COMMENTARY | New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s scheme to ban soft drinks served in greater than 16 ounce cups is not only an example of annoying nanny state liberalism, but as George Will suggested on “This Week,” a solution in search of a problem.
The Daily Caller reports Will says the sale of such drinks have declined 24 percent since 1998. Thus, to suggest restricting such drinks is somehow going to alleviate the obesity crisis is ludicrous.
Bloomberg has rightly been ridiculed for this bit of government overreaching, as ABC News reports.The soft drink industry has taken out an ad depicting him dressed up like Mrs. Doubtfire, in a dress and with a disapproving expression on his face. If Bloomberg wants to be a purveyor of the nanny state, the ad suggests, then he should dress the part.
The proposal has gotten New Yorkers, usually more compliant when it comes to government plans to run their lives than the rest of the country, up in arms. Bloomberg, according to CBS News, is defiant, claiming somewhat disingenuously he is not proposing to take anything away but is just trying to make people think before getting the next 16 ounces of Coke or Sprite.
If Bloomberg is not trying to take anything away, then what is the point? A second trip to the soda fountain is hardly going to constitute enough exercise to counteract the extra high fructose corn syrup.
Guzzling large amounts of soft drinks is bad for one. That is not the point. The point is government ought not to be dictating what is bad and what is good for people. The point is people ought to be able to decide for themselves. If the government has any role, it would be to provide information about the consequences of one’s choices and to provide options.
While the slippery slope argument is often overused, it is apt in this case. After regulating the size of sugary drinks, no doubt — for the good of all New Yorkers — the size of things like pizza slices and steaks will be next. Once the government decides to do things for our own good, there is no stopping it, unless it is stopped at once.