First They Came For The Drinkers

Yes, I modified the famous quote, but for a reason. David Seigel, the president and CEO of Westgate Resorts in central Florida, is coming for the smokers now.

Westgate Resorts, the largest private employer in Central Florida, has banned smoking and won’t budge from a policy of not hiring smokers and firing employees who do smoke.

“When I found out it was legal to discriminate against smokers, I put the policy in place,” Westgate president and CEO David Seigel said.

I don’t smoke, but it’s not exactly like I don’t have a dog in this race. Just how long will it be before this CEO (or some other one) decides to “cut health care costs for his employees” by using BMI as a qualification in his hiring process? Is 27.2 too high a BMI to be hired? Is 30.0 high enough to be fired? Is eating a Big Mac a firing offense, or just worthy of a warning?

I realize that I just made a slippery-slope argument, and those are notorious (and disparaged) for being simple-minded. Here’s the other side:
I recall my (now) oldest uncle not too many years ago describing his father, my grandfather, as ancient (his word) at the age of 60. That uncle his now 86, and his oldest sister is now 90. My dad is the baby in the family at 77, and he does stepper-aerobics daily (drives my 76 year old mom nutz, too). Non-smokers, light-drinkers all.

Clearly, our health-conciousness cum-health-obsessed attitude, which is spanning generations now, is making a noticeable difference in life expectancies. God may have other plans, but I fully expect to live to see 80 and hope to see 90, the kind of expectation that would have been foolish only a generation ago. It’s not so unreasonable now. I would not be surprised if my 1 year old granddaughter lives to be 120, and no matter how you cut it, this is not a bad thing.

The question remains: Has it been worth the cost, especially if part of the cost is a mind-set that makes us sterilize our environment and wrap our children in hard-shell armor? Will it still be worth it when we are forced by law to do that? I mean, Mr. Seigel is only encouraging us, not *forcing* us, right?

Explore posts in the same categories: Catholism, Personal, post-modernism

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