In New York City, a judge has blocked an effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the sale of more than 16-ounce soft drinks in food service establishments. The judge ruled that the ban was “arbitrary and capricious.” Mayor Bloomberg vowed to appeal the court ruling. This, in a nutshell, is how America works — or, more appropriately, doesn’t work — these days.
It goes like this: The government imposes a silly, overly intrusive edict and claims it needs to do so to “promote health and safety” or hold down government spending. The stated purpose of the New York City Big Gulp ban was to prevent obesity, a condition that affects many Gothamites, and thus reduce city health costs. Never mind that obese people become obese for many reasons; Mayor Bloomberg decided to target big soda drinks. Then an industry group challenges the regulation in court, taxpayer-funded government lawyers and the industry-funded lawyers fight about the issue, and eventually a judge makes a ruling. Restraining orders get issued and appealed and the wheels of government grind to a halt while sideshow lawsuits addressing overreaching regulations command the public eye.
Does anyone think the framers of the Constitution would recognize our current government? Who among them would believe that government would some day outlaw certain foods on the ground that citizens can’t be trusted to consume them in moderation? Who among them would believe that one day judges would scrutinize and pass judgment on seemingly every government action?
We’ve strayed far from the initial concept of our Republic, where Americans were willing to fight and die for individual liberty and the right to representative government. We’re not heading in the right direction.