Obesity

Bloomberg: Paternalism Is 'Government's Highest Duty'

|

At a recent U.N. conference on "the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg bragged about his efforts to discourage consumption of salt and trans fats while explaining why only the government can be trusted to decide what people should eat:

There are powers only governments can exercise, policies only governments can mandate and enforce and results only governments can achieve. To halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option. That is ultimately government's highest duty.

There you have it: On Bloomberg's to-do list for government, defending us against our own unhealthy habits ranks above defending us against foreign invaders or marauding criminals.

I discussed Bloomberg's all-encompassing view of public health in a 2006 column. For more on the implications of such thinking, see my 2007 Reason essay "An Epidemic of Meddling."

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

NEXT: Occupy Wall Street: Ghosts of Seattle '99 and Nader 2000?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “the prevention and control of non-cummunicable [sic] diseases,”

    *snicker* Too busy reading the “rather bukkake” story/spam on the other thread, eh Mr. Sullum?

  2. I put this on the morning links thread days ago.

    1. We’re a little back logged. So, fuck off.

  3. Print|Email
    Bloomberg: Paternalism Is ‘Government’s Highest Duty’

    I will love the State,
    like I love my father and my mother!
    And I will love my country,
    like I love my father and my mother!
    And I will love my Fuehrer, Herr Bloomberg,
    like I love my father and my mother!

  4. epidemic of non-communicable diseases

    ?????
    The liberals are redefining words again, I see.

    1. From the Wikipedia article for “epidemic”, interestingly:

      “The disease is not required to be communicable. [citation needed]”

      No. Kidding.

      1. And in contrast, from Encarta:

        “fast-spreading disease: an outbreak of a disease that spreads more quickly and more extensively among a group of people than would normally be expected”

        I guess the dictionary has yet to catch up with public-health imperialism.

        1. “”I guess the dictionary has yet to catch up with public-health imperialism.””

          Winston Smith must be asleep at his desk.

      2. From CrackertyAssCracker:

        “Sometimes Wikipedia is full of crap”.

      3. Yeah, I saw that too. The revision on Sept 20 by Wood Thrush edited out the previous context which said “in recent usage, the disease is not required to be communicable”.

    2. “epidemic” of a “non communicable disease” = oxymoron

      Fail!

    3. Epidemic, or disease?

      1. It’s an epidemic. Large food particles make their way across the U.S. and fly into the mouths of the obese.

        Some say obesity is contagious. Some say genetic.

        Regardless, the most important thing that we do is follow whatever mandates Michael Bloomberg proposes.

  5. To halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option. That is ultimately government’s highest duty.

    And our highest duty as subjects to the government is to be obedient and silent like the nice and sweet cattle we all are.

    1. Of course Bloomburg never goes out to Sparks or eats anything but healthy food. And to think that many in the media would love this fucking lunatic to run for President.

      1. What’s done in Bermuda, stays in Bermuda.

        Watch how his attitude changes when government wants to nanny his company.

        1. Rules are for the little people.

      2. I’ve long thought that a lot of this food nannyism is really cultural elitism in disguise. I don’t hear anyone wanting to tax Starbucks whatever-chinos or fancy steak dinners or port wines even though they are loaded with calories–it’s always fast food they want to go after. It’s contempt for Joe and Jane Sixpack who eat at McDonalds and shop at Wal Mart.

        1. I’ve been trying to popularize the phrase “Smug Diet” any time a Diet Nazi type shows up to a food discussion. Feel free to propagate it.

          1. Ted,
            Good concept. You could include foodies who require each tomato be named before it is eaten and decry the fact that food should be cheap:
            “People struggling with their food bills should “make a sacrifice on the cell phone or the third pair of Nike shoes,” Waters advised.”
            http://www.alternet.org/enviro…..ice_hikes/

  6. Funny, I was just thinking that sheep fucking was Bloomsberg’s highest duty.

  7. Jacob, there are some golden alt-text possibilities with that picture that you totally blew.

    1. “Smells like Obama had Mexican today.”

