If we’re going to ban legal activities because they may have a personal or social cost for a minority who take them to an extreme (thanks, Mayor Bloomberg), then we need to expand the list.
We really shouldn’t limit our ban-fest based on discriminatory prejudices about culture or class. My contribution to a more culturally-neutral ban list:
- Liberal Arts Degrees: confine their holders to a deprived future and impose the social cost of widespread irrationality. Mitigation: it’s good to have an articulate underclass.
- Organic food: Yields are so low that if all food production was organic, we’d starve. Mitigation: organic food is so expensive its consumers will eventually be poorer than everyone else.
- Movies: encourage sitting and food consumption. Mislead citizens into thinking they can have a film career and thus consigns them to welfare. Mitigation: keeps liberal arts grads with no hospitality skills off the street.
- ProvenÃ§ale kitchen redesigns: Social and personal cost: done to excess lead to marriage breakdown, social isolation and widespread distribution of conversational boredom.
- Hipster hats: excessive hat-wearing may lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Like alcohol, the presence of hipster hats after midnight encourages street abuse and violence .
- Art: excessive artistic activity can lead to poverty, grandiosity and an inability to write intelligibly. Social cost: an absence of food, houses and money to pay for imports. Mitigation: stuff to put in museums for gullible tourists.
- Child Care: excessive consumption leads to children who are inappropriately-used-to the question “Who’s your Daddy?” Mitigation: If they’re used to child care, they won’t mind Room 101.
- Opera: cost to fans is not only the effort of conscious endurance but also all the rote learning necessary to be accepted as part of the 0.05% (5,000/7.3m in NSW). Social cost is simple: truckloads of other people’s cash to provide entertainment to the pretentious rich.
- Government: too much costs individuals lots of money and stops them from being creative free spirits. No matter that government-in-moderation is OK: we’ve got to protect people from the possibility of choosing too much (hey, we’ve got evidence that they do).
- Moderation: personal cost of excessive moderation is depression. Social cost: low productivity, reduced tourism (who wants a sensible holiday?) and lower fertility rates. All moderation to be banned immediately.