How a Federal Menu-Labeling Law Will Harm American Pizza

Complying with a proposed FDA menu-labeling rule would be somewhere between costly and impossible for tens of thousands of U.S. pizza and grocery chains.

This week, as a new Congress was being sworn in, the Food and Drug Administration released two sets of controversial and long-delayed food-safety rules.

Another FDA rule that’s been long in the making is the agency’s proposed menu-labeling rule.

The purpose of that rule, first proposed in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is to “provid[e] information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.”

In 2008, California became the first state in the nation to adopt a uniform menu-labeling law. The law had the backing of the state’s restaurant association—a surprising turn of events until one considers that chain restaurants in the state had been forced to deal with an increasing number of varying menu-labeling rules in municipalities throughout the state. With more and more states adopting their own menu-labeling rules, the National Restaurant Association adopted the California strategy and sought a shield against this death by 1,000 cuts by pushing for one uniform national menu-labeling rule. (I detailed this chronology in a 2010 Chapman University Law Review article, The “California Effect” and the Future of American Food: How California’s Growing Crackdown on Food & Agriculture Harms the State & the Nation.)

The delay in implementing the FDA’s menu-labeling rule appears to have resulted, to the consternation of many in the food industry, in an expansion of Congress’ original intent. As it’s now constructed, the rule would apply not just to chain restaurants like McDonald’s and Applebee’s but also to grocery stores and chain pizza restaurants—both of which oppose the FDA’s plans. 

Nancy Huehnergarth, executive director of the New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance, tells me she supports the proposed FDA rule because it would provide information at the right place and time.

“The key to menu labeling and getting it to work is that people see the calories at the point of purchase,” says Huehnergarth.

Pizza chains, which have banded together to oppose the FDA’s plans to have the rules cover them, have good reasons to chafe at being included under the law.

For one, most have been providing nutrition information for years. The Papa John’s website displays nutrition information under each menu item, for example, while Domino’s website features a tool it calls a Cal-o-Meter. For pizza, the point of purchase is most often online or over the phone.

In an op-ed published last year in The Hill, the CEO of Domino’s, J. Patrick Doyle, criticized the proposed rule as “a one-size-fits-all set of rules for menu labeling that will result in wide calorie ranges for entire pizzas on menus consumers will not even see, but will cost small business owners thousands of dollars a year.”

Those costs can range upwards of $5,000 per franchise location. The cost to grocers—a cost that, as with pizza, would no doubt be passed on to consumers in the form of higher food costs—would be even greater.

Why so costly?

"With 34 million ways to make a pizza, it makes no common sense to require this industry—which already discloses calories voluntarily, for the most part—to attempt to cram this information on menu boards in small storefronts,” says Lynn Liddle, who chairs the American Pizza Community, a coalition representing much of the American pizza industry, in an email to me.

To put that number of pizza choices in perspective, consider that nearly every single person living in Canada today could order an entirely different pizza from Domino’s—where the chain is also popular.

Opposition—from those like me who say the proposed rules go too far and those who argue they don’t go far enough—has slowed the FDA as the agency has sought to craft a final rule.

Some in the latter camp seem certain that others should simply divine a way to comply with the FDA’s proposed rules.

“I think pizza places should label calories—really, they can figure out how to do it,” New York University professor of public health Marion Nestle wrote at her Food Politics blog over the summer.

One way pizza chains might do so is to post a calorie range for all menu items. But pizza makers argue that such a range would be too broad and, anyways, 90 percent of their customers order their food online or over the phone—making in-store posting not just costly but also irrelevant and unhelpful to consumers.

Nestle says she doesn’t buy that argument.

“The idea that the range of calories is so great as to be meaningless I don’t think holds any kind of water—or mozzarella cheese—at all because it at least gives you a ballpark figure,” she told CBS This Morning in June.

But that’s a startling and confusing reversal for Nestle, who was highly critical of the FDA permitting those same menu calorie ranges in an April post at her Food Politics blog.

I noticed other key omissions in the FDA’s proposed rules,” Nestle wrote then. “For one thing, they allow impossibly large ranges such as the 200-to-800 calories that Chipotle posts, for example.”

Just to recap Nestle’s argument: Pizza chains can figure out how to label menu items. Large calorie ranges are a reasonable way to label menu items. The FDA should not permit large calorie ranges as part of menu item labeling.

Given Nestle’s conflicting arguments and—more important—the potential cost and logical impossibility of displaying millions of possible calorie counts on a menu board, it’s no wonder that the American Pizza Community and grocers are seeking reasonable accommodations.

“What does make common sense is to put the information online or in handheld menus, where it's useful to consumers and affordable for small business pizza shop owners,” Liddle tells me. “We're just asking for a reasonable approach to calorie disclosure. You wouldn't think that would be so hard."

I don’t support coerced menu labeling generally because it limits culinary innovation and doesn’t appear to achieve its stated goal of reducing calorie intake.

For pizza chains—the bulk of which serve customers who purchase online or over the phone and who may (like me) never order a pizza from inside a Domino’s or a Papa John’s, permitting calorie counts to be posted online and via smartphone and tablet apps makes sense. In the case of grocery stores, it's clear Congress never intended the FDA’s restaurant menu labeling law to apply to them.

A bill introduced last year by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2012, would have exempted pizza chains and grocers from being forced to comply with the new rules.

Time ran out on the bill with the seating this week of the new Congress. But supporters of the bill are optimistic it will be reintroduced and pass soon in the new Congress. I, for one, hope Congress orders up this slice of wisdom.

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  • ||

    They will take away Epi's deep-dish pizza with extra conversation heart topping when they pry it from his cold greasy fingers.

  • david_brown||

    upto I looked at the draft ov $6440, I didn't believe that my father in law woz realie bringing in money part time on their laptop.. there friends cousin had bean doing this for under 21 months and at present paid the loans on there condo and purchased a new Chevrolet Corvette. this is where I went, http://ace60.com

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, we know Fark posters are showing up now.

    Hey, can anybody translate Gibberish to English? Google doesn't have a tab for it.

  • ||

    Something about sending money to a prince in Nigeria to claim an untold fortune.

  • bmp1701||

    But without labeling, how will we know if we're eating an Assault Pizza, with high-capacity grease pooling and an amount of mozzarella entirely inappropriate for sporting purposes?

  • SweatingGin||

    I kind of drooled at the idea of an assault pizza.

  • Diogenes of Sinope||

    I'm more of a long-range sniper sporting hunting pizza type. That's why the ghillie suit hunting camo.

  • SweatingGin||

    Wonder how the calories of a scope compare to those of a red-dot sight?

  • Diogenes of Sinope||

    Red dot's poison; advertises you're there.

  • Virginian||

    Huh? A red dot doesn't advertise. A laser sight does, but that's not the same as a red dot.

  • sloopyinca||

    Do Hindus even eat pizza?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It depends on how you kill the pig.

  • John Galt||

    Only if the sauce looks like baby poo.

  • deified||

    I'll just leave this right here:

    While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales - NYTimes.com

    www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/07fat.html

    Michelle Obama is a real piece of work.

  • sloopyinca||

    The Bush admin did something along the same lines.

    Government really is about cronyism, and will without exception bolster the businesses of supporters regardless of the public impact or the conflict of interest with another agency.

    They're all malicious cunts.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's those assault sodas with their large caps that you need to worry about.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Didn't I see on Drudge that now they're saying fatties live longer? I didn't read the actual article but the thrust of what I imagine in my head it was goes something like this:

    Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
    Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
    Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
    Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

    I think pizza places should just display for any pizza the largest calorie count for a pie that they could possibly construct, rather than try to calculate that actual amounts for a the various combinations of toppings. If you're eating pizza, you've already surrendered in the caloric battle.

  • New Cassandra||

    Woody Allen - Sleeper IIRC

  • ||

    That study was a typical example of how-not-to-do-science as I wrote at some length, and the media lapped it up like the mindless whores they are.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You're like Elaine, ruining Newman and everyone's guilt-free yogurt eating.

