By Gary P Jackson
New York City’s billionaire Mayor, Michael Bloomberg is the epitome of the liberal totalitarian mindset. Besides raising taxes well into confiscatory territory, Bloomberg’s nanny state mindset, the idea that human beings are too stupid to care for themselves, and need a Big Government overlord to keep them from making poor choices, has caused him to ban things normal people eat every day.
This time Bloomberg wants to ban “sugary drinks,” like sodas, sold in sizes larger than 16 ounces at all restaurants, movie theaters, and so on, all across New York City:
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.
“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, an arm of the soda industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday. The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out soda; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.
“The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.
Mr. Bloomberg has made public health one of the top priorities of his lengthy tenure, and has championed a series of aggressive regulations, including bans on smoking in restaurants and parks, a prohibition against artificial trans fat in restaurant food and a requirement for health inspection grades to be posted in restaurant windows.
The measures have led to occasional derision of the mayor as Nanny Bloomberg, by those who view the restrictions as infringements on personal freedom. But many of the measures adopted in New York have become models for other cities, including restrictions on smoking and trans fats, as well as the use of graphic advertising to combat smoking and soda consumption, and the demand that chain restaurants post calorie contents next to prices.
In recent years, soda has emerged as a battleground in efforts to counter obesity. Across the nation, some school districts have banned the sale of soda in schools, and some cities have banned the sale of soda in public buildings.
In New York City, where more than half of adults are obese or overweight, Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner, blames sweetened drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity rates over the last 30 years. About a third of New Yorkers drink one or more sugary drinks a day, according to the city. Dr. Farley said the city had seen higher obesity rates in neighborhoods where soda consumption was more common.
The ban would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas, as well as diet sodas.
Restaurants, delis, movie theater and ballpark concessions would be affected, because they are regulated by the health department. Carts on sidewalks and in Central Park would also be included, but not vending machines or newsstands that serve only a smattering of fresh food items.
At fast-food chains, where sodas are often dispersed at self-serve fountains, restaurants would be required to hand out cup sizes of 16 ounces or less, regardless of whether a customer opts for a diet drink. But free refills — and additional drink purchases — would be allowed.
Corner stores and bodegas would be affected if they are defined by the city as “food service establishments.” Those stores can most easily be identified by the health department letter grades they are required to display in their windows.
The mayor, who said he occasionally drank a diet soda “on a hot day,” contested the idea that the plan would limit consumers’ choices, saying the option to buy more soda would always be available.
“Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32 ounce,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a sarcastic tone. “I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away.”
He also said he foresaw no adverse effect on local businesses, and he suggested that restaurants could simply charge more for smaller drinks if their sales were to drop.
The Bloomberg administration had made previous, unsuccessful efforts to make soda consumption less appealing. The mayor supported a state tax on sodas, but the measure died in Albany, and he tried to restrict the use of food stamps to buy sodas, but the idea was rejected by federal regulators.
Read more here.
The parts I highlighted show the fallacy in Bloomberg’s plan. Unless he takes this ban to an even more insane level, nothing to stop someone from buying two 16oz drinks to get the amount they want, or at fast food joints, just going back and getting refills. Also note he has no concern that people will have to pay more for the smaller drinks, as he suggests that establishments losing money can just raise their prices!
People who pay attention know that buying a 32oz drink is normally a bit cheaper than buying two 16oz drinks, so Bloomberg is forcing New Yorkers, who already pay too much for everything, and are taxed to the hilt, to pay even more money.
It should also be noted that this ban doesn’t include alcoholic beverages, which are not only high in calories, but can cause other issues as well.
I really love how dictator wannabe Bloomberg says he occasionally drinks a diet soda “on a hot day.” That superior tone epitomizes the liberal mindset.
Wanna bet Bloomberg drinks a tad bit of alcohol, and not just “on a hot day“?
What’s even more alarming is reading all of the comments over at the New York Times website praising Bloomberg and his ban as reasonable. It’s troubling to see people allow their Liberty and Freedom to be stolen away in the name of the “greater good.”
Being in Texas, everything is big, including our drinks. Of course, it’s hot down here in the summer. For most Texans, a 16oz cold drink is just enough to make you mad, but not enough to quench your thirst! Personally, I drink diet sodas, and water more than anything, and I consume mass quantities. I also drink juices, which are actually as high or higher in sugar content than a regular coke. There are some juice blends that are lower in sugar, but still. Bloomberg, isn’t banning sugary fruit drinks.
This isn’t really about drinks though. It’s about government gone wild. It’s a shining example of the socialist utopia liberals would love to create. These people want to micromanage every last facet of every human being on the plant’s life. They are the world’s worst busybodies.
With all of the world’s problems, and all of the problems in New York City, you have to ask why Bloomberg would waste valuable time, and city resources, on something this repugnant to all free men.
Liberals, in both political parties, are dangerous. They don’t care about a person’s basic rights, or for that matter, believe in personal responsibility. Government has no business regulating the minutia of it’s citizens’ every day lives. Especially when it’s not doing a good job at handling the basic responsibilities it actually does have.
It’s funny, when cities and states started banning smoking in certain places, those who care about Liberty and Freedom warned it was just the beginning. That if we allowed government to get away with it, government would just get bolder. This has come to pass. What started as a simple ban of smoking in restaurants, something almost everyone considered “reasonable,” has turned into zealots going so far as trying to ban people from smoking in their own homes and automobiles.
Government can’t save man from himself. People are going to do what they do. At best, all one can do is make sure people have information. If something is bad, or good, people have the God given right to choose. It’s not government’s place to make that choice for them.
As citizens, it’s time we stand up to tyrants and despots. The reason America had ObamaCare shoved down it’s throat is because too many think government, not free people, know what’s best for mankind. That mankind must be saved from itself.
It’s also a failure to believe in the free markets. Free markets DO work.
Let’s get back to soft drinks, as an example. I’ve always had a bit of a weight problem. It was a real problem when I was racing. Size matters!
Back in the day, diet drinks sucked. They sucked worse after an alarmist scientist at the FDA, Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, used faulty studies to claim cyclamates caused birth defects, and had them banned, “for the children.” [It’s always for the children, unless we are talking abortion, of course, then liberals are all for the wholesale slaughter of children]
Then a funny thing happened. Eventually, soft drink makers had THEIR scientists go to work. Now one is hard pressed to tell the difference between a high calorie soda and one with no calories. That’s the free market doing it’s job. People want a low, or no calorie drink, and they demand it tastes good. Drink makers heard the call, and answered.
There are numerous of examples of the free market responding to the needs of the consumer. When it comes to us fat people, there are more healthy choices than ever before. But that’s exactly what they are, choices. If a person wants to eat healthy, live longer, and not be miserable all the time. It isn’t hard to do.
Now some folks have real issues with weight control, medical issues that need serious treatment. That’s a whole other issue, and no amounts of banning soft drinks is going to cure that. But for folks who just want to keep their weight under control, there are no shortages of options, and the nanny state, Big Government types are not needed.
At some point people have to stand up and say enough is enough. Now we know the sheep in New York City will grumble, but go along with this nonsense. The problem is, what happens in these liberal enclaves migrates out, and into polite society. Liberals, in both political parties, around the country see no problem in destroying your Liberty and Freedom for the “greater good.”
It’s time we all stand up and say no more!
To paraphrase the famous poem by Reverend Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the smokers, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a smoker ….
You know how that story ends.