The welfare state has long been one of the most potent arguments for additional restrictions on our freedom. For instance, you must wear a motorcycle helmet because if you splatter yourself all over the highway the rest of us will be paying your medical expenses.
One of the factors considered by New Zealand in ruling on applications from would-be immigrants is health. If you are fat — and thus at risk for various health conditions — forget it!
Reports the Daily Telegraph:
The 51-year-old, who has not been named, argued that her 52 inch waistline was no obstacle to her work as a nurse, which involved 60-hour weeks.
She was offered a job in a home and hospital for the elderly in a provincial town in New Zealand, documents from the country's Residence Review Board said, and applied for residence in March 2008. But officials rejected the argument that 10 years' experience as a nurse meant she should be allowed to live there — even though there is a shortage of qualified nurses.
The woman decided to move to New Zealand after a holiday in 2007 and wanted to set up home there with her husband, a crane driver, and her daughter who planned to work in a shop.
But medical advisors calculated that with a weight of 21 stone and height of 5ft 1in, her body mass index (BMI) was 55.2, putting her at a high risk of developing health problems.
This isn't the first time New Zealand has turned down an applicant for health reasons. Adds the Telegraph:
In 2007, a British man who moved to New Zealand was told his wife was too overweight to join him.
Taking care of the taxpayers makes sense. But the right way to do so is not to put them at risk in the first place. Socializing health care and then allowing government to micromanage everyone's lifestyle creates a form of soft tyranny through the back-door. We already see that in America with motorcycle helmet laws, increasing restrictions on smoking, and proposals for special "fat taxes" on disfavored foods. Unfortunately, these likely are only the beginning.