New York City Soda Rationing

14 Mar

Several strands have united in my mind this week, as I ponder our society and how it progresses (and regresses sometimes). 

 The New York City ban on soda servings of more than 16 ounces at a time was due to hit this week, but was stayed by a judge.  All the worse for Mayor Bloomberg, whose idea it was and who regards it as his job to keep New Yorkers from getting fat!


At exactly the same time, a news article announced that Americans have flipflopped their consumption of soda and bottled water within the last five years so that we are now drinking far more water and far less soda, on the average.

 Of course, that average is skewed by people educated enough to know that water is better for them than soda and by people with enough disposable income to buy bottled water. 


But this says, in so many ways, that the soda issue is one that people will work out for themselves eventually, beginning with the richer and more educated folks and working outward to everyone else.  Even now, there are very few people in the U.S. who never drink a bottle of water.  It is pretty cheap to buy one.


If we ponder just the poor, who don’t get the better schools/education and who don’t have money for bottled water, we still find an issue with the New York City ban.  It is being applied in an uneven way, to make it merely an inner city issue. 


Remember, we have poor folks in Appalachia, too—folks who have been eating Moon Pies with an RC Cola for decades—and no one is messing with them and their calorie count.  Why is that?


I would say there are several reasons.  One is that Mayor Bloomberg is an example of absolute power corrupting absolutely.  Nothing like being mayor of several million people to make you feel like a king.  Small town mayors in Appalachia just don’t seem to be driven by the same power politics.


Secondly, the poor in Appalachia tend to be a bit whiter; the poor in New York City tend to be a bit more black. 


I will assert that Mayor Bloomberg is showing himself to be a bit of a patronizing racist.  He seems to believe his poor people in New York City don’t have the intellectual capacity to know how to have a proper diet unless he forces their hand.  Yikes!


Nothing like some power politics visited on a high concentration of black people.


By the way, what do you think the stereotypical stubborn Appalachian poor white person would do if Mayor Bloomberg tried to cut off his supply of Moon Pies and RC Cola.  Yup!  That is another reason why no one tries that kind of thing in Appalachia.

But why is it acceptable in New York City, among a high concentration of black people?  The answer is, it is not acceptable there either . . . and I have just made the logical case why not. 


Now, why is this an Iconobaptist issue?  Because all of mankind is made in the image of God, so when you patronize a poor black person in New York City, you patronize me and force me to speak up.

 I get state’s rights and city’s rights and the fact that Mayor Bloomberg was elected by people who apparently like him enough to not be too worried about him becoming a dictator.

 He is being given the legal right to do what he is doing.   

 However, morally, he is not cutting it.  Other people can figure out for themselves what they are supposed to do, just as the mayor can.  God made us that way.  With choice.


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