Nanny State

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Bloomberg's Food Narcissism

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Many people are accusing Mayor Bloomberg of being a Nanny Statist for proposing a ban on large sodas in New York. But Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia takes issue with that description in her morning column at The Daily. "A nanny forces others to do things for their own good," she notes. "But Bloomberg is a moral narcissist forcing New Yorkers to do things that make him feel good." Nor are sodas his only obsession. During his decade-long reign of New York, she writes:

He has also cracked down on smoking, salt and trans fats. He has mandated that fast-food joints post calorie counts. He also tried (unsuccessfully) to bar food stamp recipients from buying sodas — one-upping fellow Republicans who want to urine-test welfare recipients to make sure they don't use their government aid for drugs.

Alleged public health threats are not Bloomberg's only obsession. Although himself an admitted former toker, he has unleashed the nation's most insidious anti-pot policy in defiance of state law…

How does Bloomberg get away with such ruinous interference? Essentially, by affixing the adjective "public" before his pet peeves, turning them into respectable social causes such as "public health" and "public security."

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. I think you have actually summed up Bloomberg’s legacy in two words… “ruinous interference”.

  2. … one-upping fellow Republicans who want to urine-test welfare recipients to make sure they don’t use their government aid for drugs.

    I guess I depart from the standard libertarian line on this subject. The way I see it, if I can’t spend my hard-earned money on drugs, then welfare moochers shouldn’t get to spend my hard-earned money on drugs either.

    1. He also tried (unsuccessfully) to bar food stamp recipients from buying sodas

      I’d love to hear the howls from the soft drink industry and Big Agriculture if the Coke subsidy was abolished.

    2. I get no heartburn over this one, either. Anyone who accepts govt money knows there are strings that come with it.

      Grants that go to cities or states come with stipulations of how that money is to be spent. If you expect the rest of us to pay for your groceries, spare me the indignation when we refuse to pay for certain things. If you want those things, use your own money.

  3. As with virtually every law governing private behavior… it’s about power, not “the public good”.

  4. I understand both the liberty and the cost aspects of smoking regulations and calorie count regulations.

    But I do happen to like both, even if I wouldn’t vote for them.

    Where do I turn in my card?

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