Mayor Bloomberg Moves to Ban Large Sugary Drinks: How Will That Make Things Better, Exactly?
Mayor Bloomberg is going to create some controversy with this:
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
I'm pretty sure that your reaction to this is a pretty good Rohrshach Test of where you stand on a whole host of issues. Progressives who have a libertarian bent, like myself and most of the A-List bloggers I know, are going to find this to be overly intrusive, even if we are sympathetic to the basic idea.
To me, it falls in same category as recreational drug use. Yes, it's bad for your health and probably your mind, but the government isn't making things better by creating a massive black market and turning otherwise law-abiding citizens into petty criminals. So, you now have to get your 20 ounce Coca-Cola at the supermarket instead of Shea Stadium. That solves what?
Yet, there is a strain of progressivism that is very strongly in favor of legislation of this type. That's why, for example, cigarettes are six dollars or more a pack, even though the money raised generally acts as nothing more than a subsidy for rich people so they can pay lower taxes.