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Michael Bloomberg, Soda Jerk - Mayor Bloomberg's proposed soda ban is about himself, not about...
Reason ^ | June 12, 2012 | Shikha Dalmia

Posted on 06/15/2012 12:20:29 AM PDT by neverdem

Mayor Bloomberg's proposed soda ban is about himself, not about public health.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on big sodas in the Big Apple is generating accusations that he is a Nanny Statist. But that’s not quite accurate. A nanny forces others to do things for their own good. Bloomberg is a moral narcissist forcing New Yorkers to do things that make him feel good.

Under his soda ban, street vendors and restaurants would be barred from selling pop in anything over 16-ounce containers on the theory that limiting access to sugary drinks will help combat the city’s obesity and diabetes “epidemics.” No one—not even Bloomberg himself—believes that the ban will actually work, not least because unlimited free refills will remain legal, as will oversized helpings of apple juice and other “natural” beverages with arguably even more sugar. But workability isn’t the point right now. It’s to get the public used to the idea of the government slurping around in your Slurpee, and then to ratchet up. It’s the slippery slope consciously deployed as a policy strategy.

Nor is this Bloomberg’s first foray into minding your own business. He has also cracked down on smoking, salt and trans fats. He has mandated that fast-food joints post calorie counts. He also tried (unsuccessfully) to bar food stamp recipients from buying sodas—one-upping fellow Republicans who want to urine-test welfare recipients to make sure they don’t use their government aid for drugs.

Alleged public health threats are not Bloomberg’s only obsession. Although himself an admitted former toker, he has unleashed the nation’s most insidious anti-pot policy in defiance of state law. New York decriminalized the possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana so long as it is not in public view. But the NYPD started entrapping suspects through a “stop-and-frisk” strategy that forces them to empty their pockets when stopped—and arrests them if any dope comes into public view.

This has made New York the marijuana arrest capital of the world. Over 400,000 low-level marijuana arrests have been made during Bloomberg’s tenure, more than in the three previous administrations combined. The vast majority of them occur in poor, minority neighborhoods, ruining the lives of young Latino and black men for acts that their richer, whiter bros in tonier suburbs get away with routinely. Local outrage is finally prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make low-level pot possession a misdemeanor not punishable by arrest. The soda ban too, it should be noted, will have a disproportionate impact on the budget of low-income families, who often buy a large pop and share.

(Article continues below video.)

How does Bloomberg get away with such ruinous interference? Essentially, by affixing the adjective “public” before his pet peeves, turning them into respectable social causes such as “public health” and “public security.” The truth is that people who enjoy Twinkies and cola turn off Bloomberg, a rich man with an ultra-yuppie sensibility. But he can’t simply outlaw their preferences and mandate his. In the “free” world, rulers have to offer rationales beyond their personal whims. And the one Bloomberg and his fellow social engineers increasingly deploy doesn’t involve compelling individuals to undertake virtuous actions to advance some broader public good (something that can be constitutionally nettlesome, as Obamacare’s individual mandate demonstrated). Rather, it involves barring individuals from doing things to prevent some public harm—a negative externality, to use economics parlance.

This occurs when one person’s actions have harmful side effects for another. A factory dumping effluents into a river and hurting downstream farmers, for example. Its prerequisite is some commonly held resource that no one—not even the most ardent libertarian—could argue individuals have the right to ruin for personal gain.

Hence social meddlers have taken to finding such externalities everywhere—and then asserting jurisdiction over them. Liberal blogger Felix Salmon has declared private schools a negative externality (presumably worthy of outlawing) because they hurt state-run schools, a public resource. Global-warming warriors have ordained the Earth’s climate a global common that everyone needs to go on a strict energy diet to protect. Likewise, as far as Bloomberg is concerned, government spending has made health care a common concern—one he has to address by vetting individuals’ diets.

Every Bloomberg edict has been accompanied by a strange kind of doublespeak: He at once denies he’s restricting anyone’s rights even as he identifies the public interest requiring those rights to be restricted. He justified his crackdown on non-violent pot users by citing potential savings to the city’s security budget in case they turn violent. His public health commissioner Tom Farley is flirting with alcohol restrictions on everyone because some people might drink excessively and require costly emergency care. When banning trans fats, Bloomberg insisted that he was not “taking away anybody’s ability to eat what they want”—he was merely “trying to make food safer” to minimize cardiac-related public health costs. Likewise, he defended his clampdown on sugary drinks by protesting, “We’re not taking away anyone’s rights to do things. We’re simply forcing you to understand [that your choices have public costs].”

But public costs are simply a ruse for control freaks like Bloomberg to foist their personal choices on everybody else. To stop them will ultimately require restricting government to its essential functions. Until then, New Yorkers need to tell Bloomberg that they will gladly spend a little extra on people’s “unhealthy” choices as a price for their liberties. Protecting their rights is more important than protecting their pocketbooks.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bloomberg; publichealth
Moneybags was an uber RINO, but he became an independent.
1 posted on 06/15/2012 12:20:47 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Maybe he believes the bigger the a$$ he is the longer he will be remembered as beloved by New Yorkers.


2 posted on 06/15/2012 12:51:29 AM PDT by microgood
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To: neverdem

3 posted on 06/15/2012 12:54:05 AM PDT by NoLibZone (I trust Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Cain, Perry, Bachman : I trust their judgment on their 2012 pick.)
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To: neverdem

Bloomberg is an idiot. If someone wants 32oz of soda they will just buy two 16 oz servings.