  • ||

    Did I ever tell about the time I drove the Soup Nazi out of town?

  • ||

    Thanks for ruining my daddy's business you fat fuck!

  • ||

    Not bad, PS. Not bad at all. IMMO, there are two things that are the motherfucking Devil in what passes as nutritional science:

    1) BMI (absolutely useless as a measure of overall health).

    2) The USDA Food Pyramid (a weapon of mass destruction).

    One of the best: Genetics and family HX. I'm a firm believer that one's genetic profile showing genetic lineage gives a better idea of what may be the optimal diet for a given person, since most phenotypes (such as fat, carb, and protein metabolism) are inwardly expressed. Tests measuring blood chemistries, full lipid panel, and complete metabolic panels, and cardiac enzyme tests are going to tell me a lot more about your overall health than the notoriously unreliable first hand account of dietary intake.

    Evolutionary factors play a big part into how a given diet reacts to a specific person, and my go-to population displaying this is the Native American population in OK WRT Teh Diabeetus and other endocrine and cardiac maladies. Basically, they adopted a diet that from an evolutionary POV, were not prepared to tolerate. Same goes for Americans of Black African ancestry.

  • ||

    Afternoon Doc.

    I recently read The 10,000 Year Explosion so I'm more convinced that evolutionary change can happen quite fast, say 1000 years or ~40 generations for a standard deviation. Also genes travel around unless they are well isolated, so there seems that ag adapted genes quickly spread into Europe from the Middle East. Does that mean a person from an ag culture is optimized for eating wheat or rice? Prolly not, but better off than someone whose ancestors were HGs a century ago.

    But isn't the big thing with DM2 and other such DOCs the more recent additions like processed sugar and seed oils that no one is really adapted to eating? I suppose an adaptation to complex carbs like wheat could help with simple carbs, also.

  • ||

    Afteroon, PS.

    But isn't the big thing with DM2 and other such DOCs the more recent additions like processed sugar and seed oils that no one is really adapted to eating? I suppose an adaptation to complex carbs like wheat could help with simple carbs, also.

    Yes, IMMO, that is true, and why I have a lower opinion of a diet that relies on highly processed and enriched, nutrient and caloric dense foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Not to say they're evil, but if you're a layabout lardass who eats nothing but Lil' Debbie snack cakes and in large amounts like two boxes a day, then what do you expect? Seed oils are not as well researched, but I think that various sources of cooking oil is better than relying on exclusively any specific one. As you know, Euro-landia has declared war on trans-fats.

    The wheat thing is developed over time, but I am not quite as convinced of the 1000 years. UKR depends on wheat as a staple, and overall, are pretty tolerant of it as DM2 rates are lower than the USA. Lack of iodine in the diet, rickets, and other nutritional deficits are more of a concern.

  • ||

    I think 1000 or 3000 years plus admixture from people who've had, say, 8000 years can do a lot. But adapting to eating processed grass seeds is a much bigger jump than something simple like lactase persistence--a single mutation.

    Processed frankenoils such as rapeseed are chemically different enough from the oils we've been consuming up until 50 years ago that I'm glad to avoid them regardless of the research.

    Rickets?!?! Seriously? Wow.

  • ||

    Rickets?!?! Seriously? Wow.

    Yeah, the poor parts of UKR are really poor, and why the big push in the last 5 years or so for group lactation centres and the emphasis on breast feeding (something I wholeheartedly endorse.-) It's not widespread, but occurs enough that it is a problem.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I heard stories of some kids in Oakland CA getting rickets due to the lack of sunlight in the projects.

  • ||

    I heard stories of some kids in Oakland CA getting rickets due to the lack of sunlight in the projects.

    That's actually true, Tulpa. Of the darker pigmented children, and this is true of dark skinned people, are more at risk of developing rickets D/T lack of calcium and phosphorus in the diet, and since melanin absorbs sunlight, the UV light doesn't stimulate Vit D production.

    This is why you see rickets in African countries where both widespread poverty and malnutrition exist. In UKR, it's the poverty, though there are bona fide Afro-Ukrainians living here.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Interesting. I guess fair skin does have some physiological advantages beyond just not having to produce as much melanin. And of course the communitarian advantage of being able to spot certain discoloring diseases earlier to avoid mating with such persons.

  • ||

    I suppose that's true, but the down side is fair skinned people are at a demonstrably higher risk of developing skin cancers, such as the melanoma and the dreaded basal cell carcinoma, so it's a trade off.

    The discolouration is another marked one, as it is harder to identify those conditions and diseases, even simple ones like contusions, for that very reason. The up side is darker skinned people produce a lot more collagen and the skin is tougher, so much more resistant to the effects of aging, and to a certain degree, dehydration.

  • Voros McCracken||

    The melonoma is actually the dangerous one. The basal cell much less so. Hell I had one lopped off in June.

  • ||

    Right you are VM. The reason I said "dreaded" (and I should have used the faux scare quotes) is BCC, while not dangerous and rarely causes death, often appears on areas that could cause those who are vain about their appearance some consternation.

    Malignant melanoma, is a major fucking problem and will kill you, most unpleasantly.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Shorter Doc Groovus: Black don't crack.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The authors of that book have a blog.

  • John Galt||

    In Phoenix it's often said a 500 pound Pima is obviously anorexic.

  • sloopyinca||

    That's some big-ass cotton.

  • sloopyinca||

    Nevermind. Banjos just informed me that the Pima are a fatty tribe of Murican Injuns.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "pizza places should just display for any pizza the largest calorie count for a pie that they could possibly construct"

    I was thinking along the same lines. For that matter a grocery store could put a sign up in each department that says that everything is under 5,000 calories a serving. I'm guessing there is some sort of accuracy requirement even for overstating though. This is just yet another obvious example of the government being the problem and not the solution. If you can't figure out how to eat healty with the vast amount of recources now available including calorie counts for just about everything then your either too stupid to ever figure it out or you just don't care. So we all have to pay more for everything for absolutly no reason.

  • AlmightyJB||

    What's ironic is that shopping healty "mainly" means sticking to the unprocessed natural foods around the peremeter of the store. But those items are pretty much the only items not already labled. In fact most of the items at my store that are not labled are fruits and vegetables so we're going to make the heathiest foods more expensive? Brilliant. I guess price controls will be next.

  • Virginian||

    Brilliant. I guess price controls will be next.

    Seems like that's always the next step with progtards isn't it?

  • Hollywood||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Senator Dances With Ideology.

  • ||

    /Stands with Fist of Etiquette

  • ||

    Senator Clouds Her Response in Smoke Signals

  • Hollywood||

    Being part of the sacred middle class is not about how much you make, it's about who employs you...and if I happen to think that employer is worthy.

    /Senator Dances With Ideology

  • Rich||

    "Very well, Senator, let's try this approach: Simply draw a Venn diagram of 'the middle class' and 'working families'."

  • Ted S.||

    It never ceases to amaze me that if you work hard enough to earn a high enough income, you're no longer a "working" family.

  • RBS||

    What? Just plant some more money trees Ted.

  • ||

    Behold, pizza (and more) in UKR, and quite delicious! The most popular chain. BLECH!

    (Without those Nanny Nutritional Guides, by the by.)

  • Ted S.||

    Tartar sauce on pizza??

  • ||

    I was hoping someone would catch that, and actually, it's not bad.-) Mass produced borshh is terrible, however.

  • Ted S.||

    You'll note that Pizzeria Chizz [sic] spells Donetsk correctly. None of those apostrophes.

  • ||

    DAT ASS! You can kiss it!-)

    Though I admit, sometimes Rukrainian does tumble out of my mouth, making for interesting interlocution. Now I am going to keep spelling it that way for no other reason than to annoy you.

  • SusanM||

    Pizza, booze and cigarettes?

  • wareagle||

    add in a Twinkie and every worthwhile food group is represented.

