He that would govern others first should be master of himself. – Philip Massinger
I remember hearing last summer that the folks running New York City were toying with the idea of a beverage ban in order to help combat obesity and related health issues. I remember thinking, “There are so many things wrong with that idea, it will never see the light of day.”
Boy, was I ever wrong.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s beverage ban will take effect tomorrow, and then the government-regulated fun begins. According to the New York Post, if you’re out and about and drinking soda, you’re not getting more than 16 oz. If you want more than that, you’ll have to buy another one. No big deal – except that your price-per-ounce just nearly doubled. Oh, and that it’s nobody’s business whether you drink soda and in what quantity. There’s that, too.
I also wonder how much time and money went into developing and administering this law. But then, NYC gets $200 a pop (get it?) each time someone breaks it. So perhaps it’ll all work out.
The biggest issue with this for-the-good-of-the-people ban is that it flies in the face of the fundamental truth that each person is accountable for him or herself. For all the research compiled for this ban, for all the good intentions, peel away all the rhetoric and the details and what remains is simply one group of “enlightened” who believe they know what is best for another group.
I’m sure the folks involved in promoting and approving this ban are pleased with themselves, and there’s probably another camp of individuals that thinks, “Yes! This will finally help all those poor soda-indulgers who can’t help themselves.”
I just can’t help but wonder, are there any soda-drinkers out there actually saying to themselves, “Whew, I am so glad the government stepped in on my behalf. I mean, how else could I possibly monitor my soda intake?”
What do you think? Is this ban a good thing or a bad thing – and why? What are the implications of this manner of attempting to influence the way New Yorkers drink soda?