Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Do it for the children...

This story points to one of the most important issues of the day - smoking in films. Any smoking should lead to an 'R' rating, suggests Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran. The reason? A (proverbial) study (source unnamed) that claimed to find that kids are more likely to smoke when they see smoking in movies. Therefore, ban smoking and kids won't be tempted?

I suppose that those who commit murder with a firearm also had seen a movie in the past in which a gun was used to kill someone. Also, those who get caught speeding probably saw a movie in which a car was driven fast. The list of correlations could go on indefinitely, with equally ridiculous results. All movies need to be rated 'R' to keep the virgin eyes of kids from being soiled by Hollywood's filth. Think of all the revisionist film-editing that will have to be done - James Dean in 'Rebel Without a Cause' or Bogart in 'Casablanca' and every war movie ever made.

This is a result of our affluence. This issue is an example of the margins on which national policy is now determined. For all who insist that the country is going in the wrong direction, etc., stories such as this should be reassuring. Relax, don't worry, things are just fine - the big stuff has been taken care of and now we can worry about protecting the children from every possible negative influence.

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