Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The French Fry Police Think We're All Stupid

The Wall Street Journal reports on the ever escalating war againast obesity or as I like to call it, the war on personal freedom. (Kudos to McBlog! for the e-mail heads up.)

In Los Angeles, they've moved beyond mandatory nutritional disclosures and trans fats bans into outright bans of new fast food restaurants. The article is illustrative of the real issue- that people like to go to fast food restaurants. Los Angeles's Figueroa Boulevard is discussed, bringing to mind any number of other fast food alleys throughout the country. And if you asked, why do these fast food strips exist in the first place, the answer, the only answer would have to be because they meet consumer demand. We get more and more fast food because consumers demand more and more variety and because consumers are willing to frequent new fast food establishments. If people were packing their lunches and not heading out to eat, very few of these places would exist in the first place because very few people would be buying fast food.

What Los Angeles is trying to do is not as much about public health as it is social control. The real problem for the obesity warriors is simply that people chose to eat fast food. Now obviously, people don't chose fast food for their health, they chose it because it's quick, it's cheap, and it's familiar. Literally, the point of all these sorts of fast food regulations is for the government to force people into thinking more about their health and making the "right" decision.

In the end, these sorts of nanny state laws wind up being more of inconvenience than a literal totalitarian restriction on our rights. It just always galls me that politicians really think they know how to run our lives better than we do ourselves. It's just so unbelievably arrogant, yet that's what we get from our politics time and time again.


Post a Comment

<< Home