Today (March 12th) should have been the day when NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of sugary drinks (sodas, fruit juices, sweetened teas) greater than 16 ounces went into effect. Thankfully a NY State Supreme Court judge, citing the new regulation to be “arbitrary and capricious,” has blocked the NYC soda ban. Although the mayor viewed the prohibition as a way to fight the city’s growing obesity epidemic, what he failed to realize is that his own dictatorial urges do not and will not overrule each citizen’s ability and right to decide for themselves. Let’s face it—excess sugar is a threat to wellbeing and no person in their right mind should consume soda or any other sugary drink at all if they have the slightest concern over their health (I’ve already blogged about the many dangers or sugar in February’s post). The intent behind the ban may be honorable, but we are all adults equipped with the unalienable right to our own person and property. Only we get to decide what we do with ourselves, regardless if that choice is good or bad. Free will is a private issue and the consequences of said decisions shall remain with its executor.
The issue of individual liberty and the ban has beaten like a dead horse, but what about the concept of mutual agreement and voluntary contracts? If John Doe walks into a store and wishes to buy a 999-ounce soda from the store clerk and the two parties agree on a price, who is the mayor (or anyone else for that matter) to tell either party otherwise? Why should the State have any say in the voluntary contract between two individuals? This ban not only infringes on personal liberty, but it infringes upon capitalism as well. Is the mayor an anti-capitalist? The road to destruction is paved with good intentions, and we should all ask ourselves: If the mayor (or governor, senator, president) thinks something to be “for our own good” and acts unilaterally to legislate his own mandates, what distinguishes him from a complete despot? What else is in store for us all “for our own good?” What if the same mayor told us we can’t wear blue shirts past April because it’s in the public interest? What if the mayor, in an attempt to “combat crime and gun violence” assumed men who looked a certain way ought to be “stopped and frisked” “for the public good?”
Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal