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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 03/18/2013

You may drink to that

 Let’s have another donkey-bray laugh at Michael Bloomberg for his giant sugar-drink ban idea. It’s a good opportunity to demonstrate how you value your anti-PC cred over a genuine public health problem. Here, I’ll get you started! Hee-haw! What do you want to curtail NEXT, Mr. Nannygoat, our smoking???

 There’s even a stupid Jon Stewart video clip in which he delivers a vulgar, smirky tirade against the ban, a tirade that was 100% idea-free, and it closes with him weeping that he agreed with an equally vapid clip of Tucker Carlson whimpering about “choice.”  And weep he should. This is an example of people feeling entitled to go with their “seat-of-their-pants’ reaction, and feel simultaneously entitled to not think through a health issue that is, um, hard, and um again, consequential. Being deterred from purchasing liquid sugar in a single garbage-pail-sized container is NOT equally consequential. The research continues to mount that added sugar is perhaps the most damaging aspect of the American diet. But dry statistics just make us thirsty. Okay, then,  healthcare costs anyone?

 People who delight in their umbrage over Bloomberg’s superficially silly idea, and exhaust their scarce public-policy energy on denouncing it are exactly like people who spend their time nitpicking imperfections in electric cars, while ignoring the reality that hard problems are only ever solved by moving forward incrementally with imperfect solutions, and adjusting as you proceed and learn. So congratulations, go buy your giant super drink and toast American consumerism-at-any-cost fundamentalism. Bloomberg lost! Except he didn’t. He got the debate started, and focused. He got people to think about what a giant sugar-drink actually is, and anyone who defended those monumental gulps of poor judgment were left with a bad taste in their mouths.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 03/18/2013

 
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