  • waaminn||

    SOunds liek a pretty crazy idea to me dude. Wow.

    www.GotmyAnon.tk

  • Ted S.||

    To put that number of pizza choices in perspective, consider that nearly every single person living in Canada today could order an entirely different pizza from Domino’s—where the chain is also popular.

    What freaks these Canadians be.

  • SweatingGin||

    Meh, they probably have ketchup as a topping.

    Although, poutine on a pizza... Might just need a bigger sign for the calorie count.

  • ||

    To say nothing of The Kraft Dinner Pizza. Perhaps a Timbit Pizza...?

  • Ted S.||

    They can drink it down with Molson Canadian.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Meh, they probably have ketchup as a topping."

    It is Domino's. That's the sauce.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I went to a pizza place in canada and they didn't offer as a topping any kind of back bacon.

  • Ted S.||

    If it's so easy, then perhaps Ms. Nestlé ought to offer to do it herself for the restaurants.

    Of course, her first motivation is using force, because fuck you that's why.

  • Stevie OneLeg||

    Nice Call Back.

  • rxc||

    Make people do the math themselves. List the per slice calories, per topping and per base pizza type, and have the customer figure it out themselves. If they can't, they are really not capable of even understanding what this is all about, and it is useless.

    Exercise their minds a bit.

  • Rich||

    Nah, Smartphone app.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If your actually keeping track of your calories you probably have a pretty good idea of about what your getting without the label. If your not keeping track than why do you need a label in the first place. Go thin crust, half the cheese and/or lowfat cheese which some places offer, lots of veggies and a lean meat like ham which awesome on pizza, stick to a couple slices, and don't eat more than once a week and there you go. It's not rocket science.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But then you don't actually have pizza.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I pretty much have to have pepperoni on mine. I like them when they curl up and turn into little grease bowls. I think I'll go to Tommy's for lunch this week. I'm just saying if you really give a shit about calories when ordering a pizza you don't need lables, you just need common sense.

  • Robert||

    Sadly, I'm afraid that the most reliable way to keep track of your calories is to see whether you feel hungry all the time. If you don't, you're in positive caloric balance. I don't think it matters how many kcal you take in at any given meal, day, or week -- in the long run the only way for most of us to not gain weight, let alone lose it, is to feel unsatisfied, and that's regardless of composition, Pound Head.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "90 percent of their customers order their food online or over the phone—making in-store posting not just costly but also irrelevant and unhelpful to consumers."

    So, a typical Washington regulatory solution; costly, irrelevant, and unhelpful. Looks like a winner! One has to wonder, however, just what part of the Constitution (as read by the unbraindamaged) these pillocks think gives the State the authority to do this.

    As for Ms. Nestle, somebody should brand the words "Mind your own godsdamned business" on her backside.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nice

    At points in his letter, Boston addresses the senator directly:

    "I am not your subject," he writes. "I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant."

    Those crazy gun nuts.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's awesome. To some extent though I'm actually a little encouraged that a lot of this gun control stuff being proposed is so extreme. A wish list for the leftie totalitarian statist. It indicates to me that this is nothing more than pandering and that their not really serious about getting anything actually passed.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Ruger and Colt better be giving them kickbacks for pushing this legislation. Seriously.

    Bud's finally got P95s in stock last night around midnight and 20 minutes later they were gone.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I've been wanting to drive down there from Columbus and check that place out. Maybe hit their range and do a bourbon tour while I'm down there.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You're more than welcome to stay with Mrs. mlg and me, or just hit us for dinner.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Militia! Militia! I'm calling the ATF!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Some shit makes me laugh, and this was definitely one of them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "Senator Feinstein respects Cpl. Boston's service. She has heard from thousands of people -- including many gun owners -- who support her plan to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds. As Senator Feinstein has said, the legislation will be carefully focused to protect the rights of existing gun owners by exempting hundreds of weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes."

    She. Just. Doesn't. Get. It.

    In a sane and just world, this would be Feinstein's fate. It's high time that we "pay the Excise-man"

  • ||

    NEEDZ MOAR DEATH PR0N!

  • Zeb||

    As far as I can tell, sporting uses include shooting the fuck out of an old clothes dryer with an SKS. ANd 30 round mags are quite useful for that.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Not to mention 3-gun competitions and the various flavors of pistol-shooting competitions.

  • Radioactive||

    carry more magazines?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The purpose of that rule, first proposed in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is to “provid[e] information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.”

    Wrong.

    That's the stated purpose of the provision. The real purpose is to build and maintain a massive bureaucracy to fashion and enforce yet more rules in order to maximize the size and scope of government.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    In fact, writes Baylen Linnekin, complying with the proposed menu-labeling rule would be somewhere between costly and impossible for tens of thousands of pizza and grocery chains.

    Like the feds give a shit.

    The intent of the law is to ensure that there are going to be places that fail to meet certain provisions. If they couldn't fashion the rules so that some businesses would fail, they wouldn't hold any power. And what's the point of taking a job as a regulator if you can't flaunt your power every once in a while.

    It's designed to be impossible for some, and they'll make sure that they fashion the rules so that they're impossible for whoever they want it to be impossible for.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    THIS IS WHAT TONY ACTUALLY BELIEVES IN- bullshit little laws and regulations that accomplish nothing but make lives difficult.

  • T o n y||

    I hate in-your-face nutrition info. I think it should be available, but I don't think it is especially useful. My solution for reducing obesity is eliminating subsidies for the corn industry and the lazy fatass suburban sprawl car culture. On balance, less government should make us less fat.

    Now let's see if your friends in the "small government" GOP will get behind ending ag and oil subsidies.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Tony! I'm shocked! I actually agree with some part of something you posted!

    I'm all for eliminating specific crop subsidies. Of course I'm also for eliminating specific crop TAXES too. I figure with tobacco it would be something of a wash.

    Not too sure how you'd eliminate suburban sprawl without giving the State a lot more power that I don't trust it with….

    I keep hearing that car commuting is "subsidized" in some manner, but the people who make this claim are the same people who seem to get sexual gratification from Light Rail projects. I'm not at ALL sire I believe them.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I keep hearing that car commuting is "subsidized" in some manner, but the people who make this claim are the same people who seem to get sexual gratification from Light Rail projects. I'm not at ALL sire I believe them.

    This.

    Notice everyone who makes this argument is in favor of urban living, where everyone is packed in like sardines, and who take pride in shit like "energy usage per capita" and all that other bullshit. They act like they are in favor of ending subsidies, but they're not. They love subsidies, but only to industries they like.

    I say end them all and let the market sort it out.

    Somehow, the loss of control over people's lives and the economy from ending subsidies is a nightmare for people like Tony.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Actually if you ever really want some sort of public transit to ever work I think you need to take the opposite approach from urbanization. Encourage the large businesses to locate along the outerbelts where the suburbs (and workers) are and leave the downtown as a playground and entertainment center. Have muliple outerbelts as needed. A lot easier to have public transit going around in circles with some cooresponding shuttles than have the current highway clogging system with millions of people all going to the same place at the same time we have now.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The problem with that model for public tranit is that you have lower passengers per mile. Having everyone going to the same place at the same time also makes centralized planning easier (yes, I know we dislike it but it is there).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You just described why, in most places, mass public transit cannot work. Both models are inefficient; in neither are there enough passengers per mile. And even in places like Boston or New York where public transit does work in terms of numbers who ride, it's subsidized by gas taxes out of the fucking wazoo (around 80% of the cost of public transit is subsidized). Take away those subsidies, and the ridership numbers would drop like a rock.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "lower passengers per mile"

    I don't know that that would necessarily be true. You have two routes, Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise as opposed to dozens. Doesn't matter though as MLG mentions beolow it's not really workable either way. I was more making a point about one of the many liberal fallacies of urbanization.

