New York City To Ban Big Gulps?

June 1, 2012

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Double big gulp

Nanny state, nanny state, nanny state!!!! OK that should get my thought process out so you know what I’m thinking. It should also irritate a few people that don’t like the phrase nanny state. What does the phrase mean though?

A nanny state exists when a government enacts laws that are over protective. They interfere with our rights to enjoy life and our rights to choose things that please us. I don’t know why, but there seems to be an incredible insurgence of nanny state laws over the last few years.

First we have the west coast banning happy meal toys. Then we have the big push forcing McDonalds to include apples with all happy meals. Now we have the left coast trying to ban “sugary drinks” (ie soda) larger than 16 ounces. Seriously? What are people thinking? Are they saying that I’m not adult enough to decide if I want a Big Gulp from 7-11? I already know legislators are saying that my kids want happy meals only because of the toys and that I’m not parent enough to tell my kids no.

Mayor Bloomberg defends this action by saying that they’re combating obesity. The city has spent several million dollars combating obesity and this is their way of reducing consumption. The lower income group is allegedly targeted because they have a higher incident of obesity. By limiting the size of the soda containers, they effectively raise the price of soda. The result they hope for is that the lower income citizens will then not be able to buy as much “sugary drink” and thus lower their caloric intake. This is just another example of why we don’t want government involved in our health/healthcare decisions.

So what is the next logical move after large containers of soda is banned? I think the next logical step is for them to go after the restaurants serving hamburgers in NYC. Seriously, check these beautiful works of art out! I don’t know how Bloomberg can even for a moment consider banning soda but wouldn’t address these huge burgers covered in bacon, eggs and sauces; I’m talking fat city!

For those that know me personally, you know I’m a big micro-brewed beer fan. One of my biggest fears is that the government will now decide that I don’t need beer. I really love beer! I also really love cigars! The federal government has already been trying to ban the sale of mail order cigars. This would also eliminate walk in humidors, cigar marketing, cigar events/promotions, flavored cigars and other things that we likely need to “pass the bill” to find out what is in it.

So after all this, my fundamental question is this: Why do some people feel like we need to legislate everything to death? We have laws on the books that are totally unnecessary. If one law covers it, why create another new one to cover the same problem again? Why can’t people be left alone to live? Why does Mrs. Obama feel the need to dictate what I can buy at a fast food restaurant? Why does Mr. Bloomberg feel the need to regulate the size of soda that I can buy? Why do the counties in Colorado feel the need to insert a “use tax” on my vehicle registration?

I’m not sure why we’ve had this change toward regulating everything. I really hope that this is a temporary thought process and we can stop soon though. I still believe that we are a mature and responsible nation that can wipe our own noses and take care of ourselves. I hope that at some point the majority of our nation returns that same way of thinking.


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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 10:42:17

    I definitely agree with people being allowed to make dietary choices. It not as if there is some secret that pop is bad for you – everyone knows that it’s loaded with sugar (or HCFS).

    Interestingly, you can easily buy a 200 “serving size” of cigarettes in a convenient package (carton). We need more protection from Pepsi than Joe Camel?

    Also, a 16 oz beverage isn’t actually 16 oz of the liquid. At some places, you’re lucky to get half that, with the rest being ice.


  2. Martin Kelly
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 18:22:48

    What I love about the do-gooders is that the same week they start the ban on sugary drinks, they are legalizing marijuana!


  3. Evan
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 08:20:59

    I agree with you, but just thinking out loud for the sake of playing devil’s advocate, could proponents of this argue that it is really a matter of where the line is drawn? The government outlaws or regulates many things that are bad for us (certain drugs, for example), that have a cost on society beyond just to the person ingesting the item. If these drinks were driving up your insurance rates to crazy levels, putting a burden on our hospitals and health system, etc., could the government step in? Granted, there probably isn’t proof that those effects are actually taking place, but if they were, could the government do something about it?


  4. Sqeauky
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 07:21:09

    @Evan…I agree…where does the line get drawn? Some ideas may be good ones, but it certainly treads across a slippery slope. I personally don’t drink regular soda, only diet so this wouldn’t impact me personally. Beyond that, I won’t go to NYC unless I’m forced too.

    @Martin…legalize marijuana then ban sugary drinks and cigars. That makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

    There is now talk about why other food and drinks aren’t included. Popcorn tubs, milkshakes, some Starbucks drinks are all in the conversation. How can they ignore french fries?

    I have no doubt that the people making these decisions and recommendations think they’re only doing what’s right. The problem I see is that if we allow the government into this arena, when does it stop?

    I don’t think using insurance claims or loss history is enough to allow this infringement. Higher insurance costs can be dealt with by raising the premiums of those that have a higher claims rate. The Department of Insurance already monitors and has to approve any rate increases. The downside is that group policies will impact everyone with the group, but for individual policies the rates will impact the individual.

    Either way, I don’t want or need the government making decisions about my diet. If I want a burrito or a juicy steak, I shouldn’t have to worry about the government getting in the way of that freedom. If I want to wash it down with a frappuccino or milkshake, that too should be my right.

    Going back to Martin’s point, is a milkshake more evil than a joint?



  5. Squeaky
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 15:46:08

    The slippery slope just became more slippery. The people’s republic of Cambridge, MA is now trying to ban soda and sugary drinks of all sizes from being sold in restaurants. I kid you not, read this:


  6. kosmo
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 08:05:53

    Didn’t some country ban the sale of alcoholic beverages once? How did that work out? Wonder if the ban on soda could go down that path? Probably not, but that’d be weird.


  7. squeaky
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 10:24:09

    LOL, great point Kosmo.


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