    2. Everything, up his nose!

  8. Just the usual pattern here. Government promotes fraudulent bullshit research which exacerbates the problem it purports to solve, then uses that as an excuse for a power grab, which further exacerbates said problem and so on…

    They won’t stop pushing this high carb bullshit until everyone’s a diabetic.

    1. Sure, think of all the money Big Pharma will make selling everyone insulin and other drugs and the diabeetus testin’ supplies. And don’t forget those nifty little motor scooters Medicare will pay for if you get too fat to move.

      1. Jordan, high protein / moderate fat is the way to go. Pass on the pasta, the whole grains, the breads, the starches, the wheat, the rice, etc.

        1. About five years ago my wife, 45 and by no means obese, was already on blood pressure meds and the doctors wanted to put her on cholesterol medicines. Her blood sugar was also very high, something like 180. After doing our own research at fitness websites and reading a couple of books like “The Schwarzbein Principle, we cut out most grains and as much sugar and other sweeteners as we could stand. We commonly indulge in meats of every kind including the occasional bacon (mmmm), eggs, real butter (in moderation) and lots of veggies and fruits.

          We had been practicing our new eating habits about a year when her next physical came around. No more meds. When my wife explained to the doctor how we were eating the doc was incredulous. And even now when the wife goes in for her check-up the doctor questions her about our eating habits. It’s hard of overcome propaganda.

          I now tell everyone to turn the government’s food pyramid upside down if they want to get healthy.

  9. Bloomberg is a cunt. If I saw him crossing the street carrying doughnuts I would run him over.

    1. Hopefully, you would save the doughnuts to give to some moderately chubby kid who had been labeled as “obese”.

    2. Why wait for donuts?

      no hugs for thugs,
      Shirley Knott

      1. I would probably run him over in any situation. But the doughnuts would be “ironic”.

  10. Mikey is a colossal asshole. But man, when he first ran, he seemed sensible, and in contrast to Mark Green, seemed positively sane. Yet he turned out to be probably worse than anything I would have expected out of Green.

    1. He’s almost as bad as Rudy and worse than David Dinkins.

    2. I’d be hard pressed to think of a bigger piece of shit than mike bloomberg. Not even giving his name the dignity of capital letters. May he be eaten by a four-dimensional space whale.

    3. Seriously EPI, what could Green have done any differently that would have made him different than Bloomburg? Bloomburg is every bit the police loving tyrant that Guilliani was. But he makes up for that by having the desire to completely control every aspect of everyone’s life.

      1. John, I suppose it is not that easy, from a libertarian perspective, to categorically decalre that one is worse than the other. They both make me cringe.

      2. Dude, Rudy was great compared to Mikey (what a sad commentary on our mayoral choices when I have to say something like this). Rudy was a power-hungry ass, but he didn’t give a shit about the little people. He had no interest in that type of control or rules, and just battled it out with journalists and his political opponents.

        I honestly don’t know what Green would have been like, but I don’t see him being worse than Mikey.

        1. Wasn’t Rudy the one who instituted broken window policing, cracking down on petty bullshit while basically acknowledging that the NYPD was helpless against murders and rapists?

        2. Tell me about their adult lives. Who has spent more time in the public sector and trying to be part of the same?

          Do you forget the very public arrests of Wall Street figures in the 1980s? That was Rudy’s handy-work. Rudy decided that the little people could not trade on inside information. Only a meglomaniachal parasite like Rudy could do that.

          Little people? How about the poor, though industrious, squeegee entrepreneurs? what did rudy think of them?

          1. Arrest, arrest, arrest.

        3. Rudy was a law enforcer from hell. But you are right, he never gave a shit about anything like this. Bloomburg may be the worst Mayor in American history not to end up in prison.

          1. Bloomberg is Rudy after being put through a Clockwork Orange treatment that makes him feel like only the can save the proles, and that he wants to save the proles.

        4. “I honestly don’t know what Green would have been like, but I don’t see him being worse than Mikey.”

          Didn’t Green sink millions into Air America?

