Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sweet Science?

The city's Busybody-in-Chief is back at it. Our Health Commissioner Tom Frieden is once gain out to do damage to the city's small businesses at a time when they can least afford any of his no nothing bureaucratic meddling. This time, it's not salt that he's after, it's sugar-leading us to wonder if the good doctor will soon be monitoring everything that we decide to put into our own mouths. As the NY Times reports: "A month after Gov. David A. Paterson dropped his proposal for a soda tax, New York City’s health commissioner has written an article advocating “hefty” taxes on sodas and sports drinks containing sugar. Such a tax, the article said, could be the biggest boon to public health since tobacco taxes."

This is the same guy who, with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up, claimed that lowering the salt intake of New Yorkers would, "...lower health care costs and prevent 150,000 premature deaths every year.” This guy quack more than the AFLAC duck-making absurd claims with no back-up. But why should he have to? After all, he's given carte blanche by Mother Bloomberg to conduct experiments on unwilling New Yorkers without their consent.

The reality here is that if there was a Nutrition Czar who could, through edict and fiat, determine everything you could legally consume, you might be able to lower health costs and prevent a certain number of premature deaths. The collateral damage to our basic liberty would, however, be far greater-and Frieden's so-called health initiatives are an integral part of a political project that wants to reduce us all to unthinking subjects. And if the federal government takes over health care in this country, this is what we will have in store: the Dr. Friedens of the world telling us how we need to behave if we want to access the "benefits" that the government offers.

And, as he does always, Frieden eschews the "too difficult" task of education and public scolding: "It is difficult to imagine producing behavior change of this magnitude through education alone, even if government devoted massive resources to the task,” said the article, published in the journal’s April 30 issue and released online Wednesday. “Only heftier taxes will significantly reduce consumption.”

Message to Frieden: if "heftier taxes" lead to lay offs and resultant job loss it will be a decidedly unhealthy outcome for New York. And this would be on top of the loss of our basic freedom to decide what we'd like to eat and how we want to live-something that Frieden feels is insignificant in the pursuit of his Brave New World vision of healthy living.