Monday, August 03, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Health Costs as
Justification for Tyranny

March 17, 2013 --

LPR has a hunch that Mayor Bloomberg might, possibly, have had some difficulty with his Food Control Program if we did not have the precedent of seat belt violations and fines.

As LPR recalls, Gov. Mario Cuomo assured New Yorkers, when the seatbelt ban went into effect, that police would not check for seatbelt violations unless a vehicle were stopped for another reason. The import of the governor's assurance was to conclude that citizens are foolish to accept the word of a public official. Indeed, in New York City, cars are regularly stopped for seatbelt violation alone.

The justification for this invasion of privacy is that seatbelts will reduce health costs to persons injured in car accidents. (Violations also may result in a $130 fine.)

The health cost rationale was, of course, utilized by Mayor Bloomberg to defend the "portion control" edict on soda sales. LPR will not be surprised that a medical claim that weekly consumption of brussels sprouts tends to reduce illness problems leads to a rule mandating that New Yorkers eat brussels sprouts at least one a week. On the other hand, there are claims that an ounce of brandy, taken daily, is good for the heart. Who will bloomberg this view on the therapeutic value of brandy?