Sticky slope

Does banning pail-sized sugar drinks in one jurisdiction represent the Slippery Slope to the Nanny Gestapo? What comes NEXT? Can we waggle the green-headed monster of BROCCOLI at the public one more time? All slippery slopes now lead to broccoli. Having been raised on the specter of Eternal Hellfire, I for one can face the terror of Steamed Broccoli bravely.

When movie theaters had ramped uncarpeted floors, they were coated with, what else, sugary drinks. This was the proverbial Sticky Slope that you hear less about. But let me introduce it into the public conversation. NOT ALL SLOPES ARE SLIPPERY. One piece of public policy does not automatically lead to ever more of that policy all the way to the horizon. Voters are not first-generation computer programs who can only do the same thing over and over. We are not doomed to having to drink soda out of thimbles. Is the concept of Calibrated Response too complex to even be part of public debate now?

How about the slope in the OTHER direction? Shall we ask, perhaps, what might happen if the food industry embarked upon marketing larger and larger portions of less and less healthy foods? Yes, let’s ask THAT question today, because we already HAVE THE ANSWER. It leads to an absolute epidemic of obesity and its related diseases and astronomical health care costs which are wrecking health care plans and budgets from coast to coast. And taking an actual step to try to deal with it? Hard! Our feet seem to be stuck to something.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.

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