Free Markets, Free People

Nanny state update

It’s a bit of a mixed picture with both state and federal nannies doing their best to get the proles under control.  The base premise, of course, is only government can save you from yourself since you’re too freakin’ dumb to handle it yourself.  And since you’ve been so kind as to put these people in power they find it only fair that they exercise the power they’ve accumulated to ensure you live the life they deem best.

First a local example from NYC:

The New York City Board of Health showed support for limiting sizes of sugary drinks at a Tuesday meeting in Queens.  They agreed to start the process to formalize the large-drink ban by agreeing to start a six-week public comment period.

At the meeting, some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods.

One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.

"The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda," Vladeck said.

Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.

"There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories," said board member Dr. Joel Forman.

Ye gods.  When government is given the okay to manage your health care, this is what you can expect to happen.  Update on the drink ban – refills, according to Bloomberg, will be “ok”.  Yeah, so what’s the purpose of the drink ban? 

Moving on to a federal example of drink ban stupidity:

The vending machines are unplugged at a Utah high school after a violation of federal lunch rules. Davis High School was fined $15-thousand dollars for selling carbonated beverages during the lunch hour.

Vending machines in the hallways at Davis High School normally sell carbonated beverages and candy, but to receive federal nutrition funding, they can’t sell it during lunch. Students say it doesn’t make sense.

"Everyone goes out to lunch anyways and drinks them so it’s pretty dumb."

District officials say the policy can be confusing too. Chris Williams, the Davis School District Spokesperson, says there are definite rules about how, and when carbonated beverages can be sold. “It is challenging when you can buy a Coke before lunch, and consume it during lunch, but you can’t buy a coke during lunch."

It’s not just soda sales that are a problem; candy can be too, depending on what kind it is. Davis High School’s Principal, Dee Burton, says Snicker Bars are considered nutritional and legal, but other candy is not. "We are not allowed to sell anything that is carbonated or any candy that sticks to your teeth”

“Snickers” is considered “nutritional?”  And you can buy carbonated drinks before and after lunch but not during?  Oh, and the $15,000 fine?  Any guess where that comes from?  Yeah, Mr.Taxpayer – you.

Finally, the FDC is going after cigars:

Though the agency has yet to lay out its new regulations in detail, industry insiders speculate that it could ban flavored cigars, require ugly warning labels or graphic pictures on cigar boxes, bar customers from entering store humidors, or require that cigars be kept out of the reach of potential buyers, who typically handle and examine them before choosing which ones to buy.

“Banning that experience would be crippling,” says Gary Pesh, the owner of Old Virginia Tobacco in Richmond, Virginia, and executive officer of Cigar Rights of America. “Making a customer pick their brand of cigars from a black-and-white catalog — that destroys the way we’ve done business.”

Pesh says some speculate that the FDA would also bar shops from letting their products be visible to anyone outside the store.“That means I’d have to put blacked-out windows on my storefront,” he explains. “Like a porn shop or something.”

Well let’s be honest, among the zealots it is akin to a porn shop.  Well, with one exception – they’d likely support the right of a porn shop to exist with much less regulation.

Real effect:  if (and they say a number of times that they’re speculating) these sorts of regulations are indeed passed, then they will negatively impact jobs at a time that this economy can’t afford to lose more:

New FDA regulations could result in the immediate closing of many cigar shops, most of which employ only three to five people and operate with slim profit margins. About 85,000 people work in the premium-cigar industry — jobs that would be in jeopardy if the FDA’s regulatory power grab succeeds.

“To jeopardize 85,000 jobs in today’s economic times is absolutely unconscionable,” says Bill Spann, CEO of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.

Pesh thinks small shops could also be hurt by user fees the FDA can charge to the businesses it regulates. “I’d have to pay to put me out of business,” he explains.

But that’s not the real problem.  We’re talking about a voluntary transaction between consenting adults.  Why is government involved in any other way but to prevent the use of force or fraud?

Freedom?  Forget about it.  Choice?  Not if the FDA does this the right way. 

There’s a bill in Congress right now to stop this overreach.  By the way, has anyone noticed that instead of being involved in oversight of many agencies, Congress has been reduced to the role of reactive legislation to remove or prevent the most egregious examples of regulatory overreach?

Folks, freedom means the freedom to consume bad things if that is your desire as long as you doing so doesn’t violate the rights of others.  What we see with these examples are attempts to violate that freedom of choice and use the power of government coercion to prevent you from making choices it deems harmful.

Not. The. Job. Of. Government. In. A. Free. Society.


Yet certainly the growing trend is to do more and more of that.

And in the case of the NYC soda ban, a good portion of the left is just fine with it.

It’s frightening.


Twitter: @McQandO

24 Responses to Nanny state update

  • This is why the BS about “obstructionism” is simply a dodge.  We are at loggerheads.  Two diametrically opposed positions on how people and governments are to exist.  They are not reconcilable.  They are not remediable.  There isn’t a compromise.  There once was a broad middle ground, where we could agree on SOME government intrusions when they BOTH showed a clear advantage to the civil society, and were limited.
    That is over.  Maybe it is time to part ways, and live out the grand experiments, and observe the data.

  • Shakespeare didn’t have the word “regulators”, or he would have counseled us to first kill them…
    We have to reverse this.

    • While they take on the “popcorn” perhaps they should also shorten the length of the movie to avoid a possible thrombosis from sitting so long, not to mention that the movie time cuts into X-box game playing time as well.

