From Bloomberg to the homeless of a storm-devastated New York….
New York City is no longer taking private donations to food pantries and homeless shelters. Why? Because they can’t properly monitor the salt, fat, sugar, and other elements of nutritional content in them.
So, did you bake some extra pies this Thanksgiving, hoping to bring a smile to the face of somebody who has damned little to be thankful for? Tough luck.
Delis that have been donating fresh kosher bagels? Gor!
That nice Polish family down the street who makes the kitchen pierogies every week? Nie ma szans!
The food that you’ve been preparing for generations, from recipes passed down from one nation to the next, that you’ve spent the time and the trouble to prepare for charity, out of the goodness of your own heart, isn’t good enough for starving, desperate people out in the cold to eat.
So it’s Campbell’s for everybody, I guess! Sure, the cans are coated with enough BPA to make even the manufacturers of those trendy metal bottles throw up their hands and shout “whaddaya want from us,” but at least you know that you’re getting a product primarily flavored with salt and chicken byproduct.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reasons why I’m just a teensy, tiny bit leery of letting the government run my health care. You see, part of the justification for this bullshit is always going to be “well, it makes people less healthy, which drives up health care costs!” Or, alternately, “people can’t be trusted to make healthy decisions, so we need to make the decisions for them!”
That’s what they said in New York when they limited the size of sodas that people were allowed to buy. That’s what they said when they limited the amount of salt that restaurants were allowed to use, or when they ban smoking, or trans-fats.
That’s what they say when they argue for spending a trillion dollars and thousands of lives on a War on Drugs that isn’t working. It’s the basic argument behind virtually every attempt to create a new manner of “victimless crime.”
“You want us to pay for X. Your bad decisions make X more expensive. Therefore, in order to keep our costs down, we have to ban bad decisions.
“Oh, and please ignore the fact that after I retire from this job, I’m going to be getting a high-paying ‘job’ with one of the lobbying groups that put a lot of pressure behind passing these bills. Also ignore that these groups are frequiently financed by industries that are forced to compete with whatever it is that we’re banning. Because I’m doing this for the people, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking otherwise!”
If we really want to go taking a trip down Slippery Slope, this same sort of logic was used to justify all sorts of other nasty behavior by the government. Note the critical phrase in that paper: “people supported in institutions or ‘maintained wholly or in part by public expense.’” (Emphasis mine.) When the government is paying for everybody’s health care… or, for that matter, everybody’s anything, then everybody is maintained wholly or in part by public expense, which has been argued for years to give the government the ability to override whatever Constitutional concerns might be raised.
Now, yes, neo-eugenics is well down Slippery Slope Road. But a federal-level ban on trans-fats? Good bye, vegetable oil. A federal level “vested interest” in fighting obesity on an all new level? Hello, fat tax!
Ultimately, it all boils down to this. How much are you willing to give up your liberty, in exchange for being able to say that it’s not your problem, because the government’s going to take care of it?
Just remember Sandy-ravaged New York City, and how it’s done so much to make Big Food thankful this November.