  • wareagle||

    Encourage the large businesses to locate along the outerbelts where the suburbs (and workers) are and leave the downtown as a playground and entertainment center.

    and to an extent, ATL has gone this way. The outlying towns are full of businesses while downtown and midtown have turned into multi-use areas with residential, bars/restaurants/galleries, and some biz.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I think the point is that complaining about subsidizing public transit is unfair when there are hidden subsidies for automobile travel already. The gas tax does pay for the lion's share of highway maintenance, but there are hidden subsidies for road clearing, drainage systems, traffic control systems, etc. And that's before we talk about the military expenditures to protect the petroleum supply.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "military expenditures to protect the petroleum supply"

    Last time I mentioned that when discussing nuclear power costs I got slammed:) It's true though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I want to be the first one on my block with a nuclear SUV.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well with that power it should be a suv helicopter. Don't forget the mounted assault weapons.

  • robc||

    I want to be the first one on my block with a nuclear SUV.

    Buy an electric (or hybrid) SUV in an area where the majority of power is from nuclear.

  • AlmightyJB||

    ok mom

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuel taxes do not come close to funding roads other than interstate highways and some U.S. and state highway routes. City streets and county roads and such are funded with other taxes- or not maintained at the level people think they are entitled to.

  • Lord at War||

    Fuck you!

    I will definitely never buy anything delivered over light rail when you don't ever buy anything that has travelled over a local road.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    There should be no subsidization or regulation of any transportation or land use. Local roads should be maintained by adjacent property owners and other people who use them, or allowed to revert to dirt. This is exactly how roads started out in the United States, and worked fine until people started to demand that roads be made convenient for cars (actually bicycles before that) at taxpayer expense.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Slavery worked out fine in the US too, until people started making demands.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I don't hate cars and don't want them to go away. But with unimproved dirt roads, they would probably become more like gas guzzling rally cars and offroading trucks for everyday transportation, which would be awesome.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I think the point is that complaining about subsidizing public transit is unfair when there are hidden subsidies for automobile travel already.

    Were the gas tax used completely for its intended purpose, maintaining roads and such, rather than massive chunks of the gas tax going towards public transit, perhaps roads wouldn't be getting subsidized from elsewhere.

    You are correct on the military cost of protecting the gas supply.

  • T o n y||

    You're right, I don't have a problem with subsidies per se, just bad ones that tend to result from cronyism rather than social concern.

    But I also don't believe that you're any less interested in social engineering than I am.

  • Virginian||

    But I also don't believe that you're any less interested in social engineering than I am.

    But you're an ignorant, mendacious shithead, so what you say doesn't matter.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The problem is that the rationale for subsidies assumes that a group of elected officials, or a small group of experts, or a rabble of regulators can identify legitimate social concern, and won't be tempted to steer money to their pals.

    Obama's abysmal record with "Green" technology loans (which seem to have all gone to contributors. Who'd 'a' thunk?) disproves that, at least to ME.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I think that "sprawl" is subsidized or not fully market based due to zoning and land use policy, as well as centralized planning and public funding of infrastructure and utilities- especially roads. Roads should have never been "improved" with taxpayer money to make them convenient for car travel. They should have been left as common areas owned by adjacent property owners and unrestricted to use for any form of travel. This would have resulted in lifestyle situations much closer to what environmentalist and "urbanist" types claim to want, with private transportation such as railroads being much more economical.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I don't have a problem with subsidies per se, just bad ones that tend to result from cronyism rather than social concern.


    What difference would it make either way, Tony? Subsidies are still forced transfers of property. Subsidies are NEVER Pareto efficient and create market distortions that lead to bad price information and malinvestment. Intentions are irrelevant.

    But I also don't believe that you're any less interested in social engineering than I am.


    In my case, I'm not interested in social engineering of any kind. Only individuals get to decide how to build their own lives, not a self-appointed improver.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.5.13 @ 2:09PM |#
    "But I also don't believe that you're any less interested in social engineering than I am."

    Yeah, but you're an ignoramus, shithead, so no one cares what you believe.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You're right, I don't have a problem with subsidies per se, just bad ones that tend to result from cronyism rather than social concern.

    That would be all of them, Tony.

    All. Of. Them.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "...I don't have a problem with subsidies per se, just bad ones that tend to result from cronyism rather than social concern."

    Which means that you do have a problem with subsidies, as there is no platonic ideal of a subsidy that does not involve cronyism.

  • ||

    Keep in mind also that the "subsidy" for oil companies that Tony is talking about consist of the government letting them depreciate massive capital expenditures in a way that is rational for their business and fits with GAAP. Since all money belongs to government, anything that reduces your amount owing is a "subsidy".

  • OldMexican||

    Re: C.S.P. Schofield,

    I keep hearing that car commuting is "subsidized" in some manner, but the people who make this claim are the same people who seem to get sexual gratification from Light Rail projects.


    Choo-choo fetishists.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Yeah. When I first ran into the term "Meterosexual" I was living in the service area of the D.C. Metro, and thought that it sounded like this what what it referred to.

  • SusanM||

  • ||

    Holy shit something intelligent coming from the sockpuppet? Maybe you CAN learn after all.

    You fucked it up at the end there though with assuming we have friends in the GOP. But well done.

  • RBS||

    "You fucked it up at the end there though with assuming we have friends in the GOP."

    This is my favorite thing about our sockpuppets, they have been here forever yet still can't figure out that most commenters here hate the GOP as much as the Democrats.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This is my favorite thing about our sockpuppets, they have been here forever yet still can't figure out that most commenters here hate the GOP as much as the Democrats.

    They can't help it. When you're a TEAM player, you must assume that everyone else is too, otherwise you have no pre-approved arguments in support of your TEAM.

  • Contrarian P||

    Tony sees the world in black and white terms. There is no grey. Either you're with us or them. There is no in between. He just has no conception that to not be a Democrat doesn't make you a Republican.

  • ||

    I don't think Tony sees things as black and white, but as shades of mushy, mushy purple. He's got a fence in the middle of the field, and everything on his side is good, because his TEAM players all voted on it and then went with whatever decision the current king made. Everything on the other side is bad because that stuff is on the other side, so it's bad by definition.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You could have friends in the GOP if you would drop the stubborn principled crap.

  • robc||

    Principles are more important than friends.

  • ||

    At this moment in time, I disagree, robc.

  • robc||

    Thats just a different principle then. :)

    I argued once that everyone sticks to their REAL principles. Its just you find out from their actions what those REAL principles are.

    The politician who criticizes a libertarian for being principled is showing his real principle: power.

  • ||

    I suppose. This move of mine has shown me how fickle, including libertarians, people can be. And it has been somewhat heartbreaking, to tell you the truth. One thing I expected of freedom-y types is loyalty, and I have found that is just not so, and I place a very high premium on loyalty. The TEAM BE RULED types, if nothing else, do show some undying loyalty, even if it is misplaced.

    As Demonica Archiva once said, "Principles are expensive."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Dear Groovus: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wigs, love Tulpa.

  • Ted S.||

    Every time a bell rings, and angel gets its wigs!

  • ||

    Yeah, damn me for having principles and sticking to them.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Now let's see if your friends in the "small government" GOP will get behind ending ag and oil subsidies.

    Whose friends?

    You're more dependant on Team RED than I am. WIthout Team RED, Team BLUE would wither and die away. You NEED Team RED in order to survive because in Team politics, one side needs the other because the activity is inherently based on adversarial politics. None of you are for anything, only against what the other team happens to say at any given time.

    See Presidency, Imperial. When BOOOOOOSH was in office, a president with long arms and the will to swing them was a nightmare; now with Odumbass in office, having an emperor who drone strikes indiscriminately and has claimed the power to kill Americans without a shred of due process is hunky fucking dory. And don't lie about not being comfortable this, that, and the other: you fucking voted for him.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Now let's see if your friends in the "small government" GOP will get behind ending ag and oil subsidies.

    Remember the Dem House, filibuster proof Dem Senate, and Dem president ramming through the bill to kill oil and ag subsidies back in 2009?

