New York City is a big place. So it’s not surprising that it has its fair share of political kooks with nutty ideas they think are the answer to America’s problems. It seems a little odd though, that those Big Brother wannabes are in office.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks, according to a New York Times article. The article states, “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.
I get it. People are stupid. It’s impossible to be a historian and not realize the only reason humanity has not destroyed itself is because we enjoy making more of ourselves, almost as much as we enjoy reveling in our own stupidity. Darwin would be so proud.
As long as humanity has been searching for ever more creative and amusing methods of self-destruction, we have been searching for ever more creative ways to curb that destruction. Hardcore religious doctrine, Prohibition, arms treaties, smoking bans. They all more or less do the same thing in different ways. Some are good, and some are bad.
Banning the sale of sugary soda is one of the bad ones. Like Prohibition, it’s trying to stop the evils of a product. Also like Prohibition, its enactment will merely move the problem underground. While I don’t see guys in back alleys with coolers hidden under trench coats, I do see a lot of people commuting away from the city and stocking up on the banned items.
So having rejected Bloomberg’s plan for combating the national obesity epidemic, the next question is what do I plan to replace it with?
Well, some common sense would be a good start. Drinking a soda the size of your femur is probably a bad idea. According to an ABC World News report, a 32 oz. fountain soda has the equivalent of 41 sugar cubes. Better health education, parental responsibility, and an hour outside running around instead of playing the video game Call of Duty and beating my killstreak might not be a bad idea either.
The problem with that is it takes the power from the government to better society, and places that responsibility with the people.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t trust people, but they prove me wrong all the time. It seems better to have the public fix itself then to have the public fixed for itself. One creates a generation of doers and dreamers, flushed with the success of mastery of their domain. The other creates a dictatorship. Seeing which one is preferable isn’t rocket science.