The debate as to whether so-called “nanny state” laws lead down a slippery slope is an empirical question that will be answered; either the paternalistic laws will continue to encroach on personal freedom, or they will reach an equilibrium. Let me file this under evidence that the slippery slope is real:

Smoking is already illegal inside the state’s bars and restaurants, and now Kane County will research the legality of implementing an outdoor smoking ban as well.

Note that this is not smoking in public places outdoors, but smoking on private property outdoors.

I think it would be useful to for critics of the slippery slope theory of paternalism to demarcate now what future policies would constitute evidence that they are wrong, because my guess is the point of demarcation will move right along down the slope with policy. Several years ago many of todays critics of slippery slope theory would have said that an attempt to regulate salt would constitute evidence. But now, farther down the slope, salt regulation is just sensible policy.

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