Mayor Bloomberg's Nanny State
Vie The New York Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sought federal permission on Wednesday to bar New York City’s 1.7 million recipients of food stamps from using them to buy soda or other sugared drinks.
The request, made to the United States Department of Agriculture, which finances and sets the rules for the food-stamp program, is part of an aggressive anti-obesity push by the mayor that has also included advertisements, stricter rules on food sold in schools and an unsuccessful attempt to have the state impose a tax on the sugared drinks.
In Mayor Bloomberg's New York, you can no longer smoke in restaurants or bars or within a given distance of a healthcare facility. Restaurants now inform you of the caloric content of their offerings, and trans-fats are right out. Broad stretches of the City's avenues and thoroughfares have become concrete-littered plazas with feeble specks of green. The Limelight, grievously, has become a mall. Schools can no longer hold bake sales with a view to limiting food choices in public education to a pre-approved roster of items; the side effect is that parents and student groups can no longer use the bake sales, a bedrock American tradition literally like mom and apple pie, to raise funds for extra-curricular activities.
The mayor's vision of the City of the future is astounding for its sheer Prussian efficiency and reach.
What comes next? Once you tell the poor - a growing demographic these days - that their food choices are subject to the Great White Father in City Hall, what's left?
People have a right to make their own decisions. To be meaningful, that must encompass the right to make objectively bad choices.