Using Force to Fight Obesity

Mayor Bloomberg is a special kind of tyrant. He views himself as king of New York and people treat him as such. Like any good monarch he acts like his decrees are divinely inspired and therefore he is justified in using force make the heathens obey. His latest crusade has been against soft drink manufacturers:

The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is calling for a municipal ban on sales of super-sized sugary drinks in an attempt to tackle obesity.

He wants to stop the city’s restaurants, delis, sports stadiums and cinemas from selling large sizes of sweetened soft drinks.


Under the proposals, any bottles of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces would be taken off the shelves in cafes while extra-large options will disappear from restaurant menus.

I would point out that this ban is pointless as most soda isn’t “sugary” as it’s sweetened with corn syrup, a substance that isn’t sugar in any regard, but nobody cares. A far more relevant criticism is the fact the state is willing to use violence to prevent the sale of soft drinks that are above an arbitrarily selected size.

We need to break down Bloomberg’s decree, specifically we need to follow it to its logical end. Let’s say we have a restaurant that gives Bloomberg the middle finger, their customers want 20oz. soft drinks and the restaurant wants to fulfill the wants of its customers. What will happen? Will Bloomberg personally show up and ask the restaurant owner to cease such sales kindly? Will Bloomberg attempt to make a voluntary agreement, a trade in exchange for the restaurant stopping the sale of large soft drinks? No. What Bloomberg will do is sent a bunch of gun toting thus wearing costumes to the restaurant and have them forcefully close the establishment. They’ll likely kidnap the restaurant owner and put him in a cage to boot. After patrons and employees have been removed from the restaurant at gun point the costumed thugs will then start writing extortion notes, commonly referred to as fine. Unless the restaurant owner pays the extortion money he will be held in a cage and the restaurant will continue to be occupied and controlled by the state invaders. Thor help the restaurant owner if he refuses to be kidnapped. If he should resist he will be beaten or even murdered because he dared give his customers what they wanted.

Every law is a threat against the people. Every piece of legislation should read, “Obey or else.” Is it just to threaten somebody with murder just to prevent them from selling soft drinks larger than an arbitrarily selected size? When you boil it down that’s exactly what Bloomberg’s law is, a threat of violence against the people to prohibit voluntary association.