Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Whatever Happened to That Right to Privacy?

In discussing economic trends likely to endure once the current unsettled economy reaches a state of stability, Irwin Seltzer suggests the following:

Adding to that pressure will be the increase in longevity, in turn a result of a new emphasis on what is called "wellness." There can be no denying the propensity of the smoking and food police to extend their reach. That process will accelerate when a Democratic-controlled White House and congress--almost a certainty--make government an increasingly important player in health care markets. When an obese person has to pay for his own gluttony, there is little moral case for denying him the sustenance he feels he needs. When the cost of his care is borne by taxpayers--which would be the case under most of the Democratic plans--society has a good case for developing programs that will induce him to replace his burgers with salads. So look for a long-term trend toward less satisfying, healthier eating, the sale of more gym equipment, and good years for sneaker manufacturers.

Indeed, numerous companies are gearing up to ratchet up their wellness programs, and this will be an increased emphasis on the part of both government and large employers. Many Americans will be taken by surprise at the extent to which such programs intrude into what they once regarded as personal issues.

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