Sunday, February 01, 2009

Great letter in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Let the people choose

Regarding "Smoking ban issue resurfaces in St. Louis County" (Jan. 26): Can't the elected officials just let the people decide anything? Do they always assume we all are incapable of making decisions in our own best interests? Too many people insist on imposing their will on others instead of letting citizens, consumers and the markets shape our world naturally, as they should.

It's amazing how many people do not understand supply and demand. When the demand for smoke-free bars outweighs the supply, new bars will meet the under-served need if existing bars don't adapt. Forcing established bars and restaurants to change is unnatural and against free-market economics. Truly letting the citizens decide would mean leaving the issue alone and allowing the market to evolve. Dining and drinking out are "wants," not "needs," and their success or failure is tied to what the consumers want. Just let the people choose.

Nick Prosperi St. Louis County