At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


The Future of Bloomberg’s America

posted by Jack Kerwick

Fortunately, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suffered an embarrassing defeat this week when a judge ruled that his now infamous “soda ban” failed to pass legal muster.

Yet the Mayor, far from being disheartened, dug his feet in further and promised to appeal the court’s decision.  He also once more defended his decision for wanting to prevent the city’s eating establishments from selling more than 16 ounce servings of non-diet soda and other sugary drinks at a time.

Bloomberg made it clear that his position on soft drinks is motivated by his desire, not to be a bully, as many of his critics allege, but to protect us from an “epidemic” that is consuming the nation: obesity.  Moreover, he is especially concerned with protecting “the poor,” who are more vulnerable to obesity than anyone else.  Bloomberg explains that the poor “don’t have the ability to take care of themselves” as well as those with more resources.

Setting aside the only thing that really matters—the fact that bans of the sort on behalf of which the Bloombergs of the country advocate are a blatant affront to liberty— it requires just a little bit of thought to see that the Mayor’s reasoning turns against itself.

First of all, if it is obesity, not starvation, from whichAmerica’s poor are suffering, then it would seem that the “War on Poverty” that was launched nearly a half-of-a-century ago has indeed been won.  The legions of activists who have been tirelessly telling us for years about “the millions” of American children who go to be bed hungry each and every night can finally rest easy.  State, local, and federal governments can at last dismantled the staggering complex of anti-poverty programs that have been in place for decades.  We can now celebrate that the trillions of dollars that we’ve spent since the War on Poverty began have not been spent in vain!

Of course, none of this is going to happen, but the point is that it should happen if the poor are afflicted by obesity.

Second, if it is good health that it is our objective, then the government shouldn’t be half-ass in pursuing it.  It should order all restaurant owners and grocers to either sell the foods that the government demands or else go out of business.  And because those greedy titans of the food industry who Bloomberg decries can’t be trusted to observe its dictates of their own volition, the government must destroy all competition in the realms of producing and selling food.

Yet this isn’t all.

The government should take over all health and fitness clubs while making it illegal for citizens not to exercise at least, say, three times a week.  Government-issued gym membership cards can be distributed to the citizenry. When Americans attend a gym, their membership cards will be swiped and then registered in a government computer base.  After a time—so many months, say, or maybe a year—if it is shown that they didn’t make their government-allotted quota of gym visits, stiff penalties will be attached.

Candy stores, taverns, liquor stores, and bakeries should all be closed for good.

Another point to which Bloomberg’s reasoning leads concerns non-physical aspects of human health and well-being.  If it is permissible for the government to “control” what we eat and drink for the sake of making our lives better, why shouldn’t it be ok for it to at least try to control what we think and believe for the same purpose?

The government can start requiring every literate American to read so many books within specified timeframes.  It can issue library memberships.  As there are now tax forms that American workers must fill out so that the government can take stock of every cent they earn, so too will the government now be able to monitor Americans’ reading—reading that it assigns. 

Government can as well impose a “high culture” quota under which Americans are forced to attend so many museums and theatres per year.

Finally, since study after study has shown that religious people tend to feel more fulfilled than their secular counterparts, government should compel all Americans to attend religious services regularly.  Perhaps the Bible should be on the government’s required reading list.   

We needn’t continue.  By now it should be clear that the logic of Bloomberg’s vision leads to an America in which few of us would want to live.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Previous Posts

Interracial Violence Ignored by the Media
For weeks on end, the police shooting death of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri by a white officer had managed to remain front and center on the national stage. The usual suspects in the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC) held up this incident as proof that “black men in America are under attack,”

posted 10:01:01pm Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Iraq, Ideology, and Truth: Dissecting the Political Blame Game
It would be comical if the fate of our country and the world didn’t hang in the balance to watch the Democrats and their neoconservative Republican rivals point blame at one another as ISIS assumes the national stage. Some thoughts on this internecine battle between these two birds of the same

posted 10:19:44pm Sep. 11, 2014 | read full post »

The "Militarization" of the Police?
Making the rounds through libertarian (and other) circles in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown is the notion that the “militarization” of local police forces is a huge problem besetting the country. Though I self-identify as a conservative, I have a considerable affection

posted 7:39:21am Sep. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Against the "Militarization" of the Police II
There’s a notion, popular among self-avowed “libertarians,” that among the largest threats facing our nation is that of “the militarization” of the police.  This idea has been expressed quite a bit as of late, particularly in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Fergu

posted 10:43:11am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Libertarianism and "The Militarization" of the Police
A line that has become all too common in some libertarian circles is that the key problem, or even a problem, in Ferguson, Missouri is a problem facing the rest of the nation. This problem is what these libertarians have taken to calling “the militarization” of the police. The charge that

posted 2:20:30pm Aug. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.