Please read the bottom of this post for THE SOLUTION
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been on a years-long crusade against obesity, or at least against the cultural and commercial forces that promote it. In his latest step, he’s proposing to ban the sale of super-sized sugary drinks by restaurants, cinemas, street vendors and stadium concessionaires. The move exemplifies the tension between individual liberty and societal responsibility that’s particularly acute in the field of public health. Americans cherish their freedom to live as they choose, without “nanny state” dictates from the government. But because they’re not willing to deny medical care to people who urgently need it, society has to pick up the tab for those who make heedless choices. Striking the right balance between the two will be one of the central challenges for government in the coming decades, as rising healthcare costs put an increasing strain on federal, state and local budgets.
The Solution: To the Editor
RE the editorial: The 16-ounce solution, June 1, 2012
The simplest way for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enact the prohibition of sugary drinks is to petition Congress to put them on schedule one of the Controlled Substances Act along with marijuana. That way the sugary drink will be classified as having no medicinal value and he can expand his anti-obesity program nationwide by using the D.E.A. and U.S. Attorney to leverage local law enforcement with billions in grant funds. They can also use federal asset seizure laws to grab restaurant rental properties, fountain equipment, industry bank accounts, delivery trucks and even the passenger vehicles that big cup pushers drive to work.
Of course, the downside is that the cartels will take over the new black market in 16 ounce sugary drinks and we will lose a major source of tax revenue, not to mention the fact that SWAT teams will have to start raiding hundreds of Chucky Cheese birthday parties. But, that’s okay, the government will be protecting us from ourselves. That’s their job, isn’t it?
Retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing