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Government is your friend - NYC style
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, September 28, 2006

Being the quivering, ox-like creatures with no self-control that we all are, the benevolent government of New York City, through it's Ministry of Enlightenment Board of Health has decide it will ensure, at least while you're dining in an NYC restaurants, that you have a safe level of trans fats:
New York is set to become the first city in the US to ban all but tiny quantities of trans fats from being used in its 24,000 restaurants. According to plans agreed this week by the board of health, under the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, all the city's restaurants, cafes and street stalls will be forced to keep to a limit of half a gram of trans fats in any item served from their menus.
So there. Any questions?

Oh, and please, do tell me how this is government's business. I'm eager to hear the argument. Here's the counter argument:
"You chose what you eat and that only affects you. We don't think it's appropriate for a non-elected body such as the health board to make a decision that will have a big effect on restaurants across New York City."
I'd add it's not even appropriate for an elected body to make that decision. But then, go figure ... I'm a libertarian.

Is this what we want government doing?
 
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But then, go figure ... I’m a libertarian.
We all know you are NOT a libertarian McQ. It has been clearly argued here by MK, Glasnost, Anon Liberal, et al that you are a boot licking, Fascist, Bush apologist, winger who has his head so firmly entrenched in the arse of Chimpy McWaliburtobushhiltler that you incapable of thinking for yourself.

/sarcasm

Yeah, on the whole trans fat thing... ummm, there are so many other ways in which my health is at risk in NYC, why are they worried about what I eat? Not to mention the ’it’s NONE OF THEIR F’ING BUSINESS!!!!!!!’ angle.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Just wait. In order to protect your health, you will soon be required to do excercises in the morning. And to ensure you’re not cheating, the benevolent government will have a nice large monitor in your house to ensure they can watch you.

And the price of chocolate just went down again.
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
We all know you are NOT a libertarian McQ. It has been clearly argued here by MK, Glasnost, Anon Liberal, et al that you are a boot licking, Fascist, Bush apologist, winger who has his head so firmly entrenched in the arse of Chimpy McWaliburtobushhiltler that you incapable of thinking for yourself.
Oh, yeah, I forgot.

[long pause]

Way to go Michael Bloomberg! Now that’s a Republican!
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Just remember, this guy is starting to consider a run for President in ’08. Interesting piece on NRO about this by John Derbyshire. Think of what Nurse Bloomberg would try to do if he’s in charge in Washington.
 
Written By: Curt
URL: http://
THIS is what scares me about the future of the republican party. I find it ironic that progressives genuinely hold a deep fear of totalitarianism rising from the right, and yet they can sanction actions by the "coastal republicans" who really do support the control of society at all levels.

P.S. If the progressives’ beloved "unenumerated right to privacy" protects a person’s right to make their own decision on abortion, how can it not protect their personal right to make a decision on an ice cream sundae?
 
Written By: J._Zaner
URL: http://
If I were arguing in favor of this, I would point out that:

1) Consumers lack adequate information to make an informed choice. They don’t know whether food they’re buying contains trans-fats or not;

2) There would be, at least, a parity in cost between a disclosure requirement and a flat prohibition on trans-fats;

3) There is no loss of quality when one switches from trans-fats to substitutes; and

4) This is a matter of significant public interest, given that heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
All excellent points, Geek, but the question remains, who should make the final decision on the food they eat?

I’m reminded of the MSG scare of years ago. People went into Chinese restaurants and began demanding food with no MSG. Obviously, there was information available that drove them to make this demand.

Chinese restaurants responded by excluding MSG, many made it clear on their menus (and I’ve even seen small signs in their windows) that they don’t use MSG.

No government necessary.

My point is, the role government should have, if any, in this sort of thing is to provide the information resources necessary to make an informed choice to drive such demand.

