December 05, 2006

Definition : Statist


Statists are those who favor government control. Economic statism shows itself as minimum wage requirements, zoning laws, or limitations of sales, as well as most cases of welfare or other income redistribution. Social statism shows up as banning guns or making a victimless crime illegal.

antonym: small-l libertarian (polite), anarchist (rude)

Ohio Smoking Ban

So, the Statists won the 2006 elections. For those of us in Ohio, this has an interesting two-fold result. I'll leave the 'minimum wage' issues for another post, since we have til January to see the results of that, but one of the more interesting results will come in mere days.

As of December 7th, 2006, any nearly public building, and the entrances to said buildings, will be smoke-free. Actual enforcement is, as of this moment, undecided, but that's certain to be fixed sooner or later, and nothing has stopped statists from placing an unenforcable law before.

It seems simple, in a way. Nothing that could affect nonsmokers. At the very least, it was observed as such : the ban passed by a broad margin.

Of course as any libertarian realizes, small motions have large effects.

Businesses will see a loss in profits. After Columbus first banned smoking in a similar fashion, many businesses began to take remarkable losses. Obviously, those around the Ohio borders will be hardest hit. Yes, smokers will actively choose to eat or drink at home rather than in public areas some times. Gas stations and supermarkets should also expect a drop in prices as devoted tobacco shops (which are immune to the ban) will get a lift in sales, particularly during the winter months. No one wants to be stuck trying a new blend in freezing weather unless they must. Violations - and be sure that there will be - will likely end up with random amounts of money being taken from businesses and dropping into the government piggy bank.

More noticable will the non-economic events.

Roughly one in four Ohio citizens smokes in one form or the other. Those who do not complete high school or college, such as those running service professions, smoke even more often - I've seen numbers as high as one in three. For those who do not smoke, or have not encountered a smoker, the side effects of nicotine withdrawal include : "Stomach problems, Appetite changes, Tingling sensations and dizziness, Problems falling asleep or frequent waking, Difficulty concentrating, and, of course, Irritability and anxiety."
That's going to be a lot of fun to deal with.

And, of course, your property becomes slightly less your property - if you can't smoke there, can you offer fattening food? Wear offensive odors? Talk too loudly?

Talk at all?