Bloomberg’s War on Individual Freedom « Commentary Magazine

The libertarian view on Bloomberg’s ban on large soft drinks, couching it in terms of individual freedom. What is clever about the Bloomberg ‘ban’, which the article ignores, is that it is a ‘nudging’ policy, forcing people who want to drink excessive amounts of soda to buy two smaller sizes. The inconvenience of doing so is the ‘nudge’ to get people to drink less soda (and soda, according to some studies, accounts for one-third of our sugar consumption).

The same logic on liberty and freedom could also apply to the drug war, but unless I have missed it, I have not seen anything in Commentary applying this argument to drugs. Quote:

Personal choices, such as the consumption of sugar, do not fall under any reasonable definition of government responsibility. However serious our obesity problem may be, it cannot be solved by government fiat. Indeed, it isn’t likely that there will be a single less fat person in New York because of Bloomberg’s power play. But there will be a little less individual freedom in the city and elsewhere if his noxious idea spreads. The issue here is freedom, not sugar or obesity. The damage from this infringement on the fundamental values that are the foundation of democracy will hurt us far more than the extra few ounces of soda that the mayor begrudges New York’s citizens.

Bloomberg’s War on Individual Freedom « Commentary Magazine.


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