But it is still a matter of liberty concerning the choice of food preparation and the choice of food we eat and this limits it. Other than providing information concerning our choices, so we can indeed make an informed choice if we decide to do so, I see the sort of action taken by government, in this case, to be way over the line.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yeah, go along with it as ’okay’ and then wait for the next thing they’d like you not to eat:
Eggs? Salt? Pizza? Steak? Cheese Kolachies?

and soon another underground restaurant economy will be born.

We can call ’em SpeakGreasy’s
("pssst pssstt....go down the stairs, to the right, knock twice and whistle the ’have it your way’ song").

Gateway legislation.
All done for your own good dontcha know.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I agree in theory, but realistically the number of people who would specifically request trans-fats over the alternatives is pretty damn small—probably approaching zero.

Also, I would view this proposed rule in a larger context—restaurants in NYC are heavily regulated when it comes to health concerns. We don’t give consumers a choice regarding whether their food contains mouse droppings or cockroaches or spoiled fruit.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
We don’t give consumers a choice regarding whether their food contains mouse droppings or cockroaches or spoiled fruit.
Uhhh ... neither do restaurants. At least not the ones I patronize. Or the one’s that stay in business.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
OK, here is where I post a slight word of opposition. Let us say that if government (at any level) decided that private groups had to consume a certain product of which it was very expensive and all the substitutes were much cheaper.
Then I say you would have a point.

However, IF government, under the direction of science, finds that one product has some negative health effect on the populous, AND EQUALY PRICED SUBSTITUTES ARE
AVAILABLE
, Then I would say that the burden of proof was upon those who were against the government action.

Or else, you must come up with an argument as to why the government does not have a valid interest in the life and survival of its citizens.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
We don’t give consumers a choice regarding whether their food contains mouse droppings or cockroaches or spoiled fruit.
At least not on the day the inspector is around.

Look. There are limits to what government should do, and this particular move is beyond that limit for the reasons stated.

It is no small step from this to telling restaurants what they may and may not serve. Beef? Sausage? Milk?

All have natural trans fats and all are used in meals served in restaurants. Seems the natural next step to me.

Would you support that?

Where does it end, Geek?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Or else, you must come up with an argument as to why the government does not have a valid interest in the life and survival of its citizens.
It’s not a matter of valid interest, it is the extent to which the government has the right (we kow it has the ability) to force their arbitrary conception of "good" on individuals.

Liberty means choice, even if the choice is bad.

And another point - once trans fats are banned in restaurants, will food stores be next?

Homes?

How far are you willing to let something like this go?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
How far are you willing to let something like this go?
Your concern is valid, But I think that restaurants are different for the reasons already alluded to that information of what goes into their food is not as readily available.

I am not saying I am in favor of this. But what I am saying is this: Let us say that a kind of concrete is developed that protects homes from harmful Radon gas, and it is about the same cost and availability of other types of concrete. Would you then be opposed to a city saying all new homes must use this type of concrete?

My libertarianism is tied to what is practical. If a city says you cannot use round steak, for instance, and instead must eat only expensive fillet mignon for what ever health reasons,(let us say they are valid reasons). Then I have a problem because it is keeping in the idea of personal liberty to take a risk if you deem it necessary. However, if the city says you have to use an oil which is the same price, and imparts no discernible taste difference(fungible food, But does impart a real health benefit, then I just cannot logically argue against it.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
My libertarianism is tied to what is practical.
And this is practical because ...?
However, if the city says you have to use an oil which is the same price, and imparts no discernible taste difference(fungible food, But does impart a real health benefit, then I just cannot logically argue against it.
But you continue to blow past the most basic point.

It isn’t the city’s call.

Liberty. Choice. Individual rights. Freedom and liberty mean the right to choose, even if the choice is dumb.

And if your only argument is price, you can’t imagine how poor an argument that is.

Principle?

No ... price.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Would you then be opposed to a city saying all new homes must use this type of concrete?"


Absolutely! This sort of sh*t already happens in spades. Go get your local building code. It’s full of pseudo-safety bullsh*t like this. FULL OF IT. And, by the way, radon is not an epidemic and is EASILY fixed. But nanny-regulators love these one-size fits all ’solutions’. So do the business entities that are empower to implement them. Can anyone say ’authorized asbestos abatement’? It’s all HORSESH*T!

