I’ve visited this area of thought before, but it bears frequent discussion: Corporate — and corporate shill — calls for “personal responsibility” are nothing less than gross insults against reasonable people.
It’s not because personal responsibility shouldn’t be a standard for conduct in America. It’s because these people who bang the drum for it most loudly don’t believe in it for themselves. How else to explain that at least a couple dozen states (sorry, I couldn’t find a reliable number) have passed laws removing the liability of food companies for what their products do to their consumers?
They would say that those laws are also statements for personal responsibility — people are solely responsible for what they put in their mouths, they say.
But these laws also say, “hey, don’t blame us.” How does that square with “personal responsibility?”
These companies rely on greater sales for their profits. Through product formulation and incessant promotions, they are doing their best to influence us, but in state after state, they expended some of their considerable political clout to win laws that ensure they will never be called to account for their actions.
Yes, I am responsible for what I put in my mouth. But to say that that is the end of the equation of responsibility is contemptible.
There’s another angle to the ugliness of Big Food’s insistence on the standard of personal responsibility, but I’ll come back to that next time.