You can ask your average person: Do you wish people would exercise more? Take more of an interest in their health? Stop eating too much? Stop smoking? Stop drinking so much? Stop gambling away their kids' college funds?
Of course the answer is "yes" to all of these (for most respondents).
But again that's just the sales pitch, not the actual offer.
Give them the actual offer and most will say No. Because the actual offer is:
Do you wish to empower a cadre of busybody bureaucrats, who frankly are largely mediocrities at best, but believe themselves to be chosen for greatness, to boss you around your whole life, in order to make sure some other people aren't eating french fries and having a cigarette?
The real answer is "NO!," because the real answer is, "Look, sure I want other people to live better lives, but frankly, I don't care very much about that and I'm sure not paying for my own personal censor to scold me for making "bad" choices."
See, that's the cost. And if you ignore the cost, you're not talking about business, or sales, or politics, or anything.
You're just talking about fantasy wish-lists with no connection to any physical reality.
For many the role of government is not common defense, civil law enforcement, or any of the other fundamental roles. No government is a tool to make people better:
From the Prohibition and eugenics movements of the early twentieth century to various improvement and uplift projects in our own day, well educated people have seen it as their simple duty to use the powers of government to make the people do what is right: to express the correct racial ideas, to eschew bad child rearing technique like corporal punishment, to eat nutritionally appropriate foods, to quit smoking, to use the right light bulbs and so on and so on.
Progressives want and need to believe that the voters are tuning them out because they aren’t progressive enough. But it’s impossible to grasp the crisis of the progressive enterprise unless one grasps the degree to which voters resent the condescension and arrogance of know-it-all progressive intellectuals and administrators.
Consider the recent freakout by the Media and the left over the Debt Ceiling.
Why all the accusations of Jihad (funny how now that's a dirty word), despotism, terrorism?
And a reminder all this freakout is over the mere fact that there was a "conversation" about Spending and Taxation. There won't be any real cuts in spending; the debt limit was raised high enough that it should last past the 2012 election; there might be new taxes. All that and the Left treats it as a huge capitulation and sign of a rampaging Tea Party.
High expectations much?
The only thing the Tea Party got that it wanted was no imediate taxation spike and the status quo on spending engourgment. Uh... yay?
If merely questioning the idea of endless debt and a vast permanent welfare state gives this much anger, what will happen when the wheels really start to come off?