If you’re going to argue that the government has a valid interest in the life and survival of its citizens, carte blanche, where do you draw the line? As McQ says, price? Are you SERIOUS? Can you not think of one counter-example that would make you change your mind? Seriously, are you incapable? Are you really ready to hand your life over to bureacrats? Are you really ready to concede that you can’t manage your own life successfully?

This sh*t pisses me off!
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Or else, you must come up with an argument as to why the government does not have a valid interest in the life and survival of its citizens.
That’s a slippery slope if there ever was one. Sounds like the perfect argument for the whole Terry Schiavo debacle.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
One final point too - Science has often been proven to be wrong over time, when more science is done. There have been plenty of needless scares, all supposedly based on science, that have cost massive amounts of money. DDT? Eggs? Silicon implants? The list goes on and on. Do you really want coercive authorities to have more power like this over us?

Trans fat is not the problem behind heart disease. I’ll predict right now, and I’m taking bets, that the incidence of heart disease in NYC WILL NOT DROP SIGNIFICANTLY as a result of this ban. It’s all feel-good, control freak bullsh*t.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I want to clarify my last comment. I was saying that the argument that government does have a valid interest in the life and survival of its citizens could be used to justify the absurd government intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
Are you SERIOUS? Can you not think of one counter-example that would make you change your mind? Seriously, are you incapable? Are you really ready to hand your life over to bureacrats? Are you really ready to concede that you can’t manage your own life successfully?

This sh*t pisses me off!

Written By: Unknown
To which I can only say, you must go through your entire life all pissed off at everything. Government at all levels has a stranglehold on our lifestyles. You have to go off and live in the wilderness like one of those survivalists to escape it.
My view is that its silly to say you are going to fight something on the basis of principles when you already accept a bunch of other crap. You have to pick and choose your battles and I just don’t see this as a worthy one.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Let me go a little further, Are you all opposed to Fluoridated water? Seat belts?
how about Fires codes?

You don’t think a government has an interest in the safety of its citizens? Then what is the basis of government? Why even have police?

Sure, I understand the impulse, you have been pushed around for a long time, and you want to strike back. But, there are plenty of things that various governments have mandated which proved to have some efficacy for the common good.

So instead of being a "purist" I take a practical view. You weigh everything and consider the costs/benefits with the knowledge you possess, however imperfect.

I favor some very heavy anti-pollution laws, not because I believe in global warming or like bureaucrats, but because I like clean air and water.

I fight against rules like the 55 MPH speed limit because it proved to be stupid and a failure. A few things are so outrageous that they must be denied out of hand, (like the McCain Feingold bill) but few laws are so cut and dried.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
If consumers don’t want Trans-fats, they can avoid the places that serve them.
It’s that simple. Let the market take care of it.

The old farts here can probably remember when the guy at the desk next to them smoked like a fiend right there in the same room with them, then he got chased to the smoking room, then outside, then nowhere within 30 feet of the building entrance, then not in restaurants & bars (which even had special areas and special venting to deal with the problem), then not even outside.

As a law though... soon there’s something else the people ’who know what’s best for YOU’ decide you shouldn’t have. Soon it’s county wide, then state wide, then some putz is suggesting a national ban, and it’s all for YOUR own good.
Smells like prohibition to me.
Don’t think it’s going to stop at restaurants, that’s just the foot in the door.

This is just government intrusion, control, and power grabbing, plain and simple.
Think of the additional fines, enforcement requirements, maybe even permits!!!!!! WEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAA Revenue!!!!!!!

Kyle - re your questions -

Seat Belts? Hah - what business is it of legislatures if I’m stupid and catapult myself through my windshield because I’m not wearing my seatbelt?
(I always use mine thanks)
Why don’t we have a law making us all wear helmets when we drive cars?
Think of the reductions in head-injury!

