“If Michael Bloomberg did not exist, libertarians would have to invent him.”

May 30th, 2012

@DanRothschild accurately sums up Mayor Bloomberg latest statist escapade.

Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of large-sized sugary drinks–that is greater than 16 ounces.

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.

I sometimes ponder whether Mayor Bloomberg sits around in a sinister statist board room—reminiscent of the Springfield Republican Party, led by the nefarious Mr. Burns—conjuring and hatching up new plans to enrage libertarians and make me write irate blog posts. Well, whatever he’s doing, it’s working! See all these Bloomberg posts I wrote! More exclamation points!!!! And random CAPITALIZATIONS. !!!!

I hope I do not have nightmares of Michael Bloomberg raiding Hayek’s grave.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in City Hall’s sprawling Governor’s Room.

“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

Just read that last sentences again. Let’s analyze this from the perspective of pronouns.

The first sentence shifts any blame or credibility. He only refers to unnamed “public health officials” who are “wringing their hands.”

The second sentence does the same. He shifted the collectie to the entirety of “New York City.” All those silly public health officials outside New York are impotent. But in New York, we can do better. And what will New Yorkers do? “Something.” No specifics here. We gott do something.

In the next second, he shirks any concevable sense of responsibility–I don’t want to do this, the public wants me to do it. Or, more precisely, he *thinks* it is what the public (however define) would want the mayor (not “me”) to do. His words suggest that he is living in some detached universe. By shifting to the third person, you can tell he is not confident about this himself. He is trying to cover for the fact that he has no basis to do this. Rather, he tries to deflect everything to others–public health officials outside New York, public health official in New York, the public.

Well, at the least we can hope that the “public” will be responsible for determining whether this is something the Mayor should do. Right? No?

Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday. . . .

With the new proposal, City Hall is now trying to see how much it can accomplish without requiring outside approval. Mayoral aides say they are confident that they have the legal authority to restrict soda sales, based on the city’s jurisdiction over local eating establishments, the same oversight that allows for the health department’s letter-grade cleanliness rating system for restaurants.

His allusion to, and delusion of, the public, is palpable. There is no public. It’s him, and his cronies, sitting around a table in City Hall sipping Evian and scowling at coke.

The mayor, who said he occasionally drank a diet soda “on a hot day,” contested the idea that the plan would limit consumers’ choices, saying the option to buy more soda would always be available.

“Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32 ounce,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a sarcastic tone. “I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away.”

So here Bloomberg speaks with such prevarication and equivocation I am not sure where to start. He grossly mischaracterizes and minimizes any objections to this law–who needs to carry two 16-ounce drinks in a movie theater. Forget the fact that he is limiting what and how people can imbibe. Pef. And, with sarcasm, he does not deny that “we are taking things away from people.” Nor does he think that he is “taking things away.” Rather, he does not think that you can make the case that he is taking stuff away.

Let’s deconstruct that. Making the case that the Mayor is taking stuff away is not the same thing as the Mayor taking stuff away. In fact, Bloomberg most certainly is taking stuff away. But, his argument focuses on whether they can “make the case.” And under his bizarre movie-theater hypothetical, the “case” would fail. Yet, he really doesn’t say whether the case was made. He says he doesn’t think the case was made. That is an additional layer of subjectivity.

Think about that. in the mind of Bloomberg, his opponents could not defeat a strawman argument he set up.