Helmets & a Slippery Slope

This post argues that the US should re-enact legislation requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets.  I don’t disagree at all with the fact that motorcyclists need helmets.

However, the reasoning the author gives troubles me.  His argument is that wearing a helmet reduces injury, which leads to a financial savings of $2.2 billion per year (I’m unclear what area this number covers and who the payer(s) are, though I don’t think it matters).

It seems that determining our laws and rights based on their financial cost or savings leads down a slippery slope, one that is especially slippery for the rights of the individual when the government determines that it is in the nation’s best (financial) interest to restrict those rights.

As one example, pregnancy is dangerous, and complications can lead to high costs for the patient or the taxpayer.  Without checks on the reasoning used above, we could end up in a situation like China, where forced abortions and sterilizations are the norm.

That’s my two cents.


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