LLR Pages

Friday, May 9, 2008

Michiganders' Reaction to Smoking Ban

Apparently there is a statewide reaction to the looming smoking ban that will dominate Michigan. Some Michiganders, according to several Michigan news reports, are for the ban; others are worried about it.

Here are a few samples of the responses from people who reacted to the ban:

Chef-owner Mary Brady of Diamond Jim Brady's in Novi declared her restaurant smoke-free on Jan. 1 and said the results have been 'extremely positive' and that employees 'absolutely love it.'

She lost a couple of regular customers, she said, 'but I will say we got more people in than people we lost.'

But Brady then has a shift in tone of her attitude when he admits the following:

But in a reflection of the mixed feelings within the industry, she said that she agrees with the MRA's opposition to the ban.

The association wants the decision left up to individual owners and is especially unhappy about possible exemptions to the rules for American Indian-run casinos.

'I agree with their position. There are so many government mandates, this is just one more,' Brady said. 'And what about sports bars, where people go to smoke and drink and watch TV?

'I felt good that I could make the choice on my own ... and somebody didn't hold an ax over my head.'

The piece even reveals that other restauranteurs have been overwhelmingly relieved upon hearing news of the ban:

Co-owner Chris Johnston said he felt that he had no choice but to permit smoking, even though he dislikes it, when he and his partners opened the Emory, an attractive restaurant and bar on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale two years ago.

'Because we have mouths to feed and employees to take care of, it would have been too risky a move' not to allow it, he said. 'We're not a major chain with deep pockets. We have to do what will keep the place open.'

These people just don't get it.

If an individual owner wants to prohibit smoking on his establishment because his customers are demanding that the vice shouldn't be allowed on the premises, then the owner should be responding to market demand for his customers' business and making the decision to ban smoking on his property. After all, this is consistent with the libertarian principle of private property rights. It's his right, and he should do what is necessary to please his customers.

But when the state gets involved and decides a one-size-fits-all policy for everyone else, then it effectively destroys private property rights by making it illegal for owners to decide whether to keep the vice in his establishment. That's wrong, considering government is SUPPOSED to be protecting private property rights and not destroying them.

Besides, this is a form of state-mandated discrimination imposed upon the cigarette-smoking populace. Not only that, it's a subsidized state-mandated discrimination. How about equal protection under the law? Isn't that what we were supposed to have? No, wait, according to the collectivists, we need, "Equal treatment under the law." Translation: special rights for one group, but no equal rights for the other.

This is all done in the name of political correctness in the state, which has run amuck. So much for the socialist doctrine of "No discrimination!" in our society. This is government-approved discrimination -- not to mention socialism -- in its own worst form.

Or, as some would prefer to call it, Nanny Statism. You pick the word.