A New Jersey woman who weighs 700 pounds is hard at work on her weight — trying to gain weight, not lose it. Donna Simpson wants to get into the Guinness World Records as the “World’s Most Obese Woman.”  In the meantime, she’s making money with a website catering to men with a fetish for fat women. As sick and unhealthy as this is, does she have the right to do it?

One of the side effects of the state paying for more and more of our health-related expenses is that state bureaucrats and politicians are claiming the right to make the decisions that affect what taking care of us will cost.

In a number of cities, governments are trying various methods to stop people from eating fast food, such as banning the construction of new fast food locations and controlling what can be in the food sold. In the same way, we’re hearing more about the possibility of making it increasingly harder to buy cigarettes because of the eventual cost of paying for smoking-related diseases. (As a non-smoker who detests smoking, I’d like everybody to quit, but it’s not my decision for others.) Iceland is currently considering making it illegal to sell cigarettes to someone who doesn’t have a prescription to buy them.

There’s always a connection between control and receiving a benefit. When you take a benefit of any kind, you are giving up some control to the person you receive from. That goes double when the benefit comes from states. When you take things from a state, you become dependent. Many times, there’s no overt control in the beginning, but once the dependence is established, restrictions start.

If you support school vouchers — which seems so reasonable in theory — instead of dismantling the state school system, you are supporting something the will eventually put you into the position of having to satisfy state requirements to qualify. If you support state-paid health care — which can seem so compassionate to some people — you are supporting something that will give the state the power to dictate anything that relates to the state of your health. Whenever you accept benefits, you are giving the state control over increasing parts of your life — voluntarily.

I think Donna Simpson is a sicko. She’s physically killing herself and she’s psychologically unbalanced, it seems. I think the men (and maybe women, for all I know) who are her paying customers to watch her flaunt her fat are sickos, by my standards. But as long as they’re not harming people other than themselves, we don’t have the right to control them. Neither does any state.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. The real political divide in the United States today isn’t between Republicans and Democrats. They certainly fight each other and hate one another, but they basically agree on things. They agree that the state has the right to control you. It’s just a question of which things to control and who gets the power and money from the political control. No, the real political divide is between all of those mainstream statist types on the one hand and those few of us on the other hand who recognize that people have the right to make their own decisions, even if they’re wrong, in our view.

Donna Simpson is probably crazy, but it’s not up to me to tell the crazy woman she has to become my version of sane.