Because Nanny Bloomberg is too nice

**Posted by Phineas

The New York City Board of Health is considering whether to approve Mayor Nanny Michael Bloomberg’s ban on soda drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg’s proposal generated some controversy at a recent board meeting, because many members don’t think it goes far enough:

At the meeting, some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods.

One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.

“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,” Vladeck said.

Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.

“There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories,” said board member Dr. Joel Forman.

Oh, why stop there? At steakhouses, waiters should pre-cut steaks and chops into Board-mandated bite sizes to reduce the danger of choking, and then watch to make sure you chew enough times and don’t eat too fast. Or maybe ban red meat altogether? Hot dogs should be strictly vegan, and cheese and meat banned from pizza. Stores should only sell non-fat milk, and deep-fryers should require a license to buy. (But don’t include Mikey in any of that.)

Aside from the raging nanny-ism, there’s something else disturbing here: the members of the Board of Health are appointed by Bloomberg, presumably because he likes the way they think. Other than a public comment period (and how much good do we really think that will do?), there is no check on their power to regulate the most basic behaviors of NYCers; the elected representatives of the residents of New York City, the city council, apparently have no say. It might take an act of the legislature to tell Mikey to “knock it off.”

(And you know it’s bad when the NY legislature denounces government overreach.)

Are the people of the Big Apple happy with this? Do they want government dictating the finest, most petty details of their lives? Because it won’t stop here. I guarantee it. Bureaucrats will always want to expand their tin-pot empires, and nannies will always find new areas in which we can’t be trusted to make our own choices.

This is how liberty is lost: not in sudden coups, but in little regulatory usurpations, each of which, on its own, might seem reasonable and “for our own good,” but, when added up, turn the freeborn citizen into an infantilized ward of the State.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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