Free Markets, Free People

NYC


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.

Period. 

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.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


“Do As I Say, Not As I Do”

Any guess as to who this is?

He dumps salt on almost everything, even saltine crackers. He devours burnt bacon and peanut butter sandwiches. He has a weakness for hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and fried chicken, washing them down with a glass of merlot.

And his snack of choice? Cheez-Its.

If you said Michael Moore, give yourself partial credit. But, in reality, it’s the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Yes, the same guy who seems to think it is his job to be your mommy (banning transfats, forcing fast food places to post calorie counts, telling to diners to use less salt and subway riders to drink less soda) even salts his pizza.

But the mayor’s press secretary, Stu Loeser, said Mr. Bloomberg “works as hard as any New Yorker at keeping off extra pounds, and he has trimmed himself down to his college weight, which isn’t at all easy for a 67-year-old.” The mayor, he said “has days when he eats more than he should.” But, he added, “unlike most of us, he has the discipline to even it out the next day.”

Got that Gotham? He has “the discipline”. The rest of you proles need him to take care of it for you because “most of us” can’t handle it for ourselves.

This, my friends, is the most dangerous of political creatures. The one who thinks that it is the function of government to tell you how to live your lives, down to and including what you should and shouldn’t eat, assumes you don’t have the wherewithal to do it yourself and finally, doesn’t even follow the rules he lays down for you because he’s the exception and has the “discipline” to overcome the problem.

[HT: Megan O]

~McQ

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