Also, these issues are not confined to US. Other democratically ran countries such as UK and France have also suffered similar declines in the trends of behavior and consumption, suggesting that the issue lies amongst citizens who are afforded specific freedoms and liberties rather than specific government policies. However, still the emphasis is placed upon governments, law enforcement bodies and corporate entities to conceive and implement problem solutions without tackling the individual responsibility of offenders.
If we focus on obesity, UK last week suggested the inception of a tax payable by takeaways and fast food outlets which would be incured everytime they opened a store. With a figure suggested at approximatey £1000 )which equates to around $1650) per outlet, the aim is to either force them to raise prices or change their menus to avoid the tax entirely. A great intention sure, but one which penalizes businesses who are simply meeting a demand and following the democratic principle of free and unrestricted trade.
The same principle can be applied to crime and criminal conduct. While governments are perpetually coerced into amending laws and legislation to tackle crime and criminals after the event, very little is done in terms of challenging social conditions and environmental factors that trigger these activities. Similarly, penal instiutions that concentrate solely on rehabilitation and allow freedoms to convicts that need to be paid for in a law abiding society (such as gym access), are failing to punish criminals for their deeds and make them address their actions and accept a personal liability.
And here is the significant point on such prevalent social issues. Creating laws, implimenting taxes and modifying legislation does little to change the way in which people think and act. These are concepts which are nurtured by experience, environment and the examples set by elders, and it is by examining these and reacting to findings that a government can truely challenge behavioral trends of consumption, spending and violent behavior. Without it, they are simply changing the immediate landscape and forcing individuals to adapt their principles to suit.
It must be remembered that while democracy is the only fair minded way to govern a nation, its principles come with great responsibility and awareness. By encouraging freedom of thought and speech they are trusting their citizens to treat these wisely and with respect. When these are abused or disregarded to pursue overeating or violent pursuits, then the government must retain the right to step in and challenge these actions and thought processes through discussion and learning. While they must protect their citizens, they must not forget the welfare of a nations values.