Reader Question: Seatbelts, Part II?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

David asks: Can you do a part two on your piece about seta belts? It should explain how the parasitical industry, also know as “insurance companies” fit into this picture. Also, many years ago, as a front seat passenger in a vehicle, not wearing a seat belt in a (side) collision, saved my life.

My reply: Insurance and seat belts, like electric cars, aren’t necessarily evil or even a bad things – as such. The problem isn’t with them – it’s with forcing them down people’s throats (or forcing people to pay for them).

I always refer to the car insurance industry as a mafia for just this reason. It’s not an insult; it’s a statement of fact.

What do mafias do? They “shake down” people – force them to hand over money for protection, “or else.”

Is this not the literal operating definition of mandatory car insurance?

The forced seatbelt thing is dangerous – and not just to our physical sssssaaaaafety in a car (wearing one can harm you or get you killed – an indisputable fact). The principle used to justify the forcing of seatbelt wearing can just as easily be applied to not allowing people to drive at all.

It’s merely a matter of degree – and whim.

If the government has the rightful authority to force us to wear seatbelts for our own good – even if it is good (for the sake of discussion)  then the government has the rightful authority to force us to maintain a healthy bodyweight, to exercise, to not engage in any activity it considers “risky” or “unsafe” – in other words, to control us as utterly as the parent of a five-year-old controls their child.

This is why it is so important to harangue the principle at issue and not be distracted by the argument over whether buckling up “saves lives.”

Even if they did – 100 percent of the time – it’s still an outrageous, dangerous effrontery to threaten a free man with violence for not doing something the government – just other people, remember – says is “good for him.”

If these other people can do this, legally – then that man is not a free man.

He is the property of those other people who constitute the government.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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1 COMMENT

  1. When I was run over from behind I had just gotten into the cab after doing a walk-around. I had just reached over and got my lemon water and sat back when I was hit. Getting thrown into the windshield was no big thing. I am strong and caught myself but that cab knocked fire out of the back of my head even though I wasn’t sitting back in the seat. If I’d been strapped in, it would have been worse.

    Then there’s the thing with seatbelts and truckers. They just don’t go together. Sometimes you need to lean way out to see in a mirror and the damned seat belts stops you increasing the chances you’ll have an accident. I often shed the belt before I turn, especially into a site to load or unload.

    Do you really want a seat belt on when you have to back and squirm your way into a U of 12″ gas line with 1500 lbs of pressure? It’s at that moment you wish you had a cam on the back of the trailer and they’re becoming more common all the time. I learned long ago to get out and assess the situation. The life you save my be your own….and many others.

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