How about Air-bags - you know, the things that occasionally kill children & small adults in accidents that they would have otherwise survived quite comfortably?

Fire codes - You can’t see the difference between a fire code (instant threat, burned up, cooked, dead, on the spot) and consuming a single hamburger with transfats while I’m visiting New York on business?

I’m in favor of the government regulating certain things, THIS is not one of them.

and meanwhile, it’s okay if illegal immigrants are making and serving those non-transfatty meals to you....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Let me go a little further, Are you all opposed to Fluoridated water? Seat belts?
how about Fires codes?
Yes. Yes. Not for public buildings.

That doesn’t mean I might not floridate my water, wear a seat belt and ensure I voluntarily met fire codes in my own home or demand my builder do so when he builds my house. In fact, I wore a seat belt well before it was ever law.

That doesn’t mean it is any of government’s business. And that fact you like those regulations and agree with them doesn’t change that fact.

Being free is hard, Kyle. It means you have to inform yourself, you have to make decisions and you have to take responsibility for them. What a concept, huh?

Or, you can hand it all over to government and be a ’bot who has no complaint when they tell you you can’t consume beef anymore because they’ve determined it’s bad for you.

The fact that government has rammed laws through that are none of it’s business doesn’t mean you have to stand by and watch it get ever deeper into your freakin’ life.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The old farts here can probably remember when the guy at the desk next to them smoked like a fiend right there in the same room with them, then he got chased to the smoking room, then outside, then nowhere within 30 feet of the building entrance, then not in restaurants & bars (which even had special areas and special venting to deal with the problem), then not even outside.
Yes, I remember that all too well, I hated people smoking, especially when I was trying to eat. Do you think that was the "good ole days"

Do you think that pure markets and self interest solve all problems ala Ayn Rand?
I don’t, What makes me different than a person on the left is that I believe that enlightened self interest and market forces solve MOST problems. And you might be right that this is not a very big problem that needs to be solved.

Where I differ from you is that I think its a balancing act. I cannot be so damn libertarian that I ignore the FACT that like is much safer and more comfortable now for most Americans than when I was growing up partly because of laws and regulations.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
like = life
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Consider other food associated health risks we can venture into...
Sushi/Sashimi?
Eggs sunnyside up & over easy?
food containing mayonnaise?
Raw Spinach?
Raw Beansprouts?

Safe handling isn’t enough I don’t think.
A total ban would be much safer, right?
But only in restaurants, of course.

Re the smokers, nah, I don’t remember it as ’the good old days’.
I don’t smoke, I never did. I just remember it.
I also don’t mind not smelling like smoke all the time!
But my point is that once they have it in mind they can do something that far reaching, they will continue to reach.

We have far less pollution now than we did then (though you’d never know it to hear Al Gore), courtesy of regulation.
I don’t mind the government dealing with clear and present dangers, your fire codes as a classic example.

I do have a problem with them making this kind of far reaching rule that is essentially feel good legislation, is unlikely to correct whatever they’re trying to fix, will require additional funding, will inconvience consumers and providers and most importantly will premit the city council to think they have more authority over the daily lives of New Yorkers than they already have.

I don’t see it as a big enough problem and certainly not one that New York city can solve with this action. I do see it as a stepping stone for the control freaks though.

They want to do something productive?
Have them insist the city enforce the immigration laws at New York restaurants with regards to staff.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
As a second thought on the smokers -
once we chased them outside, don’t you think that was far enough?
Why do we have people suggesting outright bans on smoking in some cities?
Sound like over-reaching by the do-gooders maybe?
Isn’t it a smokers choice if that’s what they want to do, their lungs?

Think of the number of risky things people do every day -
ride motorcycles,
ride bicycles on city streets,
jump out of airplanes that are perfectly fine,
climb mountains with little bitty ropes and bits of metal to hold them up,
go backpacking in wilderness areas alone,
own and drive cars that will accelerate to 60 miles an hour in under 4 seconds.

