Bloomberg vs. Fatsos

Has Bloomberg gone a step too far with his new ban on large sodas?

No big sodas here anymore. Photo via Flickr by CalamariGirl.

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

Just yesterday, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he plans to ban large sodas from being sold in delis, street carts, movie theaters and other places to help prevent obesity. Drew Magary of Gawker noted the varied responses to this plan:

The Atlantic called it classist. Comedy Central’s political blog (they have one!) called it ridiculous. Forbes called Bloomberg a Republican Socialist. And Bernie Goldberg basically declared that the ban was a gateway law that will one day lead to the government stealing your kids in the middle of the night and harvest their organs to give to illegal immigrants.

“But then Gawker added a new idea: “People, please, shut the fuck up.”

That’s right — Gawker says get over yourself, a democracy isn’t about getting everything you want.

If you think that a ban on large sodas is somehow an affront to America freedom, I have news for you: You don’t live in a free country. You never have and you never will. That’s an illusion. You are not free to murder people in America. You are not free to stand in the middle of an intersection and block traffic…So maybe it’s not such a bad thing if a city official, who was freely ELECTED by his own constituents, tries his best to curb its influence. It doesn’t make this country a member of the Warsaw Pact if that happens. And if you want to go crying about a NANNY STATE or whatever other dipshit talking point Politico fed you, go right ahead. Sometimes, voters like being nannied. In this country, you are FREE to vote for a little nannying if you like.

This nanny/dictator side of Bloomberg came out in a recent response to the issue of how to get people to eat better.

“We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup.” [Emphasis added]

The truth is that Bloomberg has his past efforts to improve people’s health and New Yorkers’ quality of life on his side. He banned smoking, and we all hated the idea at first; now you can barely find a place indoors to smoke in all of the United States. While I don’t really think that banning enormous sodas will do much to improve the obesity epidemic in the country — I think we really need to get fresh food in our most underserved neighborhoods instead — I do think that Bloomberg is right to set standards, and to say that the government isn’t going to pick up the bill for people’s poor health choices. Now if only we could ban SUVs for being too big…. clearly, mandates like these are a slippery slope.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

Tags: new york citygovernancehealthmichael bloomberg

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1109 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous at $5/Year
  • Brian at $60/Year
  • Paul at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉
Donate
×