    Me either.

    Ag subsidies are more of a rural thing than a partisan thing. Democrats from rural areas are just as bad on this issue as rural GOPers, there just happen to be more of the latter.

  • T o n y||

    You're right on your second point. Of course the Dems never had a filibuster-proof coalition, that being a right-wing myth, but I find it hilarious when you guys trot it out. If Republicans were genuinely concerned about Dems not getting things done in 2008-2010 then they might have, I dunno, not obstructed everything.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 1.5.13 @ 2:12PM |#
    "You're right on your second point. Of course the Dems never had a filibuster-proof coalition, that being a right-wing myth,"

    Lying asshole:
    http://www.motherjones.com/kev.....f-majority

  • T o n y||

    "Democrats basically had a filibuster-proof majority for about three months. That's just not very long."

    Those are apparently the three months in which Republicans think Democrats should have solved all our problems, despite them being against everything Democrats ever do. But the point is with characters like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, they never really had 60 solid votes.

  • wareagle||

    Now let's see if your friends in the "small government" GOP will get behind ending ag and oil subsidies.

    you mean like our good buddy Tom Larkin, D-Cornfield? Besides, no one here claims that Repubs believe their own bullshit.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Obviously this law is a terrible idea, but methinks Linnekin is exaggerating the compliance difficulties to bolster his position. Pizza places could just list the calorie totals for base configurations and then the calorie totals for each topping separately. Mushrooms on a 14" sausage pizza has the same amount of calories as mushrooms on a 14" pepperoni pizza, so you don't need separate listings for the combos.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    Pizza places could just list the calorie totals for base configurations and then the calorie totals for each topping separately.


    You're saying that as if customers really gave a rat's hairy crack about the caloric content of a fucking pizza they're about to pick up at the counter.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Well yeah. The other day I was at a McD's in downtown PGH and a probable BO voter (call me racist, I don't care) was bitching about the menu being hard to read with the calorie counts all over the place.

  • ||

    Why would I call you a racist, Tulpa? If the customer in Mackey D's was young, college aged, and female, the odds are better than even that the customer was a BO voter (or any of the other voting demographies His Pestilency carried). Especially if you live in an area were Proggie Pinkos congregate (I assume you live close to the uni where you used to teach).

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Still teaching, but this is my last ovester. (Legally Blonde reference, sorry)

  • General Butt Naked||

    You actually eat at those downtown fast food dumps? I thought the only reason to go in those places was to buy drugs.

  • RightNut||

    Anyone want to guess how long it will take for a big chain restaurant to start abusing this law? I can already see the article: Local pizza shop shut down for underestimating calories on meat lovers pizza, Applebee's plans to buy out its former location after years of complaints about the pizza shops improper calorie totals.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That's one of things that amuses about this type of regulation: it encourages mass produced, industrialized pre-packaged food. Getting an exact calorie count on that sort of meal is easier than one made from scratch, on site, with fresh ingredients.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You know it's too hot in Australia when it's too hot to go for beer

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah. I'd say 117 is pretty hot.

  • wareagle||

    but it's a dry heat, right?

  • Redmanfms||

    No.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Sit down.

    Robot's playing Ace of Spades

  • AlmightyJB||

    Drummer looks like General Grevious. Looks like they actually used pnuematic fingers for the bass put could not for the guitar. I'll be really impressed when they can get a robot to actually play Nugent or Malmsteen.

  • OldMexican||

    I especially like the part where they bob their heads with the rhythm.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Those robots are fuckin' METAL!

  • ||

    HEAVY metal!

  • ||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Please...she has nothing on this guy.

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any laughter-induced hernia if you click that link.

  • ||

    You're lucky you stated that disclaimer. Jerk. I started laughing even before he began.-D

    Oddly enough, that is exactly how I picture our self-proclaimed True Scotsman bearer of The Libertarian Ark of the Covenant.

  • RBS||

    Me too, maybe a little older though. But definitely making youtube videos at his grandparents' house.

  • Generic Stranger||

    OK, they went through all the trouble of creating metal automatons to play the song, but they couldn't be bothered to have a computer read the lyrics and then auto-tune that shit?

    COME ON!

  • Hollywood||

  • Hollywood||

    Best parts:

    Alan Howard, a Los Angeles dentist who says he has only once been able to find a charging spot since he bought a Nissan Leaf last year, says making electric drivers pay for parking isn't the answer.

    "I love it free—but they need to have some kind of system," he says. "Maybe a valet who can move the cars around."

    Jack Sheng, an e-commerce-company owner who bought a Nissan Leaf last year, says electric vehicles should be able to park free in all eight lots, not just the two with charging stations.

    "If they're trying to get people to drive green cars and reduce the pollution, shouldn't the policy be applicable to the whole terminal?" says Mr. Sheng, miffed that he had to pay to park recently while picking up a friend from an international flight.

  • OldMexican||

    Best best part:

    "No one understands why we're doing this — especially in today's economy," says airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles, adding that not even handicapped travelers are allowed to park free of charge anymore.


    No one understands why because no one understands economics.

    There's no such thing as a "free lunch."

  • wareagle||

    amazingly, it never dawns on the aforementioned Mr. Shen to ask why it's the govt's job to "get people to drive green cars". Fucks like him are totally okay with the rest of you schmucks subsidizing the life choices that make him feel self-important.

  • OldMexican||

    Nancy Huehnergarth, executive director of the New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance, tells me she supports the proposed FDA rule because it would provide information at the right place and time.

    "The key [???] to menu labeling and getting it to work [?????] is that people see the calories at the point of purchase," says Huehnergarth.


    She's saying that as if customers gave a rat's hairy crack about the caloric content of a fucking pizza that they're about to pick up at the counter.

    It is clear that goodist busy-bodies see the world backwards: They think people should want something and then strive to get it to them without even asking. In the real world, things are offered voluntarily and, if people like it, it is then discovered for others to follow up. A market is a process of discovery. For bureaucrats and other meddlers, that's just too messy a process. Why wait for people to make their minds if you can impose it by force?

  • JohnLocke||

    What about ice cream stores like cold stone as well? How many mix-ins will I get in my ice cream? They have like 40 options, what is 40 squared?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well then I guess we'll have to outlaw cold stone. They don't fit the plan. Will bars have to provise calories for every drink or shot they make?

  • robc||

    1600.

    Math is hard, lets go shopping.

  • mnarayan||

    Technically the number you're looking for is 2^40. And that number is really fucking big.

  • AuH2O||

    I predict: Bengals in an upset. Their line harasses Schaub as badly or worse than the Colts did last week, and their healthy secondary dominates.

    Oh, and UConn Women will roll ND, and keep the #1 ranking in the polls.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'll be cheering for the Bungles and the Vikings today. Peterson was talking about playing special teams. Watching him run a kick back for a TD would be the awesome. Think I may go out to watch the games.

  • RBS||

    AP is one of my favorite players. I was really hoping last weeks game would go into overtime so he could break the record.

  • AlmightyJB||

    He's definately my favorite player. I wanted him to get the record but I definately did not want to go into OT against the Packers (Vikings are my team).

  • RBS||

    Going to be tough for them to beat the Pack again. I hope they do though.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, last I checked the spread was 7.5. Should be fun.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    As a Bears fan I should have been rooting for the Pack to win, but Lovie getting fired is worth more than a chance to lose to the 49ers in the first round.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah he should have been gone years ago. Frazier probably did well enough this year to keep his job. Another season like last year and he would have been among the unemployed as well. I guess Lovie has been talking to the Bills as has Chip Kelly.

  • Contrarian P||

    I don't think you're going to be better without Lovie than you were with him. In fact, I think you're probably an 8-8 team at best next season, unless the Bears somehow find an offensive line somewhere. Lovie's a good coach and had the loyalty of his players. I don't know who the Bears are going to be able to land to replace him, but I doubt they'll find anyone as good, let alone better.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Lovie was awful at making adjustments and choosing assistants. Before the draft he and Tice convinced the new GM they didn't need to get any offensive linemen.