You can get seriously hurt doing all of the things I just listed.
I mean, why aren’t we trying harder to protect these people too?
Are they not worthy of our protection?

So you see, I have a hard time viewing consuming a hash brown cooked in some transfatty oil for breakfast as a serious health risk that needs legislating.

The fact of the matter is, like my helmet in the car suggestion, some people in the legislature WOULD try to stop those things I mentioned if they thought they could get away with it, but they know they can’t so they don’t try.

But now they’re trying to get away with this.
Let’s see if New Yorkers put a stop to it.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
As a final thought -

What if looking into it a little deeper we discover that someone on the council has an interest in cooking oil that doesn’t have trans-fat?
Would anyone be in favor if they found out the drive was a make a personal buck ploy wrapped up in a ’do good’ cloak?

Logically the cooking oil market must change, even though the alternatives are ’readily available’. Since the entire market is not currently using non-trans-fat oil, the shift to the alternative oils is going to produce a demand that isn’t there now when everyone is required to use them.

More than likely the price of the alternative non-trans-fatty oils will suddenly go up with the uptake in demand, translating to someone making a buck (in addition to someone losing a buck).
That demand and price change is going to affect both the restaurant owners AND the general public as the supply changes due to the legal requirements.
Higher prices suggests a shift to the end consumers, both at restaurants and at home, to bear the cost.

Sure, the home consumer can shift to trans-fat oils, until the city gets round to forcing them off the market all together.
Honestly, me discussing economics is a risky proposition though.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’m against this.

However, let me lay out a paradigm for you, McQ:

Corporations want to make money. Governments want corporations to make money, so their nations can be big and strong.

Workers who are healthy make more money for corporations than those who make less money.

It is in the interests of corporations to limit the freedoms of their workers in a similar manner to this law. Can you imagine a continued employment hiring policy outlawing trans fats? Such things already exist re smoking.

Often these types of corportate regulations can be exempted by the board of directors for people at, oh, board of director level.

The invisible hand of the market might solve health-deficient additives like MSG, while retaining individual choice. But if corporate collusion and bandwagoning create the same lack of choice, say if the Fortune 500 companies all had anti-trans-fats hiring policies the way they all (most, maybe, I’m not fact-checking) now have diversity committees,

What would we do about it then?

— this is not to shift blame from actual government laws to theoretical corporate policies. It’s simply to demonstrate that the efficiency drive competes with individual choice at all levels of organization. The problem, if one chooses to perceive this as a problem, permeates everywhere, and I see the corporate-forces de facto extinction as more problematic than the government one in the very long run.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"say if the Fortune 500 companies all had anti-trans-fats hiring policies"

I tell you what I’d do about it - I’d not work there. (And overwrought corporate rule making is one of the primary reasons why I don’t, in reality). There, as simple as that, the market has responded. No need for government.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
"P.S. If the progressives’ beloved "unenumerated right to privacy" protects a person’s right to make their own decision on abortion, how can it not protect their personal right to make a decision on an ice cream sundae?"

Because ice cream sundays involve interstate commerce. Somehow. Eventually.

*************

"My point is, the role government should have, if any, in this sort of thing is to provide the information resources necessary to make an informed choice to drive such demand."

Sure, but what if the citizens do not want to make the right choice? Then what? And what makes you think the citizens can read all this complicated technical nutritional information? We have to do it for their own good. And we should start enforcing the new dietary rules in every restaurant in Washington. And Boston.
Speakiong of Boston, one thing we can be sure of is that the feds will never again prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

***********************************

"We can call ’em SpeakGreasy’s"

But what about the smell? Or should I say aroma?

***************************

"restaurants in NYC are heavily regulated when it comes to health concerns."

Have you ever been to, for example, Chinatown? Regulation is one thing, enforcement is another.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
To which I can only say, you must go through your entire life all pissed off at everything.
Right Kyle, I’m pissed about needless coercive force, legalized busibodiness, and complacent attitudes and from that you draw this conclusion?

