The first three times I read this, I was sure it was supposed to be ironic and sarcastic. I am increasingly convinced that this was written for real
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on sugary drinks is good for you, New York, and for the rest of the country, too.
And here’s something else, a guaranteed wager: Winston Smith, the suffering protagonist in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eight-Four,” would trade every aspect of the society dreamed up for him by the sadistic totalitarian government in place of a ban on sugary drinks in 16-ounce cups any day.
There I said it. I know the sentiment is unpopular. I know people will fear the ramifications of a ban on that black bubbling cola in their plastic Big Gulps because they believe it is the road to bigger restrictions on more of their choices. It won’t.
We are a nation of fatties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than one-third of United States adults -- 35.7 percent -- are obese. And obesity is expensive.
Medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion in 2008, the CDCnoted. And for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. While sugary drinks like soda and fruit drinks are not the only culprit here, it is a fact that people are consuming these beverages at an alarming rate. Something needs to be done.
I am sure long-time Coyote Blog readers will not the Health Care Trojan Horse (TM) -- using the socialization of health care costs to justify coercive interventions in individual choices that used to be considered personal.
I have been studying HG Wells of late. One thing I didn't know about him before is that for all his skepticism about the future in many of his books, and all his prescience about the worst impulses of man, he believed it was possible to create an ideal government that would a dictatorship of the elite, scientific, and enlightened. Historians called that view "naive", and at the time it may have been. But to hold this sort of view today, as this author does, given history, is simply insane. Power begets more power. Coercion begets more coercion.
There really is a very simple test for this - simply imagine the coercive power you advocate in the hands of your worst political enemy. Still happy with it? I bet not.