“Strongly disagree”

Among my time-wasters, I agreed to participate in something called YouGov surveys. My reasoning is that if someone is going to publish polling results on important topics, I’d rather be counted than not.

Today’s poll dealt with the nanny state concept, although, of course, it wasn’t called that. But the questions focused on whether government, or individuals, should be making decisions.

The questions were not well-designed, as they left some key questions unanswered. For instance, this one:

The government should do more to advance society’s goals, even if that means limiting the freedom and choices of individuals.

The opinions on this ranged from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

Leaning libertarian, naturally I entered “strongly disagree.” It is a matter of simple truth, at least to me, that an individual’s choices should never be limited by any government. With the obvious caveat that if your choices impinge on someone else’s liberty, then something or someone has got to give. Stated differently, your liberty ends when it adversely impacts my liberty. And vice versa.

Then is there is the vaguely communistic “society’s goals.” Who, exactly, determines what those goals are? Are your goals less important than my goals? In our nanny-state driven world today, “society” and government are pretty much one and the same.

I can define “society’s goals” rather simply, and, of course I take them from one of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s clear, however, that this is not what most government functionaries mean when the start bloviating about “society’s goals.”

And, with all the respect due, which is to say very little, elected officials, judges, and unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats do not set my take on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I do.

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