There is a reason why dictators and tyrants stay in power — and it is not just sheer power, nor is it straightforward cowardice. Sheer stupidity is why they retain power.

Here is a wonderful example that is so common to the hospitality industry it is not even funny anymore.

Like all smoking bans, the Ohio ban hurts business, for smokers don’t go where their right to smoke is denied. In order to survive, many local businesses are breaking the law by still respecting their customers’ right to smoke. Furthermore, the violations are so numerous that there isn’t enough money for enforcement and repression. That is the good news.

The bad news is what a tavern owner says: "Rick Sizemore told the Butler County Board of Health that lax enforcement of Ohio’s smoking ban is giving his law-breaking competition an unfair advantage. Sizemore, owner of Rick’s Tavern & Grille in Fairfield, said Thursday he’s complying with the smoking law. He even built a $20,000 smoking area outside. But business in May was down $32,000 from the year before … ‘I’ll be damned if I let a state law that’s not being enforced ruin my business.’"

There are times when playing the "law abiding citizen" only means helping the oppression, and asking for more. So, instead of fighting a law based on discrimination and fraud (or defying it with disobedience, as he should do), Mister Sizemore wants equality under oppression — the cry of the coward and the fool. The only thing he will achieve is, of course, the shifting of more public funds from useful purposes to repressive efforts. But he will never understand that his business will not recover because — once again — smokers will not bring their money where their rights are not respected.

In spite of his name, Mister Sizemore will not add any more size to his business, because all businesses will go down the toilet, happily all together.

Misery loves company. And so does stupidity.



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