A Big Gulp of Tyranny
Little things mean a lot. One, they add up. Two, they often express something big, like love between a married couple — or a bully’s determination to control your every move.
In the case of New York City’s impending ban on Big Soda, the something big is Big Brother’s claim of a right to regulate or outlaw everything that might somehow, someday harm somebody. Never mind how indirect or trivial the alleged harm may be. And never mind that such regulation inflicts far more grievous harm to the individual’s own ability to judge what is good for himself, and to act on that judgment in co-operation with others.
Mayor Bloomberg’s new nanny law prohibits restaurants, bars, and other food-serving establishments from selling sodas in containers of more than 16 ounces. That includes carafes served to tables of four, eight or ten. It includes two-liter bottles of soda that New Yorkers might want to order with their pizza. The law is stupid and tyrannical, and a vicious precedent.
Bold, fizzy action is called for. New Yorkers should defy the prohibition. Set up a test case, with the city imposing a fine on one or more businesses for continuing to sell large doses of carbonation. This would allow, then, the Institute for Justice, the ACLU or some other freedom-minded organization help fight the fine and the law in court.
And let there be protests in front of City Hall, peaceful and principled, with Big Soda served to all.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.