I do get pissed off that people continue to put up with this crap and that people continue to rationalize it away as a small transgression. Yeah, yeah, pick your battles. Well, I’m not advocating a march on Washington. And frankly the hapless people of NYC can fight their own battles, but if this sort of BS comes my way I’ll probably choose to fight it.

But it’s a big mistake to shrug off the small transgressions; the people behind these laws feel empowered to ’protect’ us and every time we give an inch, they will feel emboldened to take another. When nearly every single aspect of our lives are controlled beyond what you can imagine in the name of the greater good and safety, will you understand how we got there? Inch by inch.

And for the record, yes, I’m opposed to corecive seat belts, fluoride, and fire codes - definitely in private structures, but a case can be made as well for their abolishment as rules vs. simply suggested good practice.

I’m also opposed to coercive building codes in general for private property. I’d rather be free to fail. But since I give a crap and have an interest in living in a safe dwelling, when I do my work on the house, I meet or exceed all the genuinely worthwhile building codes, but I do this because I know it to be smart, not because I’m told to do it. For the same reason, I wear my seat belt, something I’ve always done. It’s a bloody miracle! Man thinks for himself! What? No authority figure told him to do it? I don’t believe it!

The rush to force to ’solve’ problems is one of the biggest banes of humanity. Have you ever considered that by telling/forcing people how to live - supposedly to improve their lives - we actually weaken them because we decrease their capacity to think for themselves, to solve their own problems, to improve their minds? If I don’t have to think for myself, what am I? Pointless. I’d rather live in a world that strives for excellence and freedom and utterly fails than one which trudges along in lifeless mediocrity. The thing is that the first choice really won’t fail because, contrary to conventional wisdom, most people swim when allowed in the pool without a mandatory life vest.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
By the way glasnost, the difference between oppressive corporate and government rules is that it’s relatively easy for me to quit the corporation. The government has a bit broader span of authority. That’s a non-trivial difference.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
The invisible hand of the market might solve health-deficient additives like MSG, while retaining individual choice. But if corporate collusion and bandwagoning create the same lack of choice, say if the Fortune 500 companies all had anti-trans-fats hiring policies the way they all (most, maybe, I’m not fact-checking) now have diversity committees,

What would we do about it then?
I don’t know about anybody else, but I’d start a business that could put all of those disgruntled workers’ talents to good use. And get bloody rich, I tell you!

Corporate collusion only works when it can ensure no cheaters. The only proven way to do that thusfar is to enlist the help of the government. Take away the power to create such regulations, and you take away the ability for corporations to collude so easily, and thus you hinder attempts to erect barriers to entry. Fewer barriers to entry means more entities and increased competition for the best workers.

If the best workers really are those who do not smoke or use trans-fats, etc., then you end up in the same place as you would with the regulations (just not as quickly). If one’s smoking or eating habits have little to do with being a productive worker, then you would see workers having more choice in both employment opportunities and life-style options (except at the margins where refraining from such activities may command a premium).

Individuals (both bosses and employees) should be able to make such decisions without the nanny state stepping in. For every employer and employee who find the most value in healthy living, there are several more that find greater value in other personal choices (e.g., thrill-seeking employees and risk-taking employers). We all lose something when individuals are not allowed to make those choices.

 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Hmm...
You don’t think a government has an interest in the safety of its citizens? Then what is the basis of government? Why even have police?
I will go for the extremist libertarian position here for a moment. The government has no interest in the safety of its citizens from themselves. The government exists to provide an environment free from coercion and force (including government coercion and force) in which people can live the lives they think will make them happy. I’m all for government labeling laws, and against requirements as to what can be included in the products.

