A week or so ago I ran into a woman named Ann, who I met back in 1995 when we both worked on the political committee responsible for passing Boulder's smoke-free restaurant law. We laughed about the dire predictions made by our opponents at the time, mostly the closing of all bars and restaurants in Boulder and the destruction of the sales tax base. Pretty laughable, particularly since, within months of the law's passage, investors started million dollar remodels of 2 downtown bars. In fact, Boulder restaurants found they could comfortably invest in making their places nicer, knowing that smokers wouldn't yellow the interior.
It got me to thinking about other dire predictions that never came true. Of course there is the original dismal scientist, Malthus, who predicted mass starvation as the population outgrew the world's food supply (he may be right some day, but probably not in this century). Then there were the conservatives who, back during the depression, were sure that Roosevelt's New Deal would lead to communism and economic destruction.....much like the Glenn Beck crowd proclaims today (I guess if you are a Beck follower you would say this has all happened already, but you would be nuts!). Sounds alot like the health care debate today.
I also seem to remember that it was certain that measures to clean up the environment would also destroy the economy. Didn't happen! Remember that one as the world debates what to do about global warming (which, contrary to the lies on Fox News, is not in doubt to half the scientist who study it, but only a few).
Since we crazy Boulder nutjobs passed our radical smoking law back in 1995, 21 states have now passed similar legislation. Oh, and the horrible results? Well, read this story from today's Denver Post to see what has happened regarding heart disease.