Anyone who reads my blog knows that personal responsibility is a primary issue for me. Without holding individuals responsible for their actions, ultimately, civilization falls apart.
Some think that it's a fine idea for government to mandate what is wise for us to do. And clearly, as I am not someone who thinks a system without laws and regulations would work, in some sense, I agree that we need "mandates." Yet, they need to be broad based and as timeless as possible, like the concepts embraced in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
I've blogged previously about the ludicrous situations that can develop as we go down the slippery slope of regulation in our personal lives from the government. Sadly, however, it seems that we are getting closer and closer to having our individual decision making - and our personal responsibility, destroyed.
“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,” said Bruce Vladeck, a senior adviser at Nexera Consulting and one of the mayor’s appointees to the 11-member board.
The board yesterday agreed to put Bloomberg’s big-soda ban up for a public hearing July 24, but also talked about the merits of limiting other high-calorie treats.
A large tub of movie-theater popcorn has up to 1,650 calories.
“There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories . . . and I’m not so sure what the rationale is not to include those,” said member Dr. Joel Forman, a pediatrics professor at Mount Sinai.
The rationale for skipping milkshakes — for now — is, I guess, that there’s some nutritional benefit to milk-based drinks whereas soda is pure crapola. But of course, it’s not the milk that’s doing the heavy caloric lifting in the average latte syrup bomb, it’s the sugar. Why not drop a portion-size restriction on Starbucks too and let customers supplement their lost milk with a cup out of the carton at home? (Why not just ban the sugar and syrup altogether?) Answer: Because the well-educated diet-minded liberals who sneer at soda consumption kind of enjoy their morning mochaccinos, and if the state starts coming after that now, then Bloomberg might have a real backlash on his hands. Paternalism’s for the rubes, not for the overclass.
As I've said before - why stop with fast food or fatty foods we consume while outside our homes? Why not make it illegal to purchase and consume cheesecake, pasta in cream sauce, meat lovers' pizza and a host of other less-than-healthfood kind of foods anywhere? And - why stop at food? Why not mandate what vehilcles we can use, what hobbies we can enjoy, how many hours we must sleep a day and with whom and when we can engage in sexual relations? Let's have the government tell us what we must study in school - and then what specific occupation we must have once we reach adulthood. Surely we are all aware that many of us make quite poor choices with all of the above.
Actually, I have a friend who lived in such a society. It was the Soviet Union.
He escaped about 30 years ago for our country. Now - I cannot help but wonder if he sometimes thinks he has somehow found himself falling back into that sort of society once again....