          Is that who you would want doing the city’s finances? I stand second to none in my loathing for Bloomburg, but … Air America man?

          1. What in anything I said implied that I wanted Green to be mayor? I voted for Bloomberg. It is the last time I voted for anything, because I realized how stupid and pointless it all was.

  11. THIS is why I am stuck on the concept of secession.

    I cannot fathom, even when I hold my breath to try and simulate extreme stupidity via hypoxia, how somebody could ever, ever vote for the kind of person as Bloomberg.

    When I look at yankees and all that they embrace willingly up there in the Big part of the Big East, it just smacks me hard in the face, over and over again: These people have absolutely NO CLUE what America is about.

    The northeast, with little tiny enclaves of exception, is populated by people who quite evidently view government as their mommy.

    I don’t want to put up with the products of their political opinions anymore. We can still have baseball. We can still have football. We can still see each other at Thanksgiving. But what the hell is the point of sharing a country anymore when the yankees have completely, utterly, 100% lost any conception of what America is in the first place?

    We see socialist stupidity in other places, true – the Left Coast, the Great Lakes region, and even among certain sectors of the midwest (holy biofuel and agricultural subsidy scams, batman!), and the south. But nobody seems to be able to compare with the outright prostrating of a people to their perceived betters in government than the yankees of the northeast.

    I remember a quote from Giuliani or Koch that, “Our city can kick your city’s ass.”

    Yeah, right. As soon as you finish your vegetables and get a note from Mommy Bloomberg.

    1. Spare us you KULTUR WAR bullshit, retard. Your collectivist lumping of all people in a given location as the same is fucking pathetic. “America” isn’t about anything, you stupid fuck.

      Collectivism seems to come real easy to you.

      1. Ah, and we hear from the Autism Spectrum, I see.

        Check out this.

        1. New Hampshire is not one of those exceptions. It is a socialist cesspool.

        2. Holy shit you’re retarded. Please, tell us more. Do you have a newsletter, collectivist?

          1. Epi, he’s the one advocating secession. All opponenets of secession are, by definition and nature, mass murdering collectivists or supporters of the same.

            1. “Epi, he’s the one advocating secession. All opponenets of secession are, by definition and nature, mass murdering collectivists or supporters of the same.”

              Right, like ummmm…these folks?

              Give Me Liberty or Give Me Yankee Food Police!!!

          2. “Holy shit you’re retarded. Please, tell us more. Do you have a newsletter, collectivist?”

            That is a really intelligent come-back.

            You think deeply, don’t you?

    2. But nobody seems to be able to compare with the outright prostrating of a people to their perceived betters in government than the yankees of the northeast.

      HA HA HA HA!!! We here in New Hampshire laugh at your neo-Confederate ignorance.

      1. C’mon. We all know you’re nothing but a bunch of Massholes.

        1. Them’s fightin’ words, Dog.

          1. New hampshire is a rotten socialist cesspool.

            If it wasn’t, it would not repeatedly elect and re-elect democratic and republican party politicians.

            If it wasn’t such a socialist cesspool, it would not confiscatory property taxes, would it?

            If it wasn’t such a statist nightmare, there would not be any stinkin’ public schools where one is taught that Abraham Lincoln was a saint who did not mass murder hundreds of thousands of people.

            If New Hampshire was truly the live free or die place, there would be no stinkin’ public employee unions or state police with militarized equipment and weaponry purloined from the productive efforts of others.

            If it is truly free, why are there speed limits? Drug laws? Cooperation with the DEA and other federal agencies?

            How about Ed and Elaine Brown? Where were NH’s sons of liberty when the Browns needed their help?

            1. Wow…that’s a bunch of hobby-horses you’re riding there.

              For what it’s worth, I did support the Browns in their tax case, even though they are Jew-hating scum.

              1. Do you have proof that they are / were “jew hating scum”?

                Even if one is a jew hater, that should not influence one’s committment to protect them from PROVEN THUGS like the IRS, DEA, state taxing authorities and the local gendarmnes.

                Which one of the items I enumerated is not true?