  • Contrarian P||

    Maybe, although I'd say the GM deserves the blame for that. Figuring out which players need to be drafted is his job.

  • RBS||

    Who gives a shit about the UConn women's basketball team?

  • AuH2O||

    Us poor souls who grew up in Connecticut

  • RBS||

    Ah, yes. I used to have family in New Canaan. They best part of visiting was going to NYC.

  • jili5||

    Gosh just leaves these places alone. As a customer I could care less about calories. What I care about is the ingredients. Are they using industrial ingredients and harmful chemicals? Are they using vegetables oils that turn rancid when heated or are they using more stable saturated fats? This is what I'd like to know and I'd go to restaurants that post that information, but the government shouldn't tell them what to do, we the customers should by voting with our money.

  • RBS||

    Industrial ingredients? You mean like steel and concrete?

  • ||

    "Cheese" made from polysorbate-80?

  • ||

    i'm probably in a minority here, in that i support labeling laws. however, they must be done, imo, at govt. cost imo either through offering tax breaks based on the cost of implementation or some other scheme.

    they do not limit choice, just increase information, and that's a good thing imo, but imposing the costs on business is wrong imo

  • sloopyinca||

    i'm probably in a minority here, in that i support labeling laws. however, they must be done, imo, at govt. cost imo either through offering tax breaks based on the cost of implementation or some other scheme.

    Why should a business be forced to display government propaganda at anybody's expense? That's the exact opposite of "Freedom Of Speech", "Freedom Of Association" or private property rights, which are cornerstones of a free society.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    You are wrong about everything you just said.

    First of all, why would you want more retardedness and complexity in moving money around with tax schemes?

  • sloopyinca||

    Hey, it works for his pay and pension programs.

  • Contrarian P||

    If enough customers demanded labeling, the businesses would do it. The market just doesn't want it. Why are you in favoring of the government dictating labeling, which increases hassle and cost since the market clearly doesn't want it?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Except it doesn't increase information. The information in question was already available to anyone who wanted it. These laws only make it harder for people who don't want or don't care about the information to ignore it, and make the menus and displays more cluttered.

  • RBS||

    "imposing the costs on business is wrong imo"

    But imposing the costs on the general public is ok?

  • ||

    imo, yes. it's a worthwhile tradeoff. labeling: good. limiting choice: bad.

    govt. could offer some sort of tax deduction or something, for the business that labels, or some other scheme.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    If customers wanted labels on fast food, they would buy from businesses that provide labels. CUSTOMERS DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT LABELS. They prove this every day. So it's a total waste of time and money that will end up being paid for by the consumer.

  • RBS||

    That's what I was going to say. It's not about labels it's about control.

  • ||

    i can respect the opposing pov, and of course mine is inconsistent with 'pure" libertarianism. pragmatism ftw.

  • sloopyinca||

    I fail to see what is "pragmatic" about forcing a property owner to allow the government to post propaganda about their products. That's fascism, not pragmatism.

  • ||

    Serious question, sloop: Do cigarettes cause cancer?

    I don't support forcibly making companies list things about their products, though in theory it should discourage lawsuits, citing caveat emptor. Big Pharma, for one, might disgaree with me however. There's a reason they post every. single. reported. side-effect. even if it has nothing to do with the drug itself. If it's present when the drug is in the body, they have to disclose it.

    If the information is factually accurate, such as the accurate listing of caloric content, then I fail to see "propoganda" there.

  • ||

    the idea that it's propaganda is why i don't bother engaging with trolls.

    what i support, and what i readily admit is not consistent with "pure" libertarianism, is simply a label describing what's in X, in the case of food, simple ingredient and nutritional information. this limits nobody's choice; it simply arms consumers with information. information, not propaganda. reporting how many kilocalories, grams of protein, etc. is in a product is not "propaganda". it's information. it has a bias towards no institution or ideology. it's information. i will continue to oppose transfat bans, happy meal bans, or any ban of a food item (raw milk, etc.) apart from something obvious like selling strichnine as food :)

    but arming consumers with info imo is a strong enough good to override the principles that say we should let the market operate unfettered. again, i admit it - inconsistent with pure libertarianism, but must be paid for by govt. imo and again, limits nobody's choice or freedoms, just increases access to data.

  • RBS||

    This info is already all over the place if you look for it. You're just subsidizing laziness at this point.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Who pays for the labeling? Who pays for the testing?

  • robc||

    But why not make it optional instead of mandatory?

    Interestingly, there is a weird battle in the beer industry.

    There are some breweries that WANT to put nutritional info on the label and are forbidden from doing it.

    There are other people who want to make it mandatory.

    This "if its not mandatory, it is forbidden" attitude must be killed off.

    I have a friend who regularly accuses me of black and white thinking, but somehow following the middle ground of "optional" isnt allowed.

  • sloopyinca||

    the idea that it's propaganda is why i don't bother engaging with trolls.

    How is forcing someone to post information they otherwise would not want to post anything other than propaganda? Not all propaganda is untrue you know. But the government coming into a private establishment and telling the owner, "you will post this under penalty of the law" is propaganda pure and simple.

  • sloopyinca||

    imo and again, limits nobody's choice or freedoms, just increases access to data.

    What could be more free than the government compelling someone to post something they may choose not to on their private property or be punished criminally or civilly?

    Idiot.

  • ||

    the idea that it's propaganda is why i don't bother engaging with trolls.

    Sloopy is not a troll, fuckstick. As a physician, I am glad you recovered from encephalitis. Otherwise, kindly fuck off.

  • RBS||

    I think he means propaganda in the sense that posting the caloric content is supposed to force people to make government approved choices when they eat.

  • sloopyinca||

    Serious question, sloop: Do cigarettes cause cancer?

    False analogy IMO, because the cigarette companies themselves agreed to post the government warnings on cigarette packaging and the displays the owners of stores are not required to post. IIRC, the government tried to put graphic warnings on the packaging the companies didn't agree to, and the federal courts smacked them down.

    What's the difference here? You're forcing someone to advertise something they do not voluntarily wish to advertise. That's propaganda to me, regardless of whether they're forced to pay for it or if they're forced to let somebody else do it, especially when the information is readily available on the internet (to any consumer that wishes to look them up). For example, here's the nutritional information on mozzarella cheese.

  • ||

    False analogy IMO, because the cigarette companies themselves agreed to post the government warnings on cigarette packaging and the displays the owners of stores are not required to post.

    Only after:

    A) The court required them to do so, after demonstrable proof was shown they cause all the things listed on the package. (Second hand smoke is largely bullshit, IMMO. Though you should never smoke around a developing baby or toddler.)

    B) Current FDA law cannot prohibit the manufacture, distribution, and sale of cigarettes.

    You're forcing someone to advertise something they do not voluntarily wish to advertise.

    Would you voluntarily take any drug without knowing first all the possible side effects? Also, companies pay people to post on the Internet relevant information WRT their products, foreseeable to mitigate risk against lawsuits.

  • sloopyinca||

    Actually the court didn't require them to post the warnings, and found that they violate the 1A. The companies continue to post the text warnings voluntarily as they have done since 1966.

    And no, I wouldn't voluntarily take any drug without knowing the possible side effects. But that has more to do with me not being an idiot that puts anything in my body without knowing how it impacts it, and less to do with the government compelling a company to do so. I guess these laws are so people can be lazy about their health and can leave it to somebody else to be responsible for their decision-making ability. Well, when that butts up against the 1A, I have a problem with that.

  • ||

    United States was the first nation to require a health warning on cigarette packages.[14]

    Linky

  • sloopyinca||

    That link is to the 2009 FDA requirement for the graphic warnings, which were ruled unconstitutional. The warnings that were posted starting in 1966 were voluntary and in response to pending legislation that was never enacted.

