Costs are what we give up for what we want. Focus only on a transaction, and that McChicken sandwich “costs” only a bit over a buck. But ultimately that McChicken costs you what you give up in your budget because you purchased it: a candy bar, a chocolate milk, or a tune on iTunes.
Nearly everything has costs, often hidden.
Take Michele Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. The Hunger-Free Kids Act, the legislative kicker of the First Lady’s cause, withholds money from schools that don’t provide a rigorous well-balanced menu. Kids must take a variety of fruits and veggies with each meal. Must!
The regulation will cost local school districts about $7 billion to comply. Cash-strapped school districts. It will also cost quite a lot in thrown-away food, as kids are “required” to take food they don’t intend to eat.
And then there’s the cost in reduced nutrition.
It appears that kids like flavored milk products. You know, chocolate milk, strawberry-flavored milk, etc. But high fructose corn syrup (which was foisted on our population by the federal government in the first place, via huge subsidies to corn farmers in general and Archer Daniels Midland in particular) is now a no-no. Flavored milks are on the way out.
The cost of cutting them?
Well, kids get 70 percent of their milk from flavored milks. Take away their chocolate, and . . . the result, for many, will be no milk at all.
That’s how a pro-nutrition regulation can end up reducing nutrition.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.