Death of the Smoking Ban

Ok, I'm conceding.

I guess smoking bans are just another example of the phenomenon where governments do what the market is already starting to do and then take credit for it. If Northwest had already banned smoking on flights, it would not have been long before other airlines did the same. Yet government takes credit for no smoking on flights.

The problem with the government "following the market" is that the market is forced to "freeze" at a certain solution or is forced into a binary solution to a problem that calls for a floating point solution (boy is that a geeky way to put it), causing harm to those who can least afford said harm.

I suspect that, aside from busybodies, support for smoking bans mostly comes from businesses who want to ban smoking anyway but don't want to lose their smoking customers to businesses that do not ban smoking. At the same time, businesses that would prefer to keep smoking either don't have the same incentives or are small or marginalized, such as bars.

Thanks everyone for the great comments. Yes, even Beck.

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The problem with the

The problem with the government “following the market” is that the market is forced to “freeze” at a certain solution or is forced into a binary solution to a problem that calls for a floating point solution (boy is that a geeky way to put it), causing harm to those who can least afford said harm.

I have nothing interesting to say on the subject itself, but I think it's interesting how this parallel's Justice Scalia's complaint about the expansion of certain constitutional provisions.

You see, when the Supreme Court outlaws, let us say, capital punishment of juveniles, it looks to all the states and their laws to see if there is an evolving national consensus. Scalia points out that---even if such a consensus is forming---that by enshrining such a consensus in the Constitution (i.e., there is hereby a constitutional right protecting juveniles against capital punishment) we "freeze" the progress of state laws where they are. So a state that may have only been experimenting is therefore prevented from undoing the experiment.

Indeed, if we look at the states as private providers of laws, the situations are not only similar, but examples of the same phenomenon.

I smoke a pipe and it's cool looking.

Scott Scheule - You're in

Scott Scheule -

You're in DC, too? When are we going to start hanging out together smoking our cool-looking pipes?

Give me a time and place,

Give me a time and place, dude.