Rubbing Salt Into the Wound
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg finagled a way around the city’s two-term limit on mayoral service, and is now running for a third term.
As if to rub it in, he’s attacking our use of salt.
Bloomberg has simply declared that the city is starting a “nationwide” effort to pressure the food industry to decrease salt use.
Which is more audacious, making New Yorkers’ salt shakers the city’s business, or foisting this intrusion onto the rest of the country?
This would have been a strawman example — a reductio ad absurdum — a generation ago. Back then, when some of us objected to, say, regulation of cigarettes, arguing that next government would be regulating the salt on our French Fries, earnest nanny-state proponents would sniff. No. They wouldn’t do anything that absurd.
Today, Thomas R. Friedman, Bloomberg’s man at the city health department, claims that if restaurants followed the New York City government prescription, they would in effect “lower health care costs and prevent 150,000 premature deaths every year.”
Is he right? John Tierney, writing in The New York Times, asserts that this “prediction is based on an estimate based on extrapolations based on assumptions that have yet to be demonstrated despite a half-century of efforts.”
Healthy or not, my salt intake is my business. And maybe my wife’s. Not New York City supreme ruler Michael Bloomberg’s.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.