  • This has gone, some way, down the road that I fully expected it would take when they banned trans-fat.  At the time I recall saying it’s opening the bard door for any interference they feel like with any food or ingredient they feel like.
    There’s nothing in New York I particularly need or want, if the idiots that live there are happy electing Momberg from now till kingdom come, let em.   What worries me is other municipalities where the idea catches on.  In my case, the idiots in Dallas or Austin.  Fortunately, I live in a big state  🙂

    • At the time I recall saying it’s opening the bard door…

      See what happened there?  I said, “Shakespeare”.  Heh!

      • Yeah, I saw that AFTER I posted it of course.   Power of suggestion in play since D isn’t exactly in the vicinity of the N and I do 10 finger type.

  • I see their point.   Ban wagyu from NYC.  Ban magnums of champagne.  No more that 3 escargoes.
    Ban caviar (genocide of the poor fish).  Ban green M&M-s.   Ban hot dogs and beer at Yankee Stadium.
    But most importantly, they should target the St.Arbucks’ Java Chip Frappuccino which has more caffeine than a Mountain Dew or Jolt Cola, and pumps you up for an hour or so, then casts you aside like a cheap whore.

  • Does this really matter.
    I once stopped in a fast food joint on Broadway (somewhere in the 50-s) for a soda on a hot afternoon.
    The workers were so bad that, with nobody in front of me in line, it took 15 minutes to get a soda.

  • But, it’s not a freedom choice for children who don’t know what they’re doing by becoming obese. Although I disagree with Bloomberg’s ‘soda policy’ as a remedy—and think it’s wrong-headed—I do think government can support certain activities to guide America away from its current title as obesity super star of the world. I think Michele Obama’s work in this area may prove fruitful—although everything with the Obama name on it is automatically ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’—according to Reactionary (Ultra-Conservative) doctrine.

    • Ah, the revised, updated and completely discredited “for the children” appeal. Let nanny be your parent.

    • I think “Obama departure” is excellent, wonderful, and has a lyric ring to it that will make the angels cry.

      • … but he never considered that being “fat” is a “right”  like being black or alien

        • Or transgendered…  Maybe that is just who they are?  Who are we to say that is wrong?  In fact, we should have to pay for fat implantation and fat support.
          See how crazy we have become?

    • Yeah, right, the government should ‘guide’ us by telling us we can’t eat this or that.  Absolutely, there’s no flaw in that, I mean, other than, say, the visible demonstration of it in action and the creeping control they’re exerting since the successful national attack on trans-fats.
      Hey, Tad, maybe you can splain why Trans-fats, banned about 6 years ago, haven’t cut the obesity problem…how very odd, no?
      Hmmmmm, this smells like global warming to me another set of lies, uh, good reasons justifying government control over us, 24 hours a day,  365 days a year, year in, year out, from cradle to grave.  damn a**holes like Thank God for Bloomberg, I’m not sure how I made it 55 years without his overwheening interference wisdom and vision.

      • I fully expect this to go the way of the California “snack tax” (i.e. taxes on non-needed foods).
        It seemed like a good idea at the time it was passed, but it quickly evolved into a “spoils system” where the snack/no-snack designation was all politically considered.
        245.0280 Carbonated Beverage Resembling Champagne. A nonalcoholic carbonated beverage prepared and sold to resemble champagne is not a food product within the meaning of section 6359. 6/22/65.
        245.0320 Communion Wafers. Communion wafers are food items the sale of which is exempt. 8/5/66.
        245.0400 Fish Bait. Sales of mudsuckers used as bait are subject to sales tax since bait is not an exempt food product. 8/24/64.

    • Is that another $2.50 you got for that one?
      A few more and you can get McDonald’s for you and your parents.

    • “But, it’s not a freedom choice for children who don’t know what they’re doing by becoming obese.”

      That’s why God invented parents. Perhaps you have heard of them. It’s quite a good concept. These ‘parents’ have hopefully have been educated to at least a high school level. During this education they have been taught at least basic nutrition and health (At least that is what we are paying for).

  • Neo-
    They never will ban those coffee drinks. As has been pointed out as nauseum, rich white liberals love them, thus they will be exempt.
    I agree that the divorce is coming, I’m tired of sharing my country with these people.

  • Tad-
    The govt can set any policy they want in school vending machines as far as I’m concerned. But as for anything outside the school, it is up to THE PARENTS as always. Not the state, sorry. And just FYI, “think of the children” is a historically lousy argument

    • Well, it beats “But…the polar bears Daddy!”

    • When they ask for more money, they always say “It’s For the Chldren.”
      When I see kids walking out of school with checks in hand, then, and only then, will I believe that it’s for the children.

  • Yea, freedom means the freedom to consume bad things if that is your desire as long as you doing so doesn’t violate the rights of others.  But the nannies say that you will get fat, develop cancer and the rest that imposes a burden on the greater society.  So maybe we all must, by government edict, carry insurance to protect the greater society against our freedom loving ways.  sarc/off  But we are giving up our freedoms for government security and as Franklin said, “we will have neither.”

  • I must be doing something wrong. When I was a lad I drank several sugary sodas each day, in addition to candy and other unhealthy foods such as cheeseburgers, french fries, and spaghetti (Yeah, that’s right, SPAGHETTI, not ‘pasta’). Lots of grease, salt, and sugar. I was not obese. KToday, I still drink several sodas each day, but they are diet, caffeine free sodas. And my diet is better, no grease, sugar, or salt. Yet now I am obese (technically speaking, of course).  Just a shot in the dark, but could there be other factors involved?