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What Are a State's Responsibilities to Its Citizens?

  1. GA Anderson profile image86
    GA Andersonposted 2 years ago

    MyEsoteric posed the question that prompted this thread, and Wilderness gave the response that sired it.

    In a thread about state governors that declined Obamacare's Expanded Medicaid program, MyEsoteric asked the question; "What do you think are a state's responsibilities to it citizens?

    I tried to hedge, (so as not to hijack the original thread), and Wilderness responded to my hedge with this;



    Taking the easy road, I will just start with generalities;

    The preamble to our Constitution - look at it from a State level...
    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    Just substitute a State name for "United States" and that is the generality of a State's responsibilities.

    Then follow with the Bill of Rights, and view it as applied on a State level.

    Then go through the articles of the Constitution and just skip the ones that apply specifically to a union of states, (like coining a medium of exchange, etc.)...

    ... and there you have the framework to define a State's responsibilities to its citizens.

    Then to start with a specific - Wilderness' question about the military...

    With the exception of addressing external threat issues, doesn't a State's Nation Guard units serve a similar function to our national military? And doesn't a State have a responsibility to protect its borders too? Whether it be an issue that requires a military effort performed by its National Guard, or issues requiring legislative and policing actions - isn't that a State responsibility?

    GA

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It appears that you are correct about the national guard, something I knew but never really put together.  The governor may call on the guard to "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasion." at least as long as the President isn't using them for some other purpose.  The feds have first call on the use of the guard as all are now a part of the military of the country as well as the state.

      So will my governor send guard tanks and fighter planes to arrest the lady next door that is violating the law by sunbathing in the nude on her back porch?  Maybe...

      I DO question the "repel invasion" though - Arizona has been thoroughly chastised for doing the federal government's job in repelling the invasion over their southern border and federal law requires free travel between states.  At the same time, Idaho now requires all watercraft to stop for inspection - any found with a specific mussel will not be allowed entry.  And doesn't Hawaii prohibit introduction of most plant life?  Is that "repelling invasion"?

      1. Old Poolman profile image82
        Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Your correct, Arizona was taken to task over trying to enforce laws that are already on the books that the Feds choose to ignore.  They also spread a huge amount of misinformation as to what our SB-1070 would allow law enforcement to do.  Most of the country thought Arizona law enforcement would be stopping everyone on the street that looked hispanic and demanding to see their ID.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Anyone who read the bill could have seen that everything it covered was already enforceable, just not being enforced.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That was my impression as well.  The whole thing was a mockery of the law, with politicians intent on buying votes rather than following the constitution.

        2. GA Anderson profile image86
          GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          You are right. And even when state folks spoke up to try to clarify and explain what Arizona's law was really all about they were still bombarded with false spin and innuendo -  because Arizona was defying the will of the administration.

          State's Rights are not unimportant or anti-national interest issues; as they are usually portrayed to be.

          Just sayin'

          GA

      2. GA Anderson profile image86
        GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I never did like mussels anyway. And couldn't Hawaii just be trying to protect its world-renown proprietary pot strains? That sounds reasonable to me. smile

        GA

        1. Credence2 profile image88
          Credence2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Trust me, GA, it is a hassle, when trying to get pets over to the islands or to introduce or remove any plant species. They make you certify during the flight there that you are not bringing in 'contraband'. If memory serves USDA has something to do with it. It is also easier to get the 'reefer' in Colorado these days, even though the growers on the big island do ok.

          1. GA Anderson profile image86
            GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Given Hawaii's kinda sorta vulnerable ecological system I can see the logic behind those restrictions. There are a lot of areas in continental US that are suffering from the effects of  the introduction of new species. (Oops, there is an open door, I can hear the footsteps now.)

            But that is also a good example of a State responsibility.

            GA

            1. MizBejabbers profile image93
              MizBejabbersposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Yep, you did, remember the issues with the rabbits in Australia and the kudzu in the southern United States. These states are only trying to protect themselves from naturally invasive animals and plants.

              1. GA Anderson profile image86
                GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                LOL you let me off easy. That wasn't the response I was expecting to walk through the door, but I am still expecting it.

                Your Australia example was what Credence2 and I were discussing. Here on Maryland's Eastern Shore we have a similar problem with a small swamp varmint called a Nutria. (sounds like a sugar substitute) It multiplies quicker than rabbits, eats anything, has over run the foodstock of the indigent Muskrat, and destroys  inland waterway shorelines with its burrowing.

                Our state has recognized this problem and has initiated several programs to find a solution. That is the type of action I see as a State responsibility.

