The idea that Government may tell people what they may drink is a frightening prospect right?
Well frightening though it is, or ought to be, many of us allow Government to step in and regulate what we eat in the name of preserving our health. I am neither a Doctor, Scientist,or even a policy maker , what I am a however, is a citizen of planet earth who cherishes his freedom and that of others.
New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken it onto himself to determine that 32 ounce sugary drinks ought to be banned from New York City. As such, businesses doing business in Bloomberg’s Fiefdom has been scampering to order smaller sized cups, so as not to breach his Majesty’s decree, which should be in full effect by June of this year.
Of course this was before an Appeals Court Judge overturned (HRH) Michael Bloomberg’s decree, thank God for checks and balances. A couple of days ago after learning that the Court had done the right thing and stood up to what seem now to be a more aggressive and pompous Mayor Bloomberg, I tweeted that it was a great day for Democracy.
A dear friend of mine disagreed with me and made a very articulate argument on behalf of government over-reach. Quote:
[ Sometimes a state’s intervention to stem what can become a potentially serious health issue ,do make sense …the rationale : people who are addicted don’t think about their health issue which is related to their illness , only their personal fulfillment . In the long run it will affect everyone who is paying taxes . An health system that’s over whelmed will require tax dollars to sustain it , your hard earned dollars man . Democracy is not an isolated concept it involves making and taking tough decision by leaders on behalf of it populace . that’s the pragmatic way of looking at this issue. ….. pure democracy is a utopian concept.]
Bravo, Bravo , Mac, as a budding up and coming Lawyer , you make a dispassionate case for Mayor Bloomberg and every other Political leader who feel that they know best whats right for individuals, who they cynically deem, too stupid to decide for themselves.
But please do tell.. Where in the recorded history of mankind has Politicians ever been judicious and/or restrained when given overwhelming power over it’s people? I’ll await your research on that my friend mister Mac, but in the meantime here’s what I think.
Remember when they demonized smoking then banned it from restaurants and every eatery,and all public buildings and places where people congregate, Then they banned it in Parks?………………………Yes, outside.
No one found it problematic because they were fighting the big bad tobacco right? This was after they had done decades of demonizing of tobacco, it wasn’t hard, after that kind of demagoguery for the Government to line up enough public support to drastically tell us where we could or even if we may smoke.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no love for smoking but the issue is much larger than smoking, it is one of liberty and freedom.
It is a slippery slope when we allow Government to dictate to us in that way, one day we wake up and all your freedoms are gone.
Humans are quite capable of deciding for themselves what they drink or if they drink it is not up to the Government to decide, this is not even a legal issue, every well thinking person should be outraged at the temerity of Bloomberg, but not so, we have come to believe that Government knows best what’s right for us.
I stopped smoking because of the educational campaign certain NGO’s and yes the government waged, teaching about the health risks associated with smoking, not because some politician mandated that I must stop. There are certain fundamental rights that must never be abdicated or turned over to government. Those rights are not for Government to dole out to us, they are inalienable rights given to us by our creator.
Those Rights must never be subject to the whims of politicians.Every time Politicians want to take our rights they argue that it is for the greater good. As such it is difficult for people who believe fundamentally in the rights of the individual to self determination, to win the debate.
My response to my friend: Quote:
[Then you are even more gullible than I thought my brother. Pray do tell me ,where any Government in the history of mankind, when given the power over it’s people have EVER used that power judiciously, sparingly, or for the best interest of the people? The people are the best individual controller of their own destiny,it is not up to government to determine what we eat drink wear, where we worship, or if we worship. Those are inalienable rights granted by our creator.NOT government. The argument you put forward in defense of Government’s intrusions and over-reach into our lives are the very arguments governments use to con vulnerable and gullible taxpayers. You have essentially bought into the concept my dear friend that we as human beings are too stupid to know what to eat or drink, so it’s better if government make those decisions for us. I guarantee you do not feel that strongly about that perspective you advanced now big Mac.]
My contention is not one against Government, it is one of pro individual rights and freedoms, I dare anyone to prove to me , that giving more power to Government anywhere, has ever worked out for the good of the people. It doesn’t, it produces tyrants who abuse people. Bloomberg is not there yet thanks to the checks and balances within the system, but wherever politicians dare to show such temerity we should all be wary as to their motives.
Government Legislated Prohibition into law, look how well that turned out, say hello to the Mafia. Government Legislated the War on drugs into effect , look how well that turned out, say hello to massive destruction of lives by Cartels, the incarceration of Millions of non-violent offenders and the destruction of lives as a result of over-zealous cops . And by the way illicit drugs is still here with us more than ever, the message from that is, can we please try education and treatment , and lay off the testosterone- laced bravado for a minute?
Bloomberg and his acolytes argue that they did not mandate that people could not order a second drink, they merely wanted people to think after having say a 20 oz, whether to order another. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it ?
The problem with that nonsense is that for someone predisposed to drinking a 32 oz container of a sugary drink, there is not one shred of evidence that that person wont actually order a second drink, the only change which will occur is that that person will be forced to fork out more money to satisfy his/her thirst, and the Staten Island land-fill will have to contend with more non-bio degradable thrash, thanks to His Highness King Bloomberg.
As I’ said before Government should extricate itself from over-reaching into the individual rights of people, stop telling people you can’t do this you can’t do that, particularly when it comes to their bodies. Education is a valuable tool for convincing people about obesity, as it has done with cigarette smoking, as it has done with drunk driving, as it will do for illicit drug use, and possibly obesity
Bullying and banning will make criminals out of legitimate business owners, it may fill Jails with a new breed of criminals, it certainly will not stop obesity, maybe Bloomberg really doesn’t care about obesity, maybe what he really wants are jails filled with a new breed of criminals.
Maybe there ought to be a ban on people having too much money, I respectfully argue it will go a long way in reducing arrogance, what do you say Mayor Bloomberg,? Remember it was your money and influence which allowed you to convince the City Council to change the rules so you may serve 3 terms in office instead of the 2 term legal limit.