Friday, June 27, 2014

R.I.P. - Bloomberg's Sugary Drink Ban


Ah, remember the good ol' days of the Bloomberg administration, when the sugary drink ban was enacted because Bloomberg was acting in the interests of the health of city residents (read: interests of the Board of Health). A ban that lead to mocking by politicians, political commentators, and comedians on the national stage. A ban that arbitrarily applied to certain establishments and not others, like the Big Gulp at 7-11 which was exempted vs. 2-liter bottles of soda in Supermarkets which would be illegal to purchase. A ban that applied to certain drinks and not others that seemed to make no sense at all, like refills, milkshakes and alcoholic beverages all being exempt.
 
Well, finally, after a trial court stopped the law from going into effect and an appeals court agreeing with that decision, New York's highest cost dealt the final blow by striking down the ban once and for all.
 
This was a ridiculous ban on drinks, and an even more absurd fight to get the ban in effect, so most people will not even pay attention to Bloomberg's ban finally being put to rest. However, there are two points to really note here....
 
Firstly, the appeals court ruled to shoot it down mainly because Bloomberg and the city's Board of Health overreached and used a regulatory agency to try to impose this ban. They engaged in policy-making and ignored the actual legislative process we have. I think all executives, most particularly our President Obama, should pay attention to this. You can't pull a fast one on us and overreach your authority. That's just not how our country works.
 
Secondly, this ban raises the issue again of where does freedom of choice end and government control begin. The City Council's willingness to look into similar legislation to this ban and Mayor DeBlasio  being "extremely disappointed" in the ruling are signs that attempts at our freedom will be encroached on in the near future. Beware people. We have enough laws, taxes and regulations in place that limit our personal freedoms - increase in cigarette costs to stop us from smoking, gun laws limiting our Second Amendment rights, etc. On the list that measures State freedoms, New York is dead last. DeBlasio, Cuomo and our legislatures need to stop trying to protect us from ourselves and overreaching into our lives.

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