                GA

                1. MizBejabbers profile image93
                  MizBejabbersposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Funny you should mention the nutria. When I was a teenager back in the dark ages, my naive Yankee uncle (aunt's husband from Detroit) retired from the Navy and they bought a farm in the rocky hills of the Ozarks. When he couldn't make a living hog farming, somebody convinced him he could get rich raising nutria for the fur (coats) and the meat. You know how that turned out.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image86
                    GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes I do. They are yucky animals. For both reasons - your uncle was hoodwinked. smile

                    GA

        2. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I don't disagree with the policies, just commented on them as a possible example of "invasion" that the states can protect themselves against.  Seems that would be a stretch, and states cannot regulate interstate travel of people.

          1. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            @Wilderness has the key, given you are talking about the National Guard and their ability to provide an armed border defense.  All of the other examples mentioned above aren't classified as a military invasion from an external armed enemy.  If that were happening, then the federal government would nationalize the national guard just as they did when sending them to Iraq.

      3. My Esoteric profile image88
        My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Maybe not "So will my governor send guard tanks and fighter planes to arrest the lady next door that is violating the law by sunbathing in the nude on her back porch?  Maybe..." although they might be happy to go, @Wilderness, but he would send them to Watts (or Henderson) to quell a riot.

    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I also took a look at Idaho's constitution, but refrained from spending an hour reading it.  It is not so simple as that of the US.

      But it DOES contain lots of responsibilities.  Finance of the state, for instance, is laid out with who is responsible. 

      "The legislature shall provide such revenue as may be needful, by levying a tax by valuation, so that every person or corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his, her, or its property, except as in this article hereinafter otherwise provided."

      The state must collect property tax.  Presumably for the benefit of those being taxed, LOL.

      "The public school permanent endowment fund of the state shall forever remain inviolate and intact; the earnings of the public school permanent endowment fund shall be deposited into the public school earnings reserve fund and distributed in the maintenance of the schools of the state, and among the counties and school districts of the state in such manner as may be prescribed by law." 

      The state is responsible for maintaining a fund and distributing money to schools.

      "The legislature shall provide by law, the manner in which reasonable maximum rates may be established to be charged for the use of water sold, rented, or distributed for any useful or beneficial purpose."

      Government has the responsibility to set maximum rates for water usage.

      The list goes on and on and on.

      1. GA Anderson profile image86
        GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        "The state must collect property tax.  Presumably for the benefit of those being taxed, LOL."

        You don't really want the states to depend on the Fed for all their financial needs do you?

        Do the rest of your points seem unreasonable to you? I mean, before they are corrupted or usurped by the Feds. Like education...

        GA

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          You misunderstand.  It's just that the collection of taxes is but one of hundreds of responsibilities the state has to it's citizens.  It's not like the fed, where it can be listed in just a handful of sentences.

          I just had to give a little dig, given who I am, at the idea of taxing someone for their own benefit.

          1. GA Anderson profile image86
            GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, I get the point of your little dig. I was just playing the "straight man" for you. Especially on the taxing for our own benefit part.

            You are right about the "hundreds of responsibilities," and I think the reason for that is that states are dealing on a level much closer to the people than the conceptual level the Feds govern on.

            GA

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              They are much closer to the citizen (although the feds continually try to change that), yes, but the framers of the constitution also went to great lengths to limit government as much as possible as the only real way to get agreement from 13 different colonies.  States did not follow suit.

          2. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            If you are being completely myopic in your statement that Idaho's intent that taxes on an individual or business were solely for the benefit of that person or business, I think you are way off base.  If, however, you think, as a general rule, the tax is for the benefit of the Idaho society as a whole (when you do a 'complete and thorough ' economic analysis) then we are in agreement.

        2. My Esoteric profile image88
          My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, let's take education.  And then take states like GA, AL, MS, LA, SC, etc all who historically poorly educated their population in general and, to a much greater extent, the minorities specifically.

          Now, I am not sure what you think is true, but the men who wrote the Constitution wrote it for the People (keeping in mind, as was said here, it had to get by the State politicians) and to be established by the People because it was a contract with the People, not the States.  Instead, in effect, the States came with the deal as is indicated by the first line in the Preamble "In order to for a more 'perfect Union' ...".  More perfect than what?  Than what they came from ... the Continental Congress and Articles of Confederation which is a 'contract between the central government and the States' and not with the constituent citizens; a BIG conceptual difference.

          To me, that means both the States and the Federal governments have a responsibility to each citizen.  If that assumption is correct, then the Federal gov't has a responsibility to step in if they see a State failing their and the Nation's citizen (such as the South and their demonstrable inability to properly educate their general population); if the fed didn't, then the Constitution means nothing as far as I am concerned.

          1. GA Anderson profile image86
            GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Wow, you have really taken this to a seriously deeper level. I say that with sincerity.

            I think I understand your perspective, and the direction of your thoughts. The surface of which seems logical enough - the elevation of the lowest of citizens to a position equal to the median of citizens. A very compassionate and credible position.

            But... is still seems to boil down to a  "I know what is good for you" perspective. And that "just ain't right."

            Protecting my neighbor from me might be a defensible rational for government action, but protecting me from me is not.

            GA

            1. My Esoteric profile image88
              My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Getting closer, I  think.  Except in a few instances, some of which I disagree with such as certain cases of decisions to end one's life, I don't know of any laws and regulations designed to protect someone from their own intentional stupidity.  I am sure there are anecdotal examples, especially in the South with their now unconstitutional sodomy laws.  It seems me, the overwhelming number of both federal and state laws were designed as John Locke intended for government ... to protect one person from the actions of another, especially when they don't have a practical or legal defense.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                How can you say the state doesn't protect one from themselves?
                1.  Size of soft drinks.
                2.  Required seat belts
                3.  Required motorcycle helmets
                4.  Required professional work on homes instead of DIY
                5.  most of OSHA, requiring workers to act to protect themselves.
                6.  Recreational are closures when govt. deems it unsafe to play.

                The list is almost endless of government "protecting" people from themselves.

                1. rhamson profile image78
                  rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  And why not? The courts are backed up with the frivolous lawsuits these peoples lawyers bring in this litigious society. Every accident is a possible jackpot no matter who is at fault.

                  1. Old Poolman profile image82
                    Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    The world would be a better place to live without rattlesnakes, lawyers, and lobbyists.  They all come from the same family.

                  2. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    If people aren't competent to decide how much soda they should drink, how can we possibly say they are competent to determine if someone else lives or dies (jury duty)?

                    Our constitution is based on the fact that people are competent - more so than government as most of the document is limitations of governmental power, leaving the real power of decision making to the people.

                2. My Esoteric profile image88
                  My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually, only one of those, the soft drink, might be protecting one from their own knowing stupidity ... and I don't necessarily but that for the following reason.

                  There is a very good reason that advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry.  It is based on the belief that your "competency" theory's underpinning that all people have the same Iron Will and an amazing ability to make rational and reasoned decisions as you do in all cases and therefore are impervious to advertising ... is false.

                  Advertisers correctly believe they can convince large numbers of people to do what common sense says is not good for them or their children.  If it didn't actually work, then no "Big Soda" laws would be needed, would they? 

                  (BTW, I think one of the main purposes of that law is to keep them out of the hands of kids, who by definition and law, don't have the capacity to make informed decisions regarding what is good for them or not.)

                  I think the State has even more of a right and duty to regulate or ban the sale of provably (by the preponderancecof the evidence) unhealthy foods than they do poisons.because there is not a whole industry dedicated to convince you to consume the poison..

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    "(BTW, I think one of the main purposes of that law is to keep them out of the hands of kids, who by definition and law, don't have the capacity to make informed decisions regarding what is good for them or not.)"

                    You may think that, but you are wrong.  The primary purpose is to extend the nanny state concept; that governmental idiots somewhere know better than you do how you should live your life and have a duty to enforce you to live as they think you should.  That you disagree only means you are not a suitable candidate for the concept of freedom and need to find another country where lives are more rigidly controlled.  As long as you are on the controlling side it's not too bad, but if not Oh Well.  We can't all be gods, controlling all around us.

                3. My Esoteric profile image88
                  My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Now, let me pick on your motorcycle helmet law.  If the only person who would be hurt/killed in an accident because of not wearing a helmet, more power to them, it gets more stupid out to of the gene pool.

                  How, it is an extremely rare case this is so.  Take my step-son-in-law.  He, like you, opposes the helmet laws because it "infringes" on his individual rights AND he doesn't see the need.  (Nor does he see the need to make his 11-year old son wear a helmet when riding his 4-wheeler!) 

                  Well, I glad there is such a law, not because I give a damn about him, if he is dumb enough to ride without a helmet, let him die. BUT he has a family he supports and is responsible for.  Consequently, it is not his individual choice.  By choosing not to wear a helmet, he is jeopardizing his family's right to the Pursuit of Happiness, their health and their welfare.  As a result, because there are others involved in his decision, the State has a right and duty to intervene to protect others from his stupidity.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    There are others involved in every single decision you will make in your life.  Whether you leave the bedroom light on at night will affect the utility bills of your neighbors, for instance.

                    So, according to you, government has not only a right but a duty as well to legislate each and every possible decision you will ever make.  I strongly disagree.

                    But if you disagree, explain how a single death affecting a half dozen other people is more important as a governmental concept than a person contributing more than his share to local and national pollution levels, utility bills over the country and even global warming.  Plus, of course, the right to "Pursuit of Happiness, their health and their welfare" of the other 350,000,000 people in the country.

    3. My Esoteric profile image88
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I'll drop my forum, @GA, since you beat me to the punch.

      First, you would think all state constitutions would include provisions similar to what is in the U.S. Preamble, but I suspect you will find quite a myasma of different ideas of what the "vision" or "mission statement" for their constitution is.  For example. the preamble to Mississippi's Constitution is

      "We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this constitution." - that's it.

      California's is a little bit better with;

      "We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our
      freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this
      Constitution."

      While the Preamble to the Massachusetts Constitution goes even a little bit further with:

      "The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

      The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.

      We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

      So, while I agree with you that those ideas mentioned in the Federal Constitution ought to be the goals, I am not sure the States have the same idea in mind.

      What I meant to focus on in the forum I started however were to phrases in the   Federal Constitution; they are: 1) promote the general Welfare (not to be confused with handouts but closer to providing for the welfare of your family) and 2) secure the Blessings of Liberty.  If we were talking about the federal government, I would add "in order to form a more perfect Union" as well; but we aren't, so I won't.

      1. MizBejabbers profile image93
        MizBejabbersposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        My gosh, Massachusetts is windy. We have a very simple preamble in Arkansas.
        "We, the People of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government; for our civil and religious liberty; and desiring to perpetuate its blessings, and secure the same to our selves and posterity; do ordain and establish this Constitution."

      2. GA Anderson profile image86
        GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        It appears we may have hit a topic we feel similarly about. You are right about the differences in the many State constitutions, and their differences from the US Constitution. But I don't see that as a really bad thing, (not that it couldn't be better), because it is an action of a smaller group of people for a smaller group of people.

        Most people probably live in their states because they were born there - but I suspect there are many folks that are living in a particular state by choice. Because they like the ideals and stances of the state - not just because of the weather or terrain.

        For instance; I really enjoy short stays and visits to California. The same for Vermont and Massachusetts; different climates and terrain, but I would not want to live in or be governed by any of those states.

        So differing State constitutions and aims make perfect sense to me.

        I completely agree with your last paragraph. The skeleton of the US Constitution should also be the skeleton of State constitutions.

        GA

        1. MizBejabbers profile image93
          MizBejabbersposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          [So differing State constitutions and aims make perfect sense to me.]

          Perhaps they should, but they may be like my state's Constitution. The last one was written in 1876, and is being constantly amended to try to bring it up-to-date. There has been a move for several years to draft a new one because of technology and population growth. So far it has become a combination of Victorian elegance and everyday colloquialisms, neither of which serve the real purpose. I was hoping to see a new one drafted while I was still employed to edit it, but now I'm not sure. With our present political population, I believe it would consist of no controls on big business and the rich and tight controls on women and children. The atmosphere of the red states now is one of the late 1800s. I don't like their definitions of freedoms, and  I don't want to see any more of our freedoms eroded.
          Going back to revisit your statement, I'm not sure that state's rights isn't so much as a right to govern its people as it gives them the right to discriminate against certain classes. In addition to what I said above, the main way a state makes up for a lack of income tax is in exorbitant property taxes. A person can regulate its buying to fit its income but not always what he must pay for housing. For instance, my cousin is being transferred from Texas (no income tax) to Arkansas (income tax). He is looking at a $200,000 house and says the same house would cost him $300,000 in Texas. I don't think he will pay anywhere near that kind of difference in state income tax.

  2. maxoxam41 profile image80
    maxoxam41posted 2 years ago

    To use taxes to BENEFIT the people.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Isn't it kind of difficult to benefit the people with money taken from them?  Unless...unless you subscribe to the nanny state idea, where government always knows best?

      1. Old Poolman profile image82
        Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Most who like the nanny-state philosophy are those who take from the system but contribute nothing.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That and the politicians they keep voting into office.  When Obama's going to give you a car, hey, you want him in Washington, not some geek that doesn't know you're alive!  Or when he promises you free medical care for life...

  3. 61
    LORD ENKIposted 2 years ago

    Governor Jesse Ventura and Alex Jones will tell you how beyond corruption the State is.People need to wake up!

  4. 61
    Knight Writer 2posted 2 years ago

    The question we should ask ourselves is who is going to protect We the People from the government.Anyone who thinks that our hierarchy is out to preserve our freedoms and save us .The media propoganda machine is so powerful that we believe everyone is out to get us .Hence our need for our government to protect us at any costs .Our freedoms and rights are being taken one by one under the guise to better protect us .Not to mention public aid foodstamps ssi.The food that is regulated by the fda is so full of antibiotics gmos and chemicals that react over time to neutralize and control the worlds population.But I just like you and every other person not in the loop i will continue to look to my government to protect me from the big bad wolf.

    1. GA Anderson profile image86
      GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Oops... not quite like me. I do not look for the government to protect me from any wolf that is not a national threat to all of us - not just a threat to me.

      On the other hand... Understanding the reality that there are instances of legitimate uses for our "safety net" programs, (foodstamps, SSI, etc.); there are societal benefits, (I do believe we "evolve" as a society),  - I am not entirely a libertarian scrooge.

      Hopefully our evolution includes disdain for poor houses, 1800s orphanages, ash heaps for the elderly and infirm, etc.

      GA

      1. My Esoteric profile image88
        My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Again, @GA, name me one law designed to protect a single person against a single predator.  Your, @Wilderness's, and all others who chose to use extreme, unrealistic examples to make a general statement eviscerate the strength of your counterpoints which renders them meaningless.

        Now, as to the mower guard example (for whoever was involved in that thread) again, sarcasm seems to hide the true issue, push-mowers only have no part in the discussion and are used simply as a distraction.

        The real points are:

        1. Power mowers are legal to make, no one disagrees
        2. Poser mowers are legal to use, no one disagrees
        3. Manufacturers of power mowers have a responsibility to make sure power mowers pose no unreasonable or foreseeable harm to the user or others; apparently, based on these threads, only Moderates and those on the Left agree with that premise.
        4. If someone gets hurt or killed because of a lack of safety measures on the power mower the manufacturer knew or reasonably should have known about (safety guard on the output chute), then the manufacturer bears responsibility; again, based on these threads, only Moderates and the Left seem to agree.
        5. If someone uses the power mower in a manner for which it was obviously not designed and hurts or kills themselves or others; then responsibility falls on the user; no one except maybe the far Left disagrees with that.

        Where and why am I wrong?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          But both people and property are routinely damaged by power mowers, including the push (as opposed to a riding) mower.  There is no guard on the output as large quantities of grass must exit the cutting field via that chute.  It is inherently dangerous and will continue to harm people and property as long as it is used - manufacturers know this but have provided nothing to stop the carnage.

          Should we not then ban all power mowers?  Manufacturers refuse to make anything that will stop a rock but not a wad of grass, with the result that rocks exit the chute; are they not then responsible every time the owner runs over a rock and throws it out?  We banned large sodas because they hurt people even though they were legal to make and use; should we not do the same for the power mower?  As the harm is certainly forseeable, the only difference seems to be that lots of people use power mowers, not so many for giant soft drinks.  The fight to force others to comply is much easier; either a vocal minority or a majority can enforce their will on others.

          1. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Let's see @Wildnerss.  I have rather long arms (2.9% Neanderthal, according to 23andMe, avg is 2.3%) but it would be impossible for me to get my fingers caught in the twirling blades of a push mower while I was pushing it.  If I stop pushing the mower I can now stick my fingers down there; but the blades are stationary, aren't they? 

            It is also unreasonable to expect that an object (and I have been struck by a few) can be flung backward with such force as to cause serious bodily harm or death from a push mower.  Now, if I run over my child's fingers with a push mower and cut them off, that is on me.  So, given that, the only reason I see for having something on the back that would prevent such things is a grass catcher (but then I am a tree-hugger, so I would want the mulch).  And, I can't see a particularly good reason the manufacturer needs to do anything more than what they have already done for push mowers.

            Power mowers, riding or push, is another matter entirely.  I could get my hand into the moving blades sans guard (maybe I was trying to dislodge something,; dumb, I know, but not that dumb for I thought I was being careful).  Without a guard, my hand could get sucked in.  With a guard, much harder if not impossible.

            1. Old Poolman profile image82
              Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The truth is we just can't protect stupid.  Back when I was young I went to school with several children missing hands and feet because there were no safety guards on farm equipment.  That has now changed to where anyone with even average common sense can't be "accidently" injured.  But like anything carried over the line, we now have equipment where all the required safeguards actually degrade the performance of the machine.

              Should manufacturer's really have to put a warning label on a knife or axe that it is sharp and could cause personal injury?  The person that bought it would hope to heck it was sharp and would stay sharp for awhile.

              With good intention, obvious safeguards on equipment and tools sholuld be required.  But like with most things this gets carried over the line to border on ridiculous safeguards that render the tool or machine almost useless.

              Perhaps there should be a requirement for people buying tools and machinery to carry a Federal IQ Test card with them at all times.  Tools and machines could then be graded on the minimum IQ score allowed to purchase the item.

              I don't object to safeguards to protect consumers, but there is a point where it is carried way over the line.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Warning labels - I once bought a very small, but long, jewelers screwdriver.  On the packaging was :  Warning!  Do not insert into penis

                True story.  The state let some idiot down badly and he got hurt; the manufacturer now finds it prudent to put the warning on to protect themselves, not the idiots of the world.

                1. Old Poolman profile image82
                  Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Good one.  Perhaps they should also include a brochure defining the different types of "screwing?"

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Probably.  After all, Phillips tips were invented for power drivers, as were square tip screws.  Shouldn't use them in some cases...

              2. My Esoteric profile image88
                My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Who do you think is going to win if we start counting now and work our way backward say 100 years and adding up anecdotes of people wrongly being rewarded for getting hurt by a product because of their own stupidity and comparing them with the sum of anecdotes of manufacturers who hide the knowledge that their airbags explode or their tobacco products cause cancer and other similar deadly decisions by management to go ahead and market a product without warning the user that NORMAL use is dangerous or simply being sloppy in the manufacturing such that the product fails causing death or injury (exploding gas tanks, for example)?

            2. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I don't think we're communicating.
              Push mower: a mower with a single spinning blade, motorized.
              Riding mower: larger, and intended to sit on when mowing.
              Reel mower: the old style mower with twirling blades.  No motor (yes, I know some do, but I've never used one and cannot testify to danger.  Let's leave those unmotorized here).

              Push mowers throw rocks that can harm people; that's why there is a guard on the rear so those rocks can't hit the person operating it.  But the chute is still wide open (unless bagging or mulching) and still throwing rocks; rocks that cause serious injury (put out the eye of a child or even kill an infant).

              So, given those definitions so we understand each other, why do we allow push mowers (motorized) when we KNOW they will cause harm?  Because so many people like them it would be impossible to ban them?

        2. GA Anderson profile image86
          GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          "Where and why am I wrong?

          Where I think you are wrong is the extremes you are willing to take your philosophy.

          I would venture that the impetus behind helmet laws were to mitigate the injury to the wearer - not folks that depend on the wearer, (as you speculated). Nanny state deciding someone was incapable of making their own "smart" decision.

          The soda law - how can that be described other than trying to protect folks from themselves? Again, a nanny state "I know better than you" position.

          The lawn mower example; you stretched a manufacturer's responsibility to "... pose no unreasonable or foreseeable harm" But look who you say should make the determination of what is unreasonable or foreseeable - the nanny state. I think the current safeguards of autoshut-off and downward deflecting discharge chutes are enough, but what about safety protections to prevent toes from accidentally slipping under the mower as it was maneuvered back and forth or in tight spaces - that is a foreseeable danger. It appears your logic would deem that a manufacturer's responsibility to prohibit.

          And on, and on, for as many examples as you care to bring forth. It all seems to boil down to a determination of the nanny state knowing better than the individual what is good for them. Protecting me from my dumb decisions. Deciding for me what my "good" decisions should be.

          I think there is a time when the guiding hand on the bicycle seat needs to let go. It appears you think the training wheels should always be there "because you never know..."

          GA

          1. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            @GA "... pose no unreasonable or foreseeable harm" But look who you say should make the determination of what is unreasonable or foreseeable - the nanny state...."  So, it is your opinion it should be the manufacturer?  Sort of like asking the wolf to guard the hens, isn't it? 

            I would rather ask the People who elected representatives to the government to help  protect them from irresponsible manufacturers to decide?

            Do you consider the government's defense of private property for the wealthy a "nanny state" as well?  Why should the gov't spend a dime providing the infrastructure where such suits can go to trial if you feel the gov't has no business in your business.  Let's say IBM comes and simply takes your house for their purpose; why should you be able to go to the law for redress, look who made that illegal, your "nanny" state.  According to you, the gov't had no business doing that.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              How about the People who elected representatives decide for themselves, via their pocketbook, how much protection they need?  Rather than the representative that will do whatever the manufacturer says anyway as that company paid for their re-election.

              If I want a mower without the auto-shutoff who is a representative (that has never mowed a lawn in their life) to say different?

              1. Old Poolman profile image82
                Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                There are some whom if able would spend their entire lives living in a bubble where they had a guarantee of personal safety.  They take few if any risks and live in constant fear of pretty much everything.  In my opinion they are merely existing rather than living, but to each his own.

