The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the spreading efforts to combat obesity by reducing the consumption of sugary drinks.
The Richmond, California City Council put a measure on the November ballot that taxes businesses on the basis of how much Coke and Pepsi they sell. Although the proposal differs from Mayor Bloomberg’s more direct method of regulation, the goal is the same: to promote health by deterring bad behavior. Oops, did I say “bad”? I meant to say “unhealthy,” which for our secular elites is about as bad as bad gets. When it comes to sex, children are not to make “unhealthy” choices. Same with drugs. Same with the kinds of people they hang out with.
In any event, the Richmond, California initiative shows that Mayor Bloomberg’s plans for New York do not reflect the isolated mentality of a waistline obsessed billionaire. Richmond is a middle class town in the northeastern part of the Bay Area. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if voters approve the plan. It’s human to want to live in a community that disciplines our desires, and in our officially non-judgmental culture if the only thing we can get is discipline ordered toward the good of health, then we’ll take it.
There is an opening here. The sociological studies show the harms caused by divorce just as the epidemiological studies show the problems caused by obesity. Why not a tax on divorce? Or a tax on abortions? As the City Council in Richmond know, if you tax something, you get less of it.
Just a thought.