Wednesday, July 05, 2006

NY Post: Super Anti-Nanny

It took a little longer than we anticipated but the NY Post has finally gotten around to criticizing Joel Rivera's suggestion that the city should use zoning to curb the proliferation of fast food outlets. The paper accuses Rivera of thinking that New Yorkers are all dumb; "Poor people in particular, in his view, are in need of wisdom-because they're not only fat, they're stupid."

The Post feels that everyone is the master of their own fate and deserves to be able to live without the unencumbering control of an intrusive government. Here! Here! All of which overlooks the intrusiveness, not of government, but of an industry that not only seeps into every nook and cranny of everyday life but also wants to seemingly occupy every square inch of the neighborhood.

The River suggestion isn't about control per se, but about the legitimate right of government to use on of its basic police powers to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. Its not the God-given right of the fast fooders to be able to saturate neighborhood commerce and push out the local businesses with their Wall Street driven resources. Which is exactly what other cities and towns all over the country are trying to prevent.

Finally, the Post claims that Rivera, in his zoning obsession, notably overlooks "education, diet, exercise and self-control." Just isn't true. As we have pointed out, the Rivera-sponsored Health Corps initiative in three high schools this fall will do just that. Create a cadre of health activists who will preach the Post's anti-obesity mantra to their friends, families and community, something everyone should support.