Monday, September 21, 2009

Where can you go to find freedom?

'Last Monday dawned clear and bright in the nanny state of New York City. The newspaper brought word that the city's new health commissioner was working on ways to get residents to exercise more. That same morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his latest assault on unhealthy behavior. By 2012, the mayor hopes "to lower the proportion of adults who drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages each day by 20 percent." Tuesday's news was about plans to forbid smoking at public parks and beaches.'

I always liked 'Brazil' as a movie title. The not-so-subtle subtext: what will the world be like when even the wildest places on earth are not just tamed, but locked down and tormented like Russia under Stalin?

I am currently going through a burst of enthusiasm for moving to the US, something which periodically assails me. I have to say, though, that its not nearly such an enticing prospect as it would have been fifteen or twenty years ago. And that's because the growth of the cradle-to-grave state has rumbled on, sadly under George W Bush and now Obama (less surprisingly). Tax rates are creeping up, entitlements are growing like some genetically mutated horror, and the state feels freer and freer to clamp down on your life and tell you what to do.

I guess there's always Alaska...

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