Rob Long in the June 25 issue of National Review, on NYC’s ban of large sodas. Maybe the famous “broccoli” question isn’t so hypothetical?
So Bloomberg’s logic is pretty airtight. Sugary drinks make us fat, and fat people get sick a lot, andsince we’re all responsible for each other’s health-care costs — you remember when we decided that, don’t you, a year or so ago? — banning those sodas makes economic and social sense. Fewer fat people, lower costs. Think they’ll pass the savings on to us?
For liberals, what you do with your body turns out not to be such a private matter after all, which is a bit of a switcheroo. I guess the rule is this: If a woman has a big fat stomach that’s filled with a fetus, it’s her body and her choice. If it’s filled with pizza and soda and Ben & Jerry’s, it’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to step in.
They make the same argument about smokers — raise the price! punish the bastards! — though for some reason they rarely make it about cycling — that’s a pretty upscale sport, with its tight-panted riders and DayGlo helmets, but there are an awful lot of gruesome accidents — and they almost never make it about sexually transmitted diseases, especially those that are transmitted in currently chic ways, like between two guys who are about to get married.
No one’s trying to ban extreme sports. No one’s trying to outlaw Grindr, the smartphone app that helps homosexual gentlemen find each other quickly via satellite technology. No, it’s all about tacky fat people just trying to get through the day, trying to give themselves a little mood bump in the face of a dismal job picture, a faltering world economy, and an uncertain future for their children. It’s been a non-stop cascade of bad news for them, and now the liberals are begrudging them their doughnut. Well, not the doughnut, but the super-size drink it comes with.