I’ll bet you didn’t peg New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a comedian. That is, unless you find the nanny state slash schoolmarm act amusing. Yet you just might fall out of your chair watching Bloomberg’s pouty remarks as his ban on the sale of large sugary drinks was shot down in court yesterday.
Due to take effect today, the ban would have used a byzantine labyrinth of code to put the kabosh on sugary drinks like colas, coffees, smoothies, and even bar drinks. New Yorkers would no longer be able to purchase drinks over 16 ounces at any restaurant, deli, sports venue, cinema, or convenience store where prepared food was served.
However, a state court tossed the ban on Monday, calling it “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.” Bloomberg took to the podium to whine about how evil special interests are getting in the way of his nanny state.
In his press conference, the Nanny in Chief shot down a reported who asked what this rejection did to his political capital. Bloomberg barked that it was his job as supreme leader of the city, to protect the reporter from obesity – and himself – and that’s why the ban should stand. You would think they were piling the bodies of soda drinkers up by the hundreds outside City Hall the way he described it. If it weren’t for him stepping in, New Yorkers wouldn’t know how to prevent obesity.
Those of Bloomberg’s ilk will assure you they know much more about this than you do. You are just a peon. On one of the news shows covering this issue, an ever-so-erudite “anti-obesity advocate” trotted out all the advanced behavior studies that show why this law is so needed to save us from ourselves. She even called her co-guest fat. I don’t doubt that there are studies that show that we’ll eat more candy if it’s dropped on our desks than buried in our backyards. But as usual, the academic elites that believe they are so much more intelligent than the rest of us completely skip over the freedom humans deserve to make their own choices.
What’s most frightening about the movement supporting Bloomberg’s latest royal edict is how their nannydom has come full circle. The same anti-obestity advocate who called the other guest a fatso tried to pitch her position as fiscally conservative. After all, since we all pay the costs of public health, we ought to restrict peoples’ choices to save valuable tax dollars. (Apparently they don’t realize they’ve already done this with tobacco taxes – and mostly wasted them)
Of course, these are the same people who told us we need a public health system in the first place. They create a big government health system that flies in the face of real freedom, then complain that their system doesn’t work unless they take away more freedoms. It never ends.
Lost in this whole process are the business owners who have paid to re-print their menus, buy new inventory, and toss out too-large bottles of soda in response to the ban. One pizzeria owner estimated she lost $1,000 on two-liter bottles she anticipated not being able to sell. Countless others have spent much-needed funds doing busy work in preparation for the ban that almost was – and may still be. How much more do you need to know to be convinced that the freedom-hating nanny state doesn’t just hate big business, but all business? The mom-and-pop deli that wastes time and spends money to comply with big government edicts isn’t helping to drive economic growth.
But freedom and prosperity is never what the Michael Bloombergs of the world wanted.