"...paved with good intentions..."
Bloomberg Plans a Ban on Large Sugared Drinks
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.The mayor is almost certainly correct in associating sugared drinks as a particularly potent contributor to the extensive evidences of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders and diseases in the United States.That said, it's an appalling abuse of the power of government to institute the kind of bans that he's proposing. Even if we suppose that this would reduce consumption rather than just increasing units sold (and increasing inconvenience and waste as a result), what right does Nanny Bloomberg have to decree what size soda or fruit juice anyone purchases? If it's not bad enough to ban outright, what purpose is served by having the government (i.e., we the people, banded together with guns and sovereign immunity) mandate the size of the packaging?
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, which could take effect as soon as next March.
There are a lot of issues that this raises, and I don't have time right now. Expect a future post with more on this topic...