                1. Do you have proof that they are / were “jew hating scum”?

                  I do, their own words. They are Jews, Illuminati, and Freemasons control the world!!! folks. You can find their interviews with the local papers online.

                  Even if one is a jew hater, that should not influence one’s committment to protect them from PROVEN THUGS like the IRS, DEA, state taxing authorities and the local gendarmnes.

                  This we agree on.

                  Which one of the items I enumerated is not true?

                  If you’re talking about “New Hampshire” the State/government then I would say item 3 isn’t true. I found the History curriculum to be balanced when teaching the Civil War. Indeed, too balanced in that it glossed over all controversy from all sides.

                  As for the New Hampshire, the people, remember “the people” are not the same thing as “the State.”

                  1. I just checked out some items which indicate that Mr. Brown believed that there is a conspiracy by and between the Jesuits, the Masons and Zionism.

                    I did not read that he hated jews or that he said so. If your argument is that because he believes that the Illumanati and Jesuits and Free Masons rule the world he is a jew hater, then your argument lacks merit.

                    Logically, it just can’t stand up to scrutiny. The claim that the Jesuits / Zionists / Masons rule the world does not mean that the person making the claim hates jews.

                    1. He was clearly quoted as saying “world Jewry,” not just Zionism.

      2. “HA HA HA HA!!! We here in New Hampshire laugh at your neo-Confederate ignorance.”

        Yes, one of the enclaves of exception.

        1. The only Southern state in the top 10 is Virginia.

          Don’t let the People’s Republic of Massachusetts fool you. To live in rural northern New England requires a great deal of self-reliance and rugged individualism. I dare one of you Southerners to make it through one of our winters.

          Seriously though, pay us a visit and talk to the common folk. And while we may disagree on such stuff like placing giant monuments to the 10 Commandments in very town square; when it comes to the values of individual liberty, hard work, and self-reliance, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

          1. But that is not reality. If folks were so enamored of, and sticklers for, individual liberty and self reliance, there would be none of the warfare / welfare abominations which dominate life in these united states, including NH.

            1. But that is not reality. If folks were so enamored of, and sticklers for, individual liberty and self reliance, there would be none of the warfare / welfare abominations which dominate life in these united states, including NH.

              You’re assuming the electoral process still works.

              1. No, as Stalin’s wisdom, “it doesn’t matter who votes; what matters is who counts the votes” reminds us.

          2. As a deep south native I see your NE winters and raise you the five winters I spent in Missoula, MT and the one winter in the Alaskan bush. That last one was damn cold.

            1. Whereabouts in Alaska were you?

              I’ve always had this dream to drop everything and become an Alaskan bush pilot.

            2. the one winter in the Alaskan bush. That last one was damn cold.

              Sarah Palin is one callous woman, ain’t she?

          3. “Seriously though, pay us a visit and talk to the common folk. And while we may disagree on such stuff like placing giant monuments to the 10 Commandments in very town square; when it comes to the values of individual liberty, hard work, and self-reliance, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

            I understand that part. But…something seems to go wrong between THAT picture and the voting booths…

            – John Kerry
            – Edward Kennedy
            – John Murtha
            – Arlen Specter
            – Barney Frank
            – Chuck Schumer
            – Olympia Snowe
            – Susan Collins
            – Patrick Leahy
            – Charles Rangel
            – Lincoln Chafee’s senate stint
            – Hillary Clinton’s senate stint
            And…
            ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN ELECTORAL VOTES FOR BARACK OBAMA IN 2008.

          4. “I dare one of you Southerners to make it through one of our winters.”

            What for? I happen to enjoy our lovely weather here in Florida, thank you. Plus, unlike NH, we actually managed to pass right-to-work legislation and place it in our constitution. “Live Free or Die”, my foot.

            1. I happen to enjoy our lovely weather here in Florida.

              Considering you have a hurricane season, I can’t believe you can say that with a straight face.

