October 31, 2006

AZ Propositions - 201/203/206

Proposition 201 - Smoke-Free Arizona Act
Proposition 206 - Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act

I hate that going dancing involves marinating in second-hand smoke. I would love to be able to go out to a bar that was smoke free. What a joy that would be! I soooo want to be able to vote for these, but I can't.

Because they are both wrong.

I can not stay true to my political beliefs, and vote for a measure (or measures) that tell a business owner what legal behavior they can and can not allow in their business. I can not support the free market on the one hand, when it is convenient for me, and then abandon those principles at the first chance for a smoke free evening. These are bad politics, they are bad business, they are expensive, they are bad.

These are being marketed as either/or measures - but they aren't. You don't have to pick the lesser evil, you can vote no on both. I will.

Proposition 203 - Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Initiative

Another sin tax disguised as a program "for the children"

[snip] The issues in question aren't early childhood development services rather taxation and appropriation that violates and goes far beyond the principles of our representative democracy. Proposition 203 would increase in perpetuity the sales tax on tobacco products and allow an appointed unelected council to determine the expenditure of $150 million of state tax revenue without any legislative oversight and without any allowance for legislative adjustment of the taxes or the expenditures. [snip]
Barry M. Aarons

Voting "yes" on this tax is voting "yes" to creating a huge new bureaucracy to control taxpayer money, with the activity of this bureaucracy having no direct oversight from or accountability to the legislature or the Governor. This proposal establishes a statewide board and an unlimited number of unelected regional councils to distribute tax money to communities however they see fit without any direction from the officials we elected to represent taypayers' interests. This is a massive tax increase, and NONE of these tax dollars will be dedicated to our K-12 education system. And though all of this money will be collected from smokers, NONE of this money is dedicated to smoking prevention or cessation. [snip]
Theodore L. Jones & Charles R. Wenzler
Couldn't have said it better myself, this one is also a BIG no.

Posted by Vox at October 31, 2006 09:00 AM | TrackBack | Arizona , politics

In general, I agree with you that your desire to dance, smoke-free, is not a sufficient rationale to support either proposition. But even legal behaviors can be legitimately limited/regulated when the social/economic costs of totally free exercise of those behaviors become unacceptable. Take corporate pollution, for example. It's legal, but the when, where, how, and how much are regulated. Why? Because if you didn't regulate it, you'd have a classic tragedy of the commons. The question for me, then, is this: what are the social and economic costs of allowing smoking in bars and restaurants? Are they sufficiently high to justify interfering with the market, and interfering with the free exercise of a legal behavior?

And the answer is...I dunno.

Posted by: Special Agent Johnny Utah at October 31, 2006 07:22 PM

There are bars that specificly put in smoking environments in Flagstaff seperate from their restaurant, because of the loss of buisness they got when the city banned smoking in restaurants. Now with bars banned I keep swaring to put a cigar in my pocket and if I ever see a city council member in public I will walk circles around them smoking the cigar say "well I'd be in a bar, but since I can't I have to smoke around you." Okay end the rant.

My favorite bar in Flagstaff had a nonsmoking policy for 13 years before the city banned it, so there is definately a market for nonsmoking bars and it never hurt them as making a buisness choice, I think that is one of the reasons I enjoyed going there.

Posted by: Thomas at November 1, 2006 08:39 AM

201 and 206: Not just No, but HELL NO!

Posted by: Macker at November 2, 2006 07:40 AM

201 and 206 are both No for me too.

203 to quote Macker, was a Hell No. That one really pissed me off.

Posted by: Lori at November 6, 2006 09:07 PM