I’m writing in response to Word Press’ Daily Post Writing Challenge about “The State of the State.” The question was posted today, March 25th, “Where do you draw the line between a reasonable government attempt to maintain stability or solve a problem and an unnecessary infringement on your decisions?”
Interesting question; this is right up my alley.
NYC Soda Ban: preposterous. I cannot and will not support a nanny state mentality.
When you look at ordinances like the large soda ban in New York City, what do you think? Do you honestly think that the government cares about you individually, or do you think that perhaps there is an exertion of power beyond the limits of the functionality of a successful government? I think the latter. If the NYC government, with bologna Bloomberg at its helm, honestly cared about the health of each citizen of the city of New York, it/he would not focus on the menial task of banning sodas. That’s child’s play. It is so condescending and offensive to assume that people do not have enough self-control to regulate the amount of sugary beverage they intake in any given setting. Maybe some people cannot exercise that self-control as well as others, but it is not the role of the government to go around telling those with health issues how much they can or cannot consume at any given time– just as your parents no longer have control over minor decisions such as these in your life once you are over a certain age. Did Bloomberg just adopt 9 million children? Sure seems like he wants to.
Please give the people education. That is far more important. Nutritional education would go a lot farther than banning a large soda. Lifestyle modification is what a lot of people need, not a quick fix substance ban. People who struggle with obesity or food and beverage self-control do not need someone breathing down their neck and demanding that they take measures to change. These people need encouragement and support, and a system to guide them to choose better options on their own. Rarely do people adhere to regulations forced upon them, but those who decide for themselves to make healthier choices are more likely to succeed.
Do I think that the government should play a role in education? Yes, to a certain extent. I think that Bloomberg’s efforts to curb the obesity epidemic in his small corner of the world would see better results if he were able to offer some kind of city-funded nutritional program, or some kind of reimbursement for a lifestyle modification program such as the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which is hosted at local YMCAs or other community centers throughout the city. Not only are programs such as these proven to better the health status of individuals who commit to them, but individuals enter these programs as a matter of personal choice. You see, people must make their own decision to change; Michael Bloomberg (or any government) cannot make that decision for them by punishing them like foolish schoolchildren.
Is the government overstepping boundaries by taking away a person’s choice in beverage? Absolutely, unequivocally, resounding YES. Would society be better off if the government offered the choice of education, which provides resources for people who need to make lifestyle changes? Oh yes. Please do not undermine the ability of a human being to make an educated decision when he is given the tools to do so. And do not underestimate the power of the resources that are already available and underutilized to help those in need make the decisions for a healthier life.
Mr. Bloomberg, back off of the rights of the people of New York City.