              1. Were 4 months into hurricane season and not even a tropical storm has hit us. As a matter of fact, the last time a storm knocked out power where i live was in 2005. I bet more people in the NE lose power as a result of snowstorms than we do in Florida because of ‘canes.

    3. These people have absolutely NO CLUE what America is about.

      The northeast, with little tiny enclaves of exception, is populated by people who quite evidently view government as their mommy.

      Strawman much?

      Oh, and, go fuck yourself, asshole.

      1. He just beat the shit out of your “argument” – typical adolescent ad hominem attack.

        1. “He just beat the shit out of your “argument” – typical adolescent ad hominem attack.”

          One hundred and fourteen electoral votes for Barack Obama, 2008

          All from the northeast.

          As a matter of fact, there wasn’t a SINGLE electoral vote from the northeast NOT for Obama in 2008.

          Strawman that.

          1. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t a SINGLE electoral vote from the northeast NOT for Obama in 2008.

            How many people actually voted?
            40%?

            Fail

            1. “How many people actually voted?
              40%?”

              All that does is prove the idiom: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  12. Why doesn’t someone just make this Russian Jew bastard the Ambassador to Iran, or something. I’m sure they have plenty of non-communicable diseases over there that need eradicating.

    1. Well, that would have to wait until after the anschluss of Persia.

  13. Why doesn’t someone just make this Russian Jew bastard the Ambassador to Iran, or something. I’m sure they have plenty of non-communicable diseases over there that need eradicating.

  14. “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

    Thoreau was never so correct.

    1. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis

  15. We’ve taken care of everything
    The words you read, the songs you sing

    etc.

    1. You don’t get something for nothing
      You don’t get freedom for free
      You won’t get wise
      With the sleep still in your eyes
      No matter what your dreams might be.

      And whatnot.

      1. Live for yourself…there’s no one else
        More worth living for
        Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more

        Well, I know they’ve always told you
        Selfishness was wrong
        Yet it was for me, not you, I came to write this song

  16. Is there a domestic, state-by-state version of the Index of Economic Freedom or Economic Freedom of the World?

    1. Follow the link I gave you before.

  17. What is is with douche-bag NY mayors? Remember Giuliani’s “Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”

  18. Where was da government when I married that fat fuck of an ex-wife?

    1. Presiding.

  19. Foremost among my many problems with this statist micromanagement bullshit is the absolute lack of accountability for the “experts” who would decide everything for everybody. If 5 million people follow the food pyramid and end up fat and diabetic, who at the Department of Health is held accountable? If you get hit by a licensed driver, will the DMV compensate you for your losses? Of course not. The government is free from any consequences, and the only way to win with such a massive, overbearing and intrusive government is to be a part of it. Bloomberg’s vision would ultimately utterly destroy society, leaving nothing but parasites with nothing to leech off of.

    1. I forgot who said it, but 300 million people have been unwitting and unwilling research subjects for food activists and their government enablers ever since the Lipid Hypothesis was invented.

    2. They also completely ignore those that don’t need “help”. Not everyone is an obese couch potato with high blood pressure. People who actually work up a sweat for a living might need the extra salt and calories to stay healthy.

  20. I understand “power corrupts”, but apparently it also drives you insane, if this lunatic’s rantings are any indication.

  21. I was going to write a scathing paragraph about Bloomy, but fuck it. The people of NYC keep voting for this turd, so screw em. They want a nanny state, fine by me. Just wish they would stop moving here to Florida when they retire and ruin our state like they did to theirs.

  22. Mayor’s Aid: Mr. Bloomberg, the plebeians are rioting on Wall Street.

    Mr. Bloomberg: Let the eat paprika.

  23. Bloomberg is keeping NJ afloat. We keep losing population to freer states, but that loss is offset by the inflow from New York City. Thanks to him, NJ is still not as bad and NYC.

  24. What’s worse than Bloomberg, is the dogs who lap up what he says.

  25. New York Republicans make Texas Democrats look like Conservatives.

  26. Your essay is good, I like it very much. Here I would like to share with you some things :
    Ugg Boots On Sale http://www.uggsukmall.com. —— benbencai

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.