Thursday, April 14, 2011

Policed State or Being Cautious?

I had a friend visit me from Europe last week.  So after a few observations (coming through customs, immigration, catching the train c/o Cityrail, walking around the CBD, seeing people go by, having a beer) he started with the questions.

Why do people riding bikes wear helmets?
Don't even some people drink in the street?
Why does everyone wait for the green man to flash?
Why do some of your police cars have a covered room at the back (paddy wagon)?
Why is Sydney so policed?

It got me thinking ... I agree, (at times) we are overly protected & policed. Is it to prevent lawsuits? Is it imposing rules as normal people don't have the sense to have common sense? Is it revenue raising? Is it to protect children?

Now there is talk that we need to have a licence to use the pokies or gamble.
I know its a problem for some people and their families but really, do we really need to go through more paperwork, more red tape, more government money wasted issuing and monitoring all this? What about those who occasionally go in and use the pokies? Why do we need another card in our wallet?

Why are we not empowered to look after ourselves? To take responsibility for our actions?
We can be advised or recommended to wear helmets but why is it enforced if someone chooses not to? There are millions of people around the world who leisurely cycle everyday ... without a helmet. Not every road has a set of crossing lights or sometimes they are not convenient.

At times I do think there is too much intervention from the government. People need to be informed but to be penalised for exerting their freedom (within reason)?  It's too much. If I liked fishing, I would need a fishing licence. If I want to use a chain saw, I need a chainsaw license. I want to use a boat - I would need a license for that too. 

We're dumbing down everything so people don't have to think about consequences.  We have to follow and do.  We're not shown how to take responsibility. Everyone blames everyone else. People need to be empowered to think for themselves and to think of the consequences.  What happened to survival of the fittest?  I think, I analyse, I take informed risks - shouldn't everyone be taught this?

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