Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2005

Get out of the way

December 22, 2005

Get out of the way

To the editor:

In response to the article about a California transplant who wants the city to ban smoking, I hope the City Council takes the stance that business owners should be free to do what they want to do with their businesses when it comes to a legal substance such as tobacco.

Business owners should be free to react to the demands of the marketplace; the recent decision by Petro Deli to go smoke-free, a decision made by the owner of the business, not by some intrusive governmental fiat, is a clear example of this in action. Conversely, the owner of Connie's Cafe reacts to the demands of her patrons by permitting smoking. I don't see where the City Council needs to get involved - the marketplace works as it always does.

Government has too much power over our lives already - the recent eminent domain decision by the Supreme Court being the latest direct attack on the rights of property owners along with oppressive property taxation as examples (check your recent property tax statement and compare the annual increase in "revenues" for the government to your annual pay raise!).

I hope the City Council will stick to taking care of those things that we have local government in place to handle - safety, roads, sewers - and let business people run their businesses.

And in case anyone is interested, I'm a nonsmoker who rarely frequents smoking establishments. But I believe that the role of government is not to solve every problem but to get out of the way and let people be free.

Louis Sperl

Lansing

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