Thursday, October 7, 2010

Daddy Bloomberg is right

When I was growing up my parents would not allow me to purchase booze and cigarettes with my allowance money. There was no use arguing that once given to me the money was mine to do with whatever I saw fit. In fact, I knew better than to argue the point.

Okay, I never actually tried to buy booze or cigarettes with my allowance but I did try to buy things that my parents said weren’t good for me and they were quick to tell me they were “responsible” for “ensuring” my wellbeing. Now Daddy Bloomberg is taking my parents’ attitude and applying it to New York City.

No Pop for the Poor

New York City’s mayor wants the federal government to say food stamps can’t be used to buy soda – a story that is less about the technicalities of welfare and more about political paternalism.

Now, there’s a strong argument to be made that if the government is setting the table and preparing the dinner, it should be able to choose the menu. But that argument is not being made; on the contrary, those who want soda omitted from the items obtainable by food stamps are making the link between health and public spending.
Good for him but he’s not going far enough. The list should include all processed foods, “junk” food, red meat, white bread, pasta, and potatoes. Better idea-food stamp recipients should be required to call the grocery store in advance and then the store can have acceptable food waiting for them. Think I’m kidding? Part and parcel with abdicating personal responsibility to the state should be a willingness to follow the rules of state, much as a child follows the rules of their parent.

Not fair? Stomp your foot when you say that, Missy!

Children have no choice but depend on their parents but adults have plenty of choices. People who wish to retain their ability to choose their food or housing or health care should not allow themselves to become wards of the state.

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