Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Response to Governor Walker on the Issue of the Statewide Smoking Ban

A few weeks ago I asked Governor Walker if he felt
 it was the job of the government to regulate private business with smoking bans. Here is his response:

First, let me just say that I admire what Walker has done for the state of Wisconsin in taking on Democrats and National Unions. He has shown leadership despite the criticism and chaos at the capitol in Madison. While I agree with the Governor on 99% of the issues, this is one where I vehimenty disagree.

In May of 2009 former WI Governor Jim Doyle signed into law a a statewide smoking ban that included all restaurants and taverns and took effect July 05 2010. One can argue that the effects have or haven't hurt small business. I argue that it has because people I know (including myself) choose to stay out of bars especially in winter because of this smoking ban and that has in fact hurt bar owners. However, that's not my issue. My issue is why the government thinks it can regulate if a private business owner to not allow smoking in their own establishment; the same establishment the state makes plenty of money from in taxes.

I realize this is an issue many will disagree with me on because you may hate the smell of smoke or you actually believe the studies (which have been proven wrong) that scared you into thinking you're gonna die from the person sitting on the into next bar stool chain smoking. Well guess what? It's your choice to go to an establishment which allows smoking the same way it is my choice to not go into a place that doesn't allow it. If a family restaurant that has a smoking section starts to notice that families aren't bringing their children there to eat, the owner has the choice to eliminate the smoking section if they want to see children back in the restaurant. I have a friend who owned a great non smoking martini bar. His business was successful because he catered to the many non smokers we have in town.

It's the freedom to choose. That's what's great about the free market system. Let the people decide what they want. Governor Walker says he doesn't agree with the philosophy of the government telling a small business how to run itself, but in the next breath says that the ban has worked. I will again argue that it hasn't. There is still smoking going in bars, except that now it's illegal.

Governor Walker can prove to the citizens of Wisconsin that he truly does believe in smaller government and in the philosophy of the free market by repealing this state wide smoking ban and leaving it up to the individual tavern or restaurant owner to choose.


  1. I agree with your take on this subject. These continual encroachments on how we live our lives and how we do our business is just another burden or "tax".

  2. Good point that most people won't touch because it's politically incorrect. We can't pick and choose when to fight for the free market based on our personal likes and dislikes. Smoking is unpopular so it takes the hit. As you stated, the owners should have that choice. If the public doesn't want it, any business owner would go non-smoking for obvious business reasons.