2012-10-12 / Letters

Bloomberg Thoughts

Dear Editor,

Bravo to NYC Councilmember Dan Halloran along with State Senator Tony Avella for having the moral courage to stand up against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his health food police. Mayor Bloomberg’s support of the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s proposal to ban the sale of beverages over 16 ounces to combat the excessive calories contained in sugary drinks is a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. There is no coercion used to get customers to purchase beverages.

Everyone is aware of both calories and sugar content. High obesity rates have just as much to do with the sedentary lifestyle of many, who spend more time on iPods and home computers than playing sports, exercising after work or just walking. Following this insane logic, we should also stop stores from selling ice cream, pizza, