Minnesota: The State Where Government Protects You from Bad Decisions… Even if Its Not Sure if Your Decisions are Bad

You have to love the legislators here in Minnesota. Even though the transportation infrastructure is in a severe state of disrepair, the electronic pull tabs that were supposed to fund the tax victim’s part of the new Vikings stadium didn’t, and local legislative campaigns are going way up in costs our legislators manage to find the time to deal with the really important issues.

On the table today is the issue of teens using tanning booths. Minnesota’s dear leaders are looking to pass a bill that would make it illegal for people under 18 to use tanning beds:

At a time when melanoma cases are rising sharply in Minnesota, lawmakers appear poised to pass legislation that would ban anyone under 18 from using tanning equipment.

The rate of melanoma cases is increasing and it is due to teens are making more frequent uses of tanning beds. I know this because the government wouldn’t be so stupid as to jump to such a major conclusion without acquiring such facts. Legislators would never introduce such a prohibition based on speculation.

To substantiate whether tanning beds might be behind the increase in melanoma cases, the health department added some tanning questions to the Minnesota Student Survey conducted last year.

The survey showed that one in three 11th grade girls reported that they tanned indoors in the last year. Among those tanning bed users, Korn said more than half reporting tanning indoors more than 10 times that year.

Or they could be doing exactly that. A single survey given to teens about tanning, which has no historical data to go on, is the justification being used to prohibit teens from using tanning beds. Does the increasing rate of melanoma cases correlate to an increase rate of teens using tanning beds? Who fucking knows. That’s not what is important. What is important is that there is an increased rate in melanoma cases and that means we have to do something!

People sometimes ask me, “Chris, how can you be an anarchist?” So here it is, Christopher Burg’s three step program to becoming an anarchist:

  1. Identify the actions of the people tasked with running you life.
  2. Determine whether or not those actions make sense for your life.
  3. If they don’t then logic would dictate that those people shouldn’t be running your life.

Let’s apply this three step program to the melanoma problem:

  1. The Minnesota legislature, in an attempt to address the increased rate of melanoma, is planning to prohibit teenagers from using tanning beds.
  2. No evidence exists trying an increased use of tanning beds with the increased rate of melanoma.
  3. Since there is a lack of evidence showing an increased rate of tanning bed use by teenagers exists the solution of prohibiting teenagers from using tanning beds cannot be said to address the problem.

If you can understand the three step process above then you can apply it to other laws that have been or are being passed by legislators. You will likely find that almost all of the laws being passed don’t make sense for your life and therefore the people passing those laws shouldn’t be running your life. After that you can freely consider yourself an anarchist.