    Here's a pretty accurate timeline from an anti-smoking website that explains the process.

  • ||

    Fair enough. I am mistaken, as I remember the Surgeon General's warning. Apologies, I wasn't trying to troll you. I honestly was under the impression that the FDA required the warning labels in 1970, when lawsuits started appearing WRT to lung cancer claims, and from then on.

  • sloopyinca||

    Hey, not too many people believe it when you tell them an entire industry voluntarily posts warnings about their products.*

    *Especially when the media narrative is that the entire tobacco industry's goal is to get babies smoking when they're still in diapers.

  • gagster||

    Actually, you were not mistaken. Cigarette warning labels have been mandatory since 1966. The Wikipedia page you cited is about warning labels, not just the ones proposed in 2009. The line you quoted cites a source with the same sentence you quoted, only expanded. Here it is:

    "The United States was the first nation to require a health warning on cigarette packages 45 years ago."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06......html?_r=0

    The article was written in 2011, so 45 years ago is 1966.

    Sloopy's link says this:

    "1966-01-01: Health warnings on Cigarette Packs begin

    In order to adhere to the recently passed Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, cigarette packages begin to carry labels which read: "Caution--cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."

    http://archive.tobacco.org/res......html#aa10

    If you have to adhere to a law, that means it is mandatory, not voluntary.

  • ||

    I guess these laws are so people can be lazy about their health and can leave it to somebody else to be responsible for their decision-making ability.

    I've been a doctor for over 12 years total. Your statement is more true than you know, and even true of informed patients like yourself. It's not the inherent laziness or lack of decision making ability, but where to affix blame when things go south.

    Please don't be angry with me, OK?

  • sloopyinca||

    Please don't be angry with me, OK?

    WTF? Why would I ever be angry with your informed medical opinion? Doc, I respect your opinion, I just think its propaganda when the government threatens a property owner with penalties if they don't put up information the government wants it to. That's antithetical to liberty.

  • ||

    It's not propaganda when the information is true.

    It IS coercion to require companies to do it, however, and I think we are in agreement there. I also think it is moral and ethical for companies to voluntarily provide this information.

    Unfortunately, not every business is so ethical, and spoils liberty for us all.

  • sloopyinca||

    Fair enough.

    To-may-to
    To-mah-to

  • RBS||

    I'm mostly with sloopy on this one, think about Zero Dark Thirty. While it's true that US forces killed OBL this is still basically a propaganda film.

  • ||

    I'm mostly with sloopy on this one, think about Zero Dark Thirty. While it's true that US forces killed OBL this is still basically a propaganda film.

    No disagreements there, RBS. However, if I decide to see the movie, it probably won't give me cancer or Teh Diabeetus (or maybe it will.-)

    I jest, but if there is something that could cause demonstrable harm, I would like to know so I can make an informed decision. If I was the proprietor, I would provide the info so I don't get sued (and in a Free Society, this is all that should be required).

    People still do both intelligent and stupid things with informed consent about risk, stuff goes wrong or not to their liking, and they get sue happy quickly, looking for someone else besides themselves to blame. I know this firsthand, unfortunately.

  • Sevo||

    Groovus Maximus| 1.5.13 @ 5:16PM |#
    ..."if there is something that could cause demonstrable harm, I would like to know so I can make an informed decision."...

    Yeah, but...
    It's pretty certain that whatever is printed on a pack of smokes won't 'inform' anyone, smoker or not.
    Long before the SG put out the reports, they were known as coffin-nails; that information didn't need printing on packs.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I jest, but if there is something that could cause demonstrable harm, I would like to know so I can make an informed decision.

    But in this case that judgement is questionable. The only demonstrable harm that a single Big Mac causes is to your toilet paper supply.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's not propaganda when the information is true.

    I don't agree. "Uncle Sam needs you to buy war bonds to stop Hitler" was probably a true statement, but plastering those posters all over public spaces did constitute a propaganda campaign. The selection of what true statements to make and how to make them can be propagandist.

  • ||

    I thought propaganda was any information, true or false, that the government used to get people to think or behave a certain way.

  • Contrarian P||

    I see your point, Groovus, but the list of possible side effects for any medication is so long that I doubt anyone reads it. Although the information is "available", it's so dense and next to impossible to use to derive useful information to make informed choices that it may as well not be there.

  • ||

    the list of possible side effects for any medication is so long that I doubt anyone reads it.

    And those lists suffer from the same problem as the ubiquitous signs all over California that say "WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." Those signs are on nearly everything, which means no one pays any attention to them at all.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If the information is factually accurate, such as the accurate listing of caloric content, then I fail to see "propoganda" there.

    The choice of which information to mandate is propaganda... half-truths are often even more deceptive than outright lies.

  • Lord at War||

    Doc groovus--

    Do cigarettes cause cancer?

    Almost surely... but, I don't know.

    But I do know that the euphemism "coffin nails" dates from before 1860.

    I do know that "The Three Stooges" often showed cigarette packs with a 'skull and crossbones' on the face.

    I do know that Heinlein repeatedly mentions the downsides of tobacco in his juvenile novels.

    I do know that even Walter Raleigh wrote about the negatives to smoking.

    I smoke 12-15 cigarettes a day. I do this knowing my paternal grandmother died from lung cancer(smoker).

    Meanwhile, my dad died of pancreatic cancer at 42- 8 yrs after quitting cigarettes.

    My Aunt Ethel is still kicking at 80+, despite smoking for 50 yrs (She quit 8 yrs ago due to COPD). She was in such bad shape three yrs ago to need an oxygen tank- now she is off the oxy, and seems healthy.

    Mom smoked for over 45 yrs- she's still kicking at 73 after two heart attacks (she didn't quit smoking until after the first).

    My sister smoked from age 14. She died at age 45-- from liver failure due to alcoholism.

    Smoking kills- if something else doesn't kill you first.

  • ||

    Your pov is inconsistent with liberty, nevermind libertarianism. Asshole.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "pragmatism ftw"

    I am not sure how favoring labeling laws like this can be described as "pragmatism". Pragmatism, to me, involves cost benefit analysis and in implementing labeling like this there is nearly unlimited costs (whether paid for privately or by government) for very minor benefits.

  • sloopyinca||

    Shorter dunphy: people are stupid and government knows best, therefore government should tell us what we put in our bodies even if it violates property rights or freedom of speech.

  • saguaro||

    Wolfgang Puck tried to sell frozen pizzas in California 15 years ago. The state wouldn't allow it because his pizzas had no tomato sauce. The state also frowned on his term "country sausage" because it was made in the city. For a great read, visit http://articles.philly.com/198.....picy-sauce

  • An0nB0t||

    The article's from '88, not '98. We've been screwed for a long time now.

    "Koblin asked who the regulators were who came up with the rules for pizza. No one knew. He told the USDA that 80 percent of the pizzas eaten in the world were made without tomato sauce. The USDA wasn't concerned with the pizzas of the world, only with the pizzas of the United States."

    If all your friends went and made pizzas without sauce, would you go and make a pizza without sauce? Well? Would you?

  • Robert||

    This has been a fall-back position for libertarians for a long time when there were threats to ban stuff. "Don't ban cigarets, label them hazardous and let consumers decide." "Don't ban campaign donations, just make them be disclosed." But there's no broad threat to ban food per se, just a few around the edges, so this is a compromise with a threat that doesn't exist.

    The silly thing is that even without disclosures by the purveyors of foods themselves, there have long been tables of the nutritional values of foods in general. People have a pretty good idea of what pizza with sausage is generally, so there are standard calorie, sodium, etc. counts. The difference in those terms from the products of one establishment to those of another have got to be minuscule.

    I should get a look at the enabling legislation for this, which has pretty much snuck by me. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act over the years has remained remarkably confined to regulating only actual interstate commerce, with few exceptions, rather than local businesses. This would be a major deviation from that path.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Robert,

    This has been a fall-back position for libertarians for a long time when there were threats to ban stuff. "Don't ban cigarets, label them hazardous and let consumers decide."