4 posted on 06/15/2012 1:05:28 AM PDT by South40
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To: neverdem

Considering the typical amount of ice that they put in soft drinks, I’d say that you’re only getting half the cup of soda anyway. So, you’ll need a 32 ounce cup to get 16 ounces of pop anyway.


5 posted on 06/15/2012 1:09:33 AM PDT by meyer (It's 1860 all over again - the taxpayer is the new "N" word)
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To: meyer

I always request no ice.

I am not paying for water, frozen or liquid.


6 posted on 06/15/2012 1:19:44 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: NoLibZone

Bloomie is a cheesy poof!


7 posted on 06/15/2012 1:23:53 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: neverdem; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; BillyBoy; GOPsterinMA

Nope he was never even a RINO, he was a liberal democrat pretending to be a RINO to use the GOP line to get elected. Much easier than playing the special interest/racial minefield BS game in the rat primary.

It was a brilliant plan. In fact he’s just pure ego.

It makes me sick he was given the GOP line for a third term even after he went “indie” and supported Osama. I would have voted for the official democrat. Bring back Julie Annie.


8 posted on 06/15/2012 1:30:09 AM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: neverdem
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on big sodas in the Big Apple is generating accusations that he is a Nanny Statist. But that’s not quite accurate. A nanny forces others to do things for their own good. Bloomberg is a moral narcissist forcing New Yorkers to do things that make him feel good.

So call him what he is--a Bully Statist.

Like a bully on the playground.

The People of New York City need to recall this bully.
9 posted on 06/15/2012 1:40:25 AM PDT by HoneysuckleTN (Where the woodbine twineth... || FUBO! OMG! ABO!)
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To: neverdem

10 posted on 06/15/2012 1:50:08 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: neverdem

This is about gettiing the media hyped and talking about his campaign so he can bring it to the world stage.


11 posted on 06/15/2012 2:43:18 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (B B)
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To: neverdem

This is what so-called liberals do. They’re not happy running their own lives. They’re only happy running everyone else’s; or perhaps more precisely, ruining everyone else’s.


12 posted on 06/15/2012 3:22:02 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: neverdem

I’ve only seen him in pictures but it looks to me like the good mayor could drop 20 pounds or so himself before he takes on everybody else’s consumption habits. Just saying...


13 posted on 06/15/2012 3:26:20 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: neverdem

“I would like to keep the taxes on hot dogs very low because I like hot dogs,” Bloomberg said.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/07/michael-bloombergs-double-standard-68-hot-dogs-good-32-oz-soda-bad/#ixzz1xrBAhf87

So hot dogs, high in saturated fat, sodium and probably made with processed meat are OK because Bloomberg likes them.


14 posted on 06/15/2012 3:33:22 AM PDT by MulberryDraw (The government "gives" and the government takes away (freedom).)
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To: NoLibZone

Yikes! Bottom right corner of sign: is that lady blowing a bubble w/ bubblegum, using wax lips, or are those just real bad dentures? LOL. What a group! Long live cheesy poofs!


15 posted on 06/15/2012 3:38:07 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: Jonty30
I never drink soda drinks from a dispenser. They are made from chlorinated tap water (sometimes supposedly filtered) which, to me, tastes terrible even when flavored and carbonated.
16 posted on 06/15/2012 3:56:47 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
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To: neverdem
He also tried (unsuccessfully) to bar food stamp recipients from buying sodas
I actually agree with him on this one. If you're going to accept nannystate money, you should be forced to accept nannystate restrictions.

Free people should have the right to consume what food and drink they want, with no nannystate oversight, but freeLOADERS (who will also freeload their medical care) should be forced to eat healthy.

My neighborhood market has a lot of people using those EBT cards and I'll tell you, you don't have to stand in too many lines watching other people spend your money on junk food before you start to agree with nannystate controls for freeloaders.

17 posted on 06/15/2012 4:01:12 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: neverdem

Everyone is avoiding the obvious. The runt is a goosestepping fascist, not a nanny or a narcissist. He gets his jollys controlling other people’s property just like Hitler.

It’s getting tiresome to watch writers avoid the elephant in the room.


18 posted on 06/15/2012 4:20:21 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Public unions exist to protect the unions from the taxpaying public)
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To: neverdem

mayor doomberg strikes again


19 posted on 06/15/2012 4:22:19 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (i a m t h e m a r g i n o f e r r e r)
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To: neverdem

He is in New York.

They elected him-—they deserve him.

Typical for New York, they also elected Hillary, and Chuck the Schmuck.

I don’t have any sympathy for them.


20 posted on 06/15/2012 4:27:41 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: neverdem

It’s always about tyrants.


21 posted on 06/15/2012 5:20:40 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: South40
“.....they will just buy two....”

That's the point, double tax!

22 posted on 06/15/2012 5:42:05 AM PDT by cameraeye (A happy kaffir!)
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To: Impy; neverdem; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; BillyBoy

“Nope he was never even a RINO, he was a liberal democrat pretending to be a RINO to use the GOP line to get elected...”

“It was a brilliant plan. In fact he’s just pure ego.”

Well said!!!


23 posted on 06/17/2012 5:44:25 PM PDT by GOPsterinMA (The Glove don't fit.)
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