NYC mayor Bloomberg has proposed banning large-sized sugary drinks in NYC in certain venues (e.g. restaurants, ball parks, etc.). I keep thinking of what Thomas Sowell has said and written about the arrogance of intellectuals – because they’re knowledgable in one area, they think they’re experts in everything and have the right and duty to impose their opinions on the rest of us. Bloomberg’s responses when questioned about his proposal are great exemplars of Sowell’s theory.
From the NYT:
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.
“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do…”
And what qualifies Bloomberg to make health-related edicts? Is he an expert in diet and medicine? (No). And even if he was, regulating food consumption is not the government’s business – or at least, it shouldn’t be.
The mayor, who said he occasionally drank a diet soda “on a hot day,” contested the idea that the plan would limit consumers’ choices, saying the option to buy more soda would always be available.
“Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32 ounce,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a sarcastic tone. “I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away.”
So because Nanny Bloomberg doesn’t drink sugary sodas, no one else should either? Where does he get off thinking he’s the model everyone must follow? Oh yeah, he’s an “intellectual,” though not clever enough to understand that he is taking something away: convenience and choice.
He also said he foresaw no adverse effect on local businesses, and he suggested that restaurants could simply charge more for smaller drinks if their sales were to drop.
And now he’s an expert in restaurant pricing as well?
Save us from intellectuals.