But of course, that assumes that we actually believe in the Declaration of Independence’s principles and their implications.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
One thing that is not mentioned so far is the costs, in time and money, of the study the City of New York City had to do to reach this conclussion. Do you think that the study, given all the resources put into it and given the type of people who initiated it (those who believe in a nanny state), even started from a non-biased point of view? The same goes for smoking. They moved smokers to a smoking section because of cries of the public as well as supposed health issues. Then they moved them out of the restaurant, and then farther. However, there is scientific evidence that also goes to prove that second hand smoke in that kind of setting does no harm, period. If enough people were interested in eating in a smoke free restaurant, somebody would build and open one (and I would bet the ranch that it has happened in some areas, incuding whever it was banned from public places first). That is the way to remove smoking from restaurants, not via government fiat. MSG is the good example; people made a choice and the market responded (admittedly, I don’t know a lot about what happened with the MSG bit).

In the same way New Yorkers would make that choice, and in fact have, to provide themselves with restaurants that don’t use higher levels of trans fat. For every 5 fast food places or high fat content restaurants I saw in my one visit to New York City there were also, depending on the area I was in, places that sold and advertised healthier foods that did not use higher levels of fat, including trans fat. New York legislators ignored the fact that the people of the city have already taken it on themselves to make these choices that the government feels needs to be made for them.

If you want to say that people do not have the ability to read, discern and research some fairly simple, fairly important issues about how some foods are prepaired, or how to build certain things to make a home safer, or if it is a good idea to wear seat belts or not, etc. then I say shame on the education system, and, more directly, shame on parents. If we cannot raise our children to be able to read an article or a piece of legislation and look up some references(or just cut through the false logical arguments in the first place) to see if something is true or false, and more importantly decide for themselves if they want to go one way or another then we have failed to raise responsible chilren. I am very happy I have a mother and father and many teachers throughout my life who have helped me learn how to look up some studies, read some facts about foods, read neutrition facts and make good choices for myself. That’s not the case for most people my age (23). We should all be capable and willing, when put in the position to make the choices ourselves, to do a little research about things that effect our health,safety, and well-being. These are principles that make us free, and we most certainly should fight for our right to be in that position and not to let the government userp that.

Like has been pointed out before, the government does not have a good track record on policies that make us safer or healthier. On top of what has been said I would suggest looking at what studies about seatbelts by private firms have said. A very large number of people in that sector say it would be safer to use a 4 or 5 point seat belt system, however the government has not enforced that (not that they should enforce it at all). They stopped at 3 point systems. If the government tells us seatbelts have to be worn for your protection, is it not dishonest to enforce our wearing the safer version? And don’t even for one second think the "well production costs would be to high" meme can fly.

Government regulations just like this, and the studies they use to "prove" their cause is worthy and required are just the kind of thing I dissaprove of most. On a last note, let me point you to a series of articles by Thomas Sowell and then you tell me if you think the government, as well as other entities, is even acting in our best interest with laws like this.

Suggested reading: Thomas Sowell; "Studies Prove..." parts 1 through 3.
 
Written By: Ike
URL: http://
One thing that is not mentioned so far is the costs, in time and money, of the study the City of New York City had to do to reach this conclussion.
Maybe that’s because there was no study conducted by NYC, Ike. It has been known for years that trans fats were unhealthy and have been linked to heart disease. Where have you been?
Like has been pointed out before, the government does not have a good track record on policies that make us safer or healthier.


Actually, Ike, it does. It has a stellar record in fact. You’ll be hard pressed to site examples of government implemented policies that have made us less safe or unhealthier.

But all of that is irrelevant.

It is not the government’s business to dictate to me what I can eat.

How is that I can go to the hardware store and purchase buckets of rat poison but I can’t be trusted with freedom French fries?
How is that I can purchase five gallons of gasoline, a can to transport it in, and a box of matches all at the same store, but government should step in to save me from corn dogs?
Suggested reading: Thomas Sowell; "Studies Prove..." parts 1 through 3.


No thanks. I don’t need any life lessons from this guy,
Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals’ last refuge.

Townhall’s token… intellectual.


 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
You know - all these people who claim about things "rasting the same" when using these substitutes, I would like to be able, one day, to invite them to a cook off. The Gonzman’s evil, all bad for you brigade of food vs. their stuff.

We shall see who wins.
 
Written By: Pete Jensen
URL: http://
That’s "tasting the same"
 
Written By: Pete Jensen
URL: http://
"That’s "tasting the same""

Yeah, the same people who think that margarine actually does taste like butter. Idiots.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Say bob, how did that sandwich rast?".
"Fine man, fine, except it rasted kinda bad-fat free".
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I can smell the lawsuits comming. The city litigators are building thier arguments to see how much gold they can get from the fast food joints. Dusting of the tabacco cases, desciding what they can refile with a name change added on top.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Corporate collusion only works when it can ensure no cheaters. The only proven way to do that thusfar is to enlist the help of the government. Take away the power to create such regulations, and you take away the ability for corporations to collude so easily, and thus you hinder attempts to erect barriers to entry. Fewer barriers to entry means more entities and increased competition for the best workers.
Interesting perspective. I’m not convinced, I’m not unconvinced. A little over my head to be definitive about it. There’s a larger empirical and logical problem within the government being the only way to effectively fight corporate collusion as well as (possibly) being a (or, you suggest, "the") facilitator of it.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"You’ll be hard pressed to site examples of government implemented policies that have made us less safe or unhealthier."
Uh huh.

Airbags. Remember mandatory air bags? You know, the ones that killed children and small women in the front seat?

DDT. Remember DDT? The pesticide that actually doesn’t cause much harm (unless, I suppose, you apply it liberally to your toast) and use to save countless lives from malaria?

FDA. That’s the Food and Drug Administration. You know, that entity that prevents people from experimenting with life-saving drugs before they are officially approved and which has undoubtedly caused unnecessary death?

Not so hard pressed after all.




 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Oh, let me add gun regulations to that list. It’s pretty clear that making defensive weapons illegal increases the liklihood that one will be at greater risk of personal crime and assult.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Not so hard pressed after all.
Well good for you, Unknown. You deserve a cookie.

But actually, airbags don’t kill people… car accidents kill people. And yes, there are a few cases where the airbags did more harm than good, but overall, airbags are a huge lifesaver. Plus, if you don’t want to drive a car with an airbag, you don’t have to. I’ve got a clean 1982 Ford F150 that… for you my friend, … I’ll let you have at a bargain. No airbags.

Also, I’m unaware of a malaria outbreak killing countless people in the U.S. You must be speaking of other places.

But I’ll give you the FDA and gun control. But nevertheless, true to my statement, the government does have a stellar record vs. Ike’s proposal of the government not having a good track record.

You disagree?

Rest assured Unknown, I don’t like the gov’t demanding airbags either. It’s a matter of choice and markets.
And hell, I’ve got a barrel of DDT in the back field. I let my neighbors kids play in it.
They love it.


Rascals.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
H*ll Pogue, those are the first 4 that popped into my head, with no thinking whatsoever. If I actually worked for it, I could probably come up with a long list. So yeah, I disagree.

Tiptoe around the airbags all you want, the fact is, there was a period of time where it was impossible to buy a new car without airbags and legally disengage them. That, my friend, was government making us less safe because we were not free to choose the best option individually.



 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
By the way, I like chocolate chip.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Sure, take his cookie, just don’t let him serve you toast...rascal.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
We all know you are NOT a libertarian McQ. It has been clearly argued here by MK, Glasnost, Anon Liberal, et al that you are a boot licking, Fascist, Bush apologist, winger who has his head so firmly entrenched in the arse of Chimpy McWaliburtobushhiltler that you incapable of thinking for yourself.
Meganin, dear, you haven’t kept up. The site attracts more liberals these days, for reasons I don’t understand - perhaps Jesus Christ has had some mercy on me - and I’m practically a respected centrist around here by comparison at this point.

I am, however, genuinely enjoying the stupid, debate-killing insults no longer ganining quite as much critical mass. (Tom Perkins, you having fun out there?)

And also procrastinating on my PERL homework.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://

 
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