple they know bet­ter and the gov­erned should just give up their free­dom and let those who know best run their lives, never vote for them.

Free­dom is easy to give up, but hard to get back.

JIM HAR­RIS Con­ser­va­tive Corner

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