“We have evolved to need coercion.” [Darleen Click]
When science stops telling us the facts and steps into politics:
The food industry has made a fortune because we retain Stone Age bodies that crave sugar but live in a Space Age world in which sugar is cheap and plentiful. Sip by sip and nibble by nibble, more of us gain weight because we can’t control normal, deeply rooted urges for a valuable, tasty and once limited resource.
What should we do? One option is to do nothing, while hoping that scientists find better cures for obesity-related diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. I’m not holding my breath for such cures, and the costs of inaction, already staggering, would continue to mushroom.
A more popular option is to enhance public education to help us make better decisions about what to eat and how to be active. This is crucial but has so far yielded only modest improvements.
The final option is to collectively restore our diets to a more natural state through regulations. Until recently, all humans had no choice but to eat a healthy diet with modest portions of food that were low in sugar, saturated fat and salt, but high in fiber. They also had no choice but to walk and sometimes run an average of 5 to 10 miles a day. Mr. Bloomberg’s paternalistic plan is not an aberrant form of coercion but a very small step toward restoring a natural part of our environment.
The professor is not as hysterical as most of the Left, as they bounce from one new “epidemic” to another as The.Worst.Problem.In.America (but it should be noted, their “epidemics” have little to do with confronting actual evil, such as violent crime or terrorism) but he presents as fact that individuals have no power over their own choices. As Amanda Marcotte asserts when reviewing yet another “obesity epidemic” program
I thought [it] was a nice, clear-cut way to get the audience out of the “personal responsibility” framework of utter meaninglessness, and move them towards the “collective responsibility” framework that actually suggests solutions. From there, we’re treated to two episodes where food marketers, agriculture subsidies, conservative politicians, increasing work loads, and underfunded schools and communities are targeted as the cause of the problem.
Free will, you understand, is not only over-rated, it doesn’t really exist.
Really? Then let’s have at it. We don’t have to go back several hundred years in order to find a reason to “regulate” Big Food with increased Nanny Government. Just tweak the tax laws and
nudge coerce businesses to send married women back home.
What? Well, McDonald’s, tv dinners, malt shops, sugar, et al, were prevalent in the 1950′s and obesity was not. Because moms were home to do the shopping, make meals from scratch and kick the kids out of the house to play every afternoon. Because of single incomes, homes were smaller, too, reducing the carbon footprint.
I’m sure Leftist professors of evolutionary biology and Left-feminists will support this obvious and easy solution. You know, because ‘choice’ was never a real option.
Tags: bloomberg, coercion, free will, liberty, nanny state, obesity, soda ban