“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where have all the cowboys gone?

Nanny state bureaucrats are never happy with the decisions made by the free market. If they aren't politically correct decisions, then legislation mandating the "correct" choice is called for. That's the case in the land of half-witted hippies, California. It seems that Californians aren't making the "correct" dieting decisions so that choice will be taken away...

As America gets fatter, policymakers are seeking creative approaches to legislating health. They may have entered the school cafeteria -- and now they're eyeing your neighborhood.

Amid worries of an obesity epidemic and its related illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, Los Angeles officials, among others around the country, are proposing to limit new fast-food restaurants -- a tactic that could be called health zoning.

Look, I support providing only healthy food choices for kids in school cafeterias. They're kids. They can't be trusted to make good diet choices. But adults should be free to make whatever idiotic food choices they decide on. If an adult wants to eat a triple with cheese every day for 5 years and then dies of coronary disease at 49, who cares? As adults, we're free to make stupid choices. Besides, practically every fast-food joint offers a healthy version of their menu. It tastes like crap and is unsatisfying but it is available. Lawmakers should not be in the business of regulating market corrections regarding perfectly legitimate business practices. The market place will determine where fast-food joint set up shop. If a neighborhood collectively decides that it wants healthy food, those people will eat elsewhere and McDonald's will move to where it can make money. Nobody wants pencil-necked diet police telling us we're not allowed access to hamburgers.

This is another example in the long, sad list of examples of creeping, nanny-state, socialism that infests governments and lazy, distracted communities these days. Your legislators know more about how you should live your life than you do, and they are going to make your decisions for you, for your own good, whether you like it or not. And pathetically, far too many Americans are willing to cede responsibility for themselves over to the government so they don't have to do anything more than scratch their stomachs and watch MTV.

Fast food--the new pariah of nanny-state socialism.

The pioneer spirit of self determination and self reliance that built this country is mostly a distant memory...disappeared down the stinking rat hole of willing dependence and subjugation. It's as embarrassing as it is sad!


Kevin said...

They are turning America into one big Prison!!! Seriously telling us how to eat?!?! First we can't eat pork because it offends Muslims, then we can't eat fast food because its unhealthy? Why should the government care about obesity? Before they ban people from eating too much, they should think about banning smoking, because I am 99% certain it has more harmful affects. I personally don't care whether or not people smoke, thats their decision, but that is WAY more harmful than eating fast food. And the fact that those liberals in California (it seems like they make a lot of irrational decisions like this) want to try to change how people eat is ridiculous. California should be fenced off from the rest of the U.S. before their weird ideas immigrate to what sane minds are left in America. (note: not all of California should be fenced off, just most of Southern Cal will do)

Bobby T said...

Sorry there Kev-o but you used logic and reasoning in your argument. Neither of those exist in the "Buero-world" known as Government. They try to control, because they can. They tell you what is right, because they think it is right and you are stupid. They only want you to eat what they want you to, because then they can adjust business taxes to create more government money to line their pockets with. Companies have to pay, so retail prices go up. You get bitten in the rear because your pay raise doesn't offset the extra increase so you skip the mortgage or car note to feed the fam. They win again, 'cause now you are starting to suck from the government teat (Ed's word by the way). Soon you are part of the problem and only 'cause you like a double quarter pounder with cheese a large fry and a jumbo coke twice a week. I guess Mcdonalds will only be able to serve bamboo shoots soon? water chestnuts? Lettuce or other rabbit food group?
Screw it I'm going out and buy me a double whopper now.

Kevin said...

I dont think you followed what i was saying. With all of the regulations the government is trying to pass, they are as Ed said, trying to control every aspect of their country, which as we know is socialism/fascism/communism/etc. If you have ever read Atlas Shrugged you will understand where i get this logic and reasoning. Its not that i think this will happen in the future, its that it will happen. Once the government realizes they can pass these outrageous acts, they will pass more and more until they control everything and either the world becomes 1984 or it becomes Atlas Shrugged. Either way isnt very fun.

ed said...

I believe bobby meant his remark facetiously kevin...meaning he agrees with you.

Bobby T said...

You know me well Ed!!

Luke said...


I agree that this is (a) excessive governmental regulation, and (b) a very bad thing. But, the issue seems a little more complicated than you describe here.

First, given current trend towards nationalized health care (which I DESPISE), this sort of regulation is a necessity. Because the persons who eat themselves to death accrue excess medical bills, which will be distributed across other taxpayers, the other elected officials have a semi-legitimate duty to reduce taxes by preventing fools from eating themselves to death at everyone else's expense.

That really only serves as an added reason to do neither, as far as I can see, unless one really dislikes freedom.

Second, with the nationalization and globalization of companies, how well does the free market actually work? That is, if I open a new McDonald's in an area where no one in a 2-mile radius wants it, but near major traffic arteries, the business will likely survive. This stems largely from the name-brand nature of the restaurant; the food just isn't that good. I hypothesize that a restaurant that served exactly the same menu, in the same way, would not do as well in that location, because it would lack the consistent local base (no local demand), and the name-brand draw of a large chain (no drive-by demand). So...we zone things out?

Third, that raises the question of what's the deal with zoning? It seems to be one of those tricky balancing-everyone's-interests-and-rights games. If you own a piece of property, and I own the one next to it, zoning's purpose is to allow us to limit what gets put around us to things that are compatible with our interests. That's all well and good, but the fact remains that then we're actually telling someone what he can and cannot do with his own land. It's very complicated, and I don't have a solution I like to it.

That's further complicated by the real world, where it's not actually you and I telling people around us what's cool and what ain't, it's someone we elected (but likely don't know, and likely share few interests with), who gives significantly more face time to persons who might increase tax revenue. My claim in that convoluted statement is that zoning favors corporations, and often larger ones. See, for support, the recent (last year, I think) US Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain.

The point of that is, some people break bad habits by removing the possibility of the habit. If a community wanted to do that (all/most of the community, not just the elected officials), but couldn't trust market forces because of major traffic flow in the surrounding areas, would it be okay for them to zone the area to help break their habit?

Or, since companies often get a better deal from the zoning game, is it fair to pre-weight the game against them?

Anyway, as usual, I've got more questions than answers.

Nice blog! :)

--The Arch 'Bagger of Canturbury