Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why The NY Soda Ban Matters (Response to “The Dick”)

I’m sure most of you have heard about New York City’s proposed soft drink ban.

Lee Doren (HowTheWorldWorks) did a video on this, to which Richard Coughlan (Coughlan000) uploaded a video response. Now I find both users to be voices of reason on YouTube, but in this case, Coughlan missed the point entirely. He argued that if people like Doren really wanted to drink more than 16 oz., they could simply buy two 16 oz. drinks, because in the end, this was a problem that really didn’t matter:

One and a half billion people around the world, they live on less than one dollar a day. Yeah, kind of puts your winging about having some regulation on your own f***ing hideous gluttony [into perspective]. Seriously, this makes you angry at the world today?
Are there more pertinent issues in the world other than not being able to buy a drink over 16 oz.? Of course! But does this issue still matter? In a word, yes. Because it’s not just a matter of inconvenience, it’s a matter of principle: this is the government telling us that we can’t buy something because it might be unhealthy.

I’m sorry, but it’s none of the government’s damn business to tell me what I can or cannot eat. If I want to consume more that 16 oz. of empty calories, that’s my choice; and if I get fat because of it, that’s my problem.

Seriously, how far is the government going to go in order to fight this War on Obesity? If it has the power to ban soft drinks, what else can it ban? Fast food joints? Happy Meal toys? School bake sales? School vending machines? Oh wait—

And does anyone honestly believe this soft drink ban is going to prevent people from getting fat? Did prohibition prevent people from getting drunk? Is the drug war preventing people from getting high? The answer should be obvious at this point.

If the government honestly wanted to fight obesity, it would attack the real source of the problem: farm subsidies. For decades, the federal government has kept corn prices artificially low through subsidies, thus allowing high-fructose corn syrup (which is highly-fattening) to be used in more food products like soft drinks, which are then consumed by more people, which in turn makes them more obese. So the government, through its infinite wisdom, decides to solve this obesity problem by taxing and banning food products made from high-fructose corn syrup—which is only widely-available because the government made it dirt cheap through subsidies.

In other words, we have the government fighting a problem it created in the first place! But then again, isn’t that all what government really does?