                The problem begins when they want to impose their lifestyle of the rest of the population.  That is when things start going wrong and manufacturer's are required to include ridiculous safeguards on their products to stay in business.

                There is a point where some of the responsibility for personal safety lies with the consumer.  As I said in another comment we just can't fix stupid and many products just can't be made stupid proof.

                1. My Esoteric profile image88
                  My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I suspect you are correct in para 1.  But, the 2nd para is in your mind only, it isn't reality other than with an anecdote here or there.

                  Nobody I know disagrees with the 1st sentence of the 3rd para. 

                  The problem as I see it is with the people who feel that consumers are 100% responsible for any harm/death caused when they use a product and that the manufacturer has no responsibility regardless of the facts of the case.  It is ONLY that type of thinking which can lead to your conclusions that we are in a "nanny" state and there should be zero laws regulating the quality of and responsibility for products made by manufacturers.

                  As to regulations which cover general safety, such as airbags, which most in this series of threads oppose, one requirement for such opposition is a gross disregard for human life and a belief that a single dollar in profit is worth more than life itself.  You might base your argument that the person driving the car has a personal responsibility to drive the car safely; which, of course is very true.  But the baby sitting unrestrained in the back seat has no such responsibility and is totally dependent upon the driver "to act responsibly".  Further, both are 100% dependent on the driver in the other car that hit them "acting responsibly".  And, all of those drivers and passengers expect God to "act responsibly" by not letting a large tree, weakened by a drenching rainstorm for the last 40 days and nights, fall onto the street they are driving on giving them no time to stop before plowing into it and killing everybody on-board because it cost too much money to install airbags in the cars they were driving for, in your opinion, apparently, it is un-American to burden businesses with the responsibility providing such safety devices.

                  Did I state your positions correctly?

                  1. Old Poolman profile image82
                    Old Poolmanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    If your talking to me, no you didn't state my positions correctly.
                    I happen to believe both airbags and seat belts do save lives.  I also happen to believe in proper restraints for babies and small children passengers in vehicles.  The cost for these safety requirements are passed on to the consumer in the final price of the vehicle and don't burden the manufacturer at all.  These devices are designed to protect us from our own mistakes as well as the mistakes of other drivers.

                    I happen to live in an area with a huge elderly population due to the climate being favorable to retired persons.  It is very obvious that many of these people should no longer be behind the wheel of anything except perhaps a golf cart.  Yet there is no requirement for testing their driving ability other than their eyesight when they renew their drivers license.  In my mind this is a huge threat to my safety and makes me glad I have seat belts and air bags.  The real cure however would be to get the unfit drivers off the road.

                    The same cost increases apply to other products manufacturer's attempt to make idiot proof for all consumers.  I pay more for my lawn mower that most likely could never harm me personally because of laws to protect idiots from harm.

                    It would appear you are thinking that companies are profiting from complying with all of the insane safeguards the law dictates.  In most cases I doubt this is true.  These added costs are borne by the consumers including those who are smart enough to not need added protection.

                2. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Problem is that they can't live that way without imposing their lifestyle on everyone.  Govt. must protect them from themselves and that means everyone else, too. 

                  For instance, the cost to equip just a few cars with airbags while leaving the rest without is prohibitive.  Nor could we reasonable make child proof aspirin caps an option; there isn't enough shelf space and again the cost goes up.

                  So some things are reasonably within governments duties; the cost vs the benefit is very low.  In others (motorcycle helmets, auto-off mowers) the cost is high with low returns.  The loss of freedom alone isn't worth the return, let alone financial and ease-of-use losses.

                  1. My Esoteric profile image88
                    My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Why would you make tamper resistant-evident aspirin an option and risk a kid getting poisoned?  Why would you make airbags an option and risk another 40,000 dead and injured a year?  In any case, the cost is passed on to the consumer in any case, with a profit to boot.

                    And, in my mind and others who believe society ought to progress and not regress, those to examples epitomize the "provide for the general Welfare" phrase in the Preamble to the Constitution.  We think that phrase is very important while those on the Right apparently do not and wish they had never been written.

                    What it boils down to, I think, is an eternal issue.  The world is made of individuals which form societies.  In those societies individuals attain certain rankings, whether it be income, social status, gender, or any other measure you want to come up with.  Based on the relative importance put on each of those ingredients you end up with Conservatives, Minimal-State Liberals, Active-State Liberals, or Socialists.

                    "Conservatives" - by their own (Burke, Kirk, etc) definition hold a hierarchical society to be the most important, followed by the individual rights of the "upper class".  It is the duty of the upper class to rule over and provide for the lower classes (in the extreme case this is master/slave or Lord/surf relationship).  Private property rights apply only to upper class.

