A Serious Note About Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

As NCPPR Chairman Amy Ridenour wrote in this space, America cares about the proposed soda ban.

But why?

So many people, myself included, almost never drink any full sugar soda. The only time I remember buying such a large soda was to share the over-priced treat with a friend at Yankee Stadium. One large was less of a rip-off than two smalls.

So really, what’s the big deal?

I believe it really is not about the soda. It is about the underlying belief by government regulators that if there is a problem, the government not only should, but has the capacity to fix it. As David Hogberg, the Washington Correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily, so astutely observed on Twitter,

Mayor Bloomberg shows that terms like “We” and “We as a society” are often euphemisms for government:

So when a government official says something like “we as a society have to do everything possible to fight obesity,” he sounds reasonable, but when you realize he was really talking about the government, it becomes a bit more troubling. The fact that they use the euphemism  suggests that even the heavy-handed regulators know that people don’t want the government to be doing things that should be left to society.

On many of the radio shows I’ve been on since the story broke late last week, the hosts have asked the excellent question: “Aren’t we beginning to go down that slippery slope we always worry about?”

My response is “No! We are not beginning to go down that slope we are already well on our way down it, the only question is, ‘how many more of these outlandish proposals need to make headlines before more freedom-loving Americans wake up and put an end to it?’”

Back when I was talking about these issues when the Mayor banned food donations to NYC run homeless shelters, hosts often asked, “what’s next, are they going to monitor what homeless people eat in the streets, too? I was only joking when I said “don’t give the Mayor any ideas.”

We are well down that slippery slope.

There is hope. We defeated efforts to ban bake sales in Massachusetts. Is this proposal any less outrageous?

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.