    I would like to know which libertarians ever forwarded that compromise.

  • Robert||

    I would like to know which libertarians ever forwarded that compromise.


    What, you want all their names & addresses? It's probably millions. Basically, everyone who doesn't want to ban something is at least somewhat libertarian, and most of them will counter the arguments for banning them with the compromise of requiring info.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The enabling legislation was part of Obamacare.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And if cigarettes were banned, most blue states would have even bigger deficits than they have now.

  • sloopyinca||

    Talk of a cigarette ban has never been about public health concerns. It's always, always, been about setting the mood for another tax increase on a perfectly legal product.

    Question for legal minds: if Citizens United essentially said corporations made up of people have constitutional rights, could a tobacco company successfully challenge the restrictive and exclusive tax schemes placed on tobacco products under the Equal Protection Clause?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    They're not a protected class. EPC doesn't cover every imaginable distinction between persons.

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, I think it might apply when a tax is arbitrarily enforced on a specific group of people with no legal precedent, such as exists with a progressive tax.

    I'd like to hear some of our legal minds weigh in on this.

  • Robert||

    I didn't even notice the picture. "Cucumber? [chuckle]"

  • ||

    Well, crap. This article is on Fark now, so prepare for the trolls.

    There are some choice comments, such as: The United States put a man on the moon in 1969, but goddamn it, this is just too much.

  • RBS||

    "Sure it is. A label generator, Excel software, easy. You can use Open Office, so no cost there. Hell, you don't need the label generator, just Excel and print the results when you've tallied everything in the spreadsheet and tape it to the farking box. That's what, a minute of work, maybe?"

    I'm sure the person tasked with compiling all the info will just do it for free too.

  • ||

    What these idiots fail to realize is the law requires the calorie counts to be posted BEFORE you order.

  • An0nB0t||

    Oh, come on. Even you cosmotarians must know that complying with government regulations is just as simple as printing out a label and slapping it on the counter.

    It's not like the state would issue arbitrary and absurd rules that would harm small businesses disproportionately, and that the consequences of these rules would fly almost entirely under the public's radar. It's not like even one single chicken farmer has ever spent an afternoon arguing with state poultry inspectors over whether a calcium deposit (aka a "bump") on an egg constituted a violation of state health laws. It's not like federal regulation of menus would ever result in increased expenses, such as the ones that BL outlines in his article, or even abuses. I challenge you to name even one business that was destroyed due to state intervention into the economy. Excluding Nice Cream. And Polar Pure. And pretty much every Ma-and-Pa gas station in the country.

    You glibertarians need to stop resisting and realize that the state is only here to help.

  • ||

    Anonbot's gettin' his sarcasm ON.

  • An0nB0t||

    Sarcasm and black, black rage are all that remain in my silicon heart.

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    Feinstein gets an earful:
    "Marine to senator: 'No ma'am,' I won't register my guns"
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/04/.....?hpt=hp_t2

  • sloopyinca||

    Just in case any of you had some money on the Vikings, Ponder has been listed as Inactive for today's game.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Did he really need a healthy elbow to hand off to Peterson 50 times a game?

  • sloopyinca||

    That's why this is a surprising move. He's gonna throw maybe 20 passes and most of those are gonna be of the 5-10 yard variety. This tells me the guy is either a big, fat pussy or he has a serious injury they've not yet disclosed.

    Either way, it takes the pass completely out of the game for the Vikings. And it'll be all AP can do to run for 200 yards tonight.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Well, the Packers D wasn't prepared for Joe Webb so that may come back to haunt them.

    I don't really like the Vikes, but AFAIC the Pack has to pay for those inane State Farm commercials.

  • Contrarian P||

    It isn't like Ponder reminds anyone of Joe Montana. He's been a mediocre quarterback this season despite having a runningback who had one of the greatest seasons of all time. He should have been able to take better advantage of the one on one coverages he saw all season. Still, Webb hasn't thrown a pass all year, so who knows what you'll see from him.

  • sloopyinca||

    Bungles lose! Bungles lose! Bungles lose!

    Aw, shit. I needed the Bungles to win so the Ravens-Colts winner could play in New England next week. Now they'll end up in the AFC Championship game after they beat the Texans by 28 or more.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Did you see that shot of Marvin Squarepants waddling off the field with the playbook shoved into his pants behind his ass? WTF?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    OK, why does Marvin Lewis have the playbook shoved into the inside of his pants next to his buttcrack? That's fucking disgusting.

  • Sevo||

    Uh, just a bit more interest in his ass than is healthy...
    Do we have a problem here?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you had seen it you would be obsessed too. It was horrible. It would have changed your life forever.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Hey, this is a huge thread about pizza and the word 'Chicago' did not appear until I posted it here. Progress.

  • ||

    This is the real threat, not stupid laws developed by appointed chimps.

    True Threats to Pizza:

    1. Deep dish. It might be good (and Lou Malnati's is good), but it ain't pizza.
    2. Stuffed crusts- Jesus, what a bad fucking idea.
    3. Pineapple- You might like it, but it ain't pizza. And liking it says something about you, and it's not a positive thing.
    4. Sugar- What the fuck is THAT all about? Sugar in the crust, sugar in the sauce. What. The. Fuck????
    5. Barbeque sauce- I shit you not, when we lived in Austin, one of the popular chains there added this to the tomato sauce. We took one bite, spat it out, then put the rest of the "pizza" into our dog's food dish. She ran over, took a sniff, and walked away without touching it. Our dog will eat her own vomit but wouldn't touch a Gatti's pizza.

  • ||

    6. Ranch sauce- Whenever I want to defend the middle of the country against the arrogance and snobbery of the coasts, the concept of dipping pizza in ranch sauce comes up. At the thought of that, so does my lunch. OK, maybe the middle of the country IS a wasteland.
    7. Tabasco- who came up with THAT idea? This makes me rethink my opposition to capital punishment.
    8. More than two toppings- Want a soggy mess? Go to it. Want a bland base with junk piled on top? You're welcome to try. It ain't pizza.
    9. California Pizza Kitchen- "California" and "Pizza" are two words that don't belong together, and this is proof. You pay a premium for some horrible construct (it ain't pizza) which has all flavor scientifically removed.

    Don't diss Chicago- it is the home to Spacca Napoli, one of the two or three best pizzas in the US. And I mean REAL pizza, Tipo Fino 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, hand-made mozzarella, wood-burning oven.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    When I make pizza from scratch (about once a month), I put sugar in the dough mixture. It's what makes the yeast fart CO2. I also put sugar in the tomato sauce, it balances the acid of the tomatoes, and enhances the carmelized flavors of the mirepoix. Not a crazy concept, Old Man.

  • ||

    Not needed unless you're using shit tomatoes and half-dead yeast. And even then, if you add enough to make things perceptibly sweet, that's FAR too much. May as well use Ragu.

  • ||

    Well, as an Italian myself, I've had my share of conversations about what constitutes a great pizza and sauce with many a mother in both the old country and here.

    Particularly about the sugar. EDG, yes to some, sugar balances out the acid. But as I've learned over the years and speaking to chefs, you don't need sugar if you use a great tomato sauce like San Marzano or Reggina.

    Buy D.O.P straight from Italy and don't use sugar again. Try it.

    What I do use from time to time for kicks is a dash of Balsamic vinegar in the sauce but that's for my own twisted pleasure.

  • LibertariansRLiars||

    This magazine shouldn't be called Reason, it should be called Dumb. Have any of you actually read Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.?Markets don't work without transparency or accountability. Not providing consumers with necessary information harms everyone, not just pizza places who think that they don't have to follow the same rules everyone else does. If you don't like it, shut up and don't make pizza. Someone else will. Its a market.

  • alaamiah||

    Thank you very much

  • alaamiah||

    he supports the proposed FDA rule because it would provide information at the right place and time...

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