Saturday, April 12, 2014

Exceptions

Have you ever noticed that when Congress passes a law that forces Americans to do something in a specific way, there are always exceptions.  Why?  Because even the Congress sees limits to the "one size fits all" mode of modern legislation.

In truth, people should be free to do whatever they want to do as long as some unrelated third party is not injured.  But, Congress often decides that people are not intelligent enough (or not powerful enough) to think or decide for themselves.  Most "prohibition" laws regarding drinking and drugs have this underlying premise -- individuals aren't smart enough to decide for themselves what to eat and drink and thus government must restrict their access.

France, this week, toyed with restricting emails that employers may send to their employees.  Of course such a plan had exceptions.  Why?  Because they are many jobs (physicians, back up ambulance drivers, various types of emergency workers, etc. ) where notification in the middle of the night might be important to their jobs.  Fortunately, saner heads prevailed and France backed away from the proposed ban on emails.

But, you have to wonder?  Why is it the government's business when X sends an email to Y.  Isn't this really a decision for and X and Y to make, not the government.

That there are always exceptions shows clearly that rules and laws restricting human behavior are often arbitrary and completely unnecessary.  It also shows that freedom and liberty are losing their grip in western culture.  In 15th century England, no one would suggest that even the King had a right to disturb late night communication between any two of his subjects.  But in modern America and Europe, governments routinely intrude on private communication and activities between consenting adults, even when there is no third party that could conceivably be injured by such activities.

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