Banzhaf discovers free enterprise

“Nobody has the right to any particular job. Under our free enterprise system, employers — rather than bureaucrats — determine the conditions of employment, and employees who want a job must accept the conditions.

The only major exception is that basing decisions on factors like race, national origin, gender, disability, etc. are prohibited since these are fixed conditions and don’t adversely affect the employer. Smoking is an activity rather than an immutable condition, and each smoking worker seriously affects the employer’s bottom line.”

That’s John Banzhaf, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), explaining why employers ought to have the right to fire smokers. Banzhaf, of course, has been a leading proponent of forbidding restaurant and bar owners from setting their own in-house smoking policies. I’m sure the inconsistency is lost on him.

[Hat tip: Michael Siegel.]

Smoking ban unfair, insulting
The magic of politics


3 thoughts on “Banzhaf discovers free enterprise”

  1. Of course, from his point of view, it’s not inconsistency. To him, the issue is all about stopping smoking. You aren’t opposing smoking bans on the grounds of supporting smoking, but on the grounds of free enterprise. Thus, it’s not surprising that different sides would talk past each other and appear inconsistent to each other. Reminds me of the abortion debate….

    Except for the last sentence in the Banzhaf quote, what he says honestly just sounds like an objective description of the law. There’s no way anyone describing the current state of employment law could disagree with anything he says. Of course, he’s probably not saying it as objective description, but rather praising it because he thinks it leads to less smoking.

  2. It doesn’t just appear inconsistent. He directly undercuts his own case for smoking bans. He’s consistently anti-smoking, sure, but his arguments are contradictory.

  3. An alternative to smoke free venues

    There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels
    of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and
    filtration systems kills or harms anyone.

    As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers
    can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern
    ventilation technology.

    Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not
    just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious
    contaminants that are independent from smoking.

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