                    "Minimal-State Liberals" - (which I suspect most of you are) are those which hold the individual much more highly than the society in which they live.  So much so, that Social Darwinism prevails and the role of gov't is reduced to protecting society from external threats.  Responsibility toward society rarely extends past one's own immediate family.  Private property rights apply to all.

                    "Active-State Liberals" - (which I am) also hold the individual preeminent but within the context that the individual also has a responsibility toward the society in which they live.  As a result, when there is a general wrong being visited upon members of the society, individuals, in the form of the government they created, have a duty and responsibility, to set things straight.  Private property rights apply to all.

                    "Socialists" - like Conservatives, are society based and that takes precedence over individualism.  Unlike Conservatives, the focus is on removing the economic distinction between classes by raising the lower class and suppressing the upper class.  Private property rights, in the extreme, don't exist (but in reality do exist, but have constraints)

            2. GA Anderson profile image86
              GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              uh oh... of all defensive examples you might have used... you pick protection of private property?

              Yes, it is the laws that our legislatures created that help citizens protect their private party from other non-government entities. But.. oops... look what happens when it is the government that is involved:

              Eminent Domain Abuses

              Do you really want to use private property protection as a rebuttal to the "Government knows what is best for you" nanny state accusations? I wouldn't.

              GA

              1. My Esoteric profile image88
                My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                This would be your local governments and conservative Supreme Courts you are so proud of, I'm not mistaken.  Further, eminent domain is a drop in the private property ocean, so I am not sure what it is indicative of.  Tell me, is there anything that is not abused in some fashion?  So, using your logic, since individuals are full of flaws and abuse things, how can you assume they know best either?

                In any case, how private property is treated is a major difference between political systems.

              2. My Esoteric profile image88
                My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What do you say about a Florida law that makes it illegal to put colored water in a bottled of branded alcohol?  We're not talking about selling it, just doing it.

                1. GA Anderson profile image86
                  GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't know anything about that law, but I do know that judging from these last two responses to my Eminent Domain comment, you appear to have mistaken some of my comments. I am not blindly anti-Fed and pro-State. You are correct, it is the local and state governments that perpetrated those eminent domain abuses.

                  It is too late to weed through past responses to look for the point that gave you an incorrect impression, but I am strongly anti-nanny state on any governing level - from city council to Congress. But I am generally more pro-state's rights than I am pro-Fed control.

                  Hope that helps.

                  GA

                  1. My Esoteric profile image88
                    My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    It is the term "nanny-state" which implies, to me at least, that you are on the fringe of the political Right.  The statement "But I am generally more pro-state's rights than I am pro-Fed control." presents a much more balanced view and one I could ascribe to myself.

                    Where we would differ, I suspect, is that if a State is doing wrong by its citizens, who are also citizens of the nation, the federal gov't has a responsibility to right that wrong, assuming it is major enough.  It is on that point where I think we disagree. 

                    The best example I can give which comes immediately to mind is education.  Many states, mainly in the South but not limited to there, provided adequate education to the majority of its children.  I see no problem with the federal gov't setting "minimum" educational standards, based on national security interests (I have a series of hubs that go into that aspect) which all states have to meet.  If a state wants to exceed them, that would be wonderful but in the meantime, as the entity responsible for the nation as a whole, the fed as the duty to ensure certain minimum standards are met for the good of the whole nation.

                    Now, should these minimum standards be set without the involvement of the States, of course not (by the way, I am not talking curricula at the moment, just subject areas and broad course content), States should be intimately involved as should educational professionals.

                    When the writers of the Constitution were arguing over the framework, it was just such an argument that took place, regarding state-fed relations.  It boiled down to the fed does what the state cannot (and I suppose, should not).  So, back to education.  A state is quite capable of administering education (unless of course they let religion, local politics, racial bias, etc interfere), but it is not capable of setting standards that benefit the entire nation, of which they are a part.

    2. My Esoteric profile image88
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      @Knight Rider.  Unless I have a gross misunderstanding on how the American Constitution works, it is We The People who protect us from the great bogeyman in the sky whom We The People voted into office.  Are you talking about America or some other country who doesn't have the ability to peacefully change its government?

  5. mishpat profile image61
    mishpatposted 2 years ago

    Bought some underclothes for the grandkids recently.  Washing instructions: the standard stuff with an addition - remove child before washing.  Hmm, why didn't I think of that.  Kids will be home from the hospital shortly.

    1. My Esoteric profile image88
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      LOL

 
working