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Bloomberg Strikes Again, Bans Large Soft Drinks

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 31, 2012

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proven again deserving of the title “Nanny Bloomberg”.  It was reported by the New York Times that the mayor is implementing a law next March to ban the sale of certain drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.  The ban would include soft drinks sold throughout the city in restaurants, movie theaters, by street vendors, etc. Excluded are vitamin water, fruit juices, diet sodas or dairy-based drinks like milkshakes.  Hmmmmm ….. Has the good mayor checked the calorie count of fruit juices or milkshakes recently?

In announcing the plan, Mayor Bloomberg said:  “Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible’.  New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.  I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s intrusion into the rights of citizens is one scary proposition.  Merely because Bloomberg “think that’s what the public wants” does not give him the right or authority to limit individual liberties.  This is a slippery slope.

America does indeed have an obesity problem.  However, this problem is the result of individuals not taking responsibility for their long term health and well-being.  It is also partly the result of previous government interventions that include subsidizing certain agricultural products.

The government has proven that it cannot legislate morality or personal behavior.  However, even if it could, the potential for abuse by those in power far outweigh any benefit.

Since the implementation of Pres. Johnson’s Great Society, the nanny state has grown out-of-control.  It is time for an open discussion on the costs/benefits to society these programs and interventions.  A few simple questions can start the discussion.  Has poverty decreased in the United States?  Has education improved?  Has healthcare improved?  Given that the answers are obvious, it is also time to put a halt to further nanny state intrusions including Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on the soft drink industry.

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