Not content with banning or at least fining those who traffic in cigarettes, trans-fats, salt, and big sugary soft drinks, New York City’s Mayor and millionaire chief busybody, Michael Bloomberg, last week set his sights on a new villain: Styrofoam.
In his State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg pushed for a ban on Styrofoam food packaging, complaining it “costs taxpayers money” because the light-weight, heat-insulating plastic foam is not biodegradable and thus has to be extracted from garbage before that garbage can be used as compost.
(Glass also has to be removed, as do lots of other things. What’s next on the verboten list?)
The mayor also wants to decrease the already sharply limited number of parking spaces available in his city for normal cars, in order to set aside more space for electric cars that will probably never show up.
The mayor said his administration would work to change the city’s building code so that up to 20 percent of new public parking spaces are wired for electric cars, with the goal of creating 10,000 spaces for electric cars over the next seven years — despite the fact that manufacturers of such vehicles are dropping like flies.
In fact, a Michigan LG Chem plant that was supposed to build batteries for the Chevy Volt had so little work that it was recently caught by the DOE’s inspector general using millions of dollars in federal grant money to pay idle employees to play board games and watch movies, the Wall Street Journal reported on the same day Mayor Bloomberg was announcing his latest flights of fancy.
Meantime, the Washington-based nanny-state lobbying group The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine called Wednesday for the City of Las Vegas to suspend the business license of the downtown Heart Attack Grill, following the reported death in the past week of a frequent diner identified as John Alleman — the second death that has been publicized among the patrons of the establishment, which brags of serving large hamburgers and other super-sized portions of high-calorie, high-cholesterol food.
Oh, please. What’s the claim, that adult customers of a joint called “The Heart Attack Grill” are being kept in ignorance of the nature of the food served there? That other restaurants somehow bestow eternal life on their patrons, who thus never die?
I’d compare this to suing breweries when people suffer health consequences from drinking beer, but I don’t want to give the Nanny State Police any more ideas.
We’d all be healthier if we ate more fresh fruits and vegetables, make no mistake, and activists are free to promote that regimen to their heart’s content.
But walk into any fast-food outlet during lunch hour and count the number of customers past age 50 who carry around some extra pounds. Statistically, at least a few of those customers are likely to die or become seriously ill in the next few years, and their diet will be partially complicit — even if the place is called the Anorexia Arms.
In a free country, does this mean any obese person ordering a burger, fries and Coke should be arrested and hauled away, locked in cells where they’re allowed only celery sticks — especially if their combo meal comes in Styrofoam?
The American people delegated to their government certain limited powers to provide for a common defense, and to perform other limited tasks not well suited to private enterprise. We did not hire these people to tell us what cars to drive, what foods to eat, or what kinds of cups and boxes to employ at the carry-out window.
These meddling busybodies, who clearly have too much time on their hands, should be put to work doing something useful, like shoveling out feed lots with teaspoons. Because if they don’t stop soon, somebody’s likely to get angry. Somebody who weighs 300 pounds.