Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All Hail the Free Market

In perusing the internet, I came across an article about a restaurant in Pittsburgh that's instituted a ban on children under the age of 6 and another article discussing pediatricians turning away parents who refuse to immunize their children.  I'll put up the caveat that I do not have children, so take this as you like:  Good for them!

I'd gladly patronize a restaurant that kiboshes the presence of wee beasties* if I'm in need of a nice, quiet evening out. And, barring any egregiously unsettling revelations regarding vaccinations in the next 3-5 years, I'd feel comfortable using a pediatrician that required child immunizations.

  I'm sure there are folks that vehemently disagree with both establishments and their respective restrictions and they're free to choose a different source of food service and medical care.  That's the beauty of the free market - you don't have to agree with an establishment and you don't have to patronize them.  There are other restaurant and other physicians who will take your money and align with your personal views.  There are some cries about discrimination regarding the restaurant - give me a break - if the ACLU can't find a basis for discrimination when there are children involved, it's a lost cause.  I'd actually like to see something similar done with smoking in restaurants - make it the customer's choice.  I don't smoke and I don't like to eat in a smokey atmosphere so I'd simply pass on the smoking restaurant.  The restaurant's going to have to take that chance, the government shouldn't be telling them they can't take the risk.**

With the pediatrician, it's a little more touchy considering our misguided health insurance system.  However, the offices mentioned in the article do refer non-compliant patients to other physicians who will comply with their wishes.  In this circumstance, the pediatricians have to look out for their clients as a whole and should have the right to do so.  Just as the parents have to decide what's best for their child and be allowed to go elsewhere.

Overall, I'm glad to see businesses going against the conventional, "the customer's always right" attitude and sticking to their personal convictions.

*Actually, I do like children  - but occasionally, 'wee beasties' is a far more appropriate term for them.
** Don't even get me started on "but they waitstaff don't have a choice & you're killing them with 2nd hand smoke!!"  They know the risks just as much as anyone else who's not been living under a rock for the last 20 years.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Way back in the day, sick children were kept out of school by their parents, or were placed under Quarantine by the local Health Dept if it was really bad.

But hey, look at the recent Swine Flu Debacle. Billions spent every year to tells us to "Sneeze in our Elbow?" How about some cures, so the Doctor's Office(which I just left this morning) won't be considered a "Death Zone?"

Chris said...

I agree with both. Freedom of association is an important but mostly ignored, if not downright denigrated, part of a free and congenial society. My daughter is now 21, so we soldom need to worry about her making too much noise in a restaurant, but even when she was a toddler, we never had a problem with her in public. (Really, never. As in, not even once. Nature, nurture, and a lot of luck would be my guess.) But if a restaurant had had such a policy, it wouldn't have been a big deal - just go somewhere else!

The doctor thing bothers me even more. Why should parents who are conscientious about taking advantage of modern medicine have to subject their children and themselves to the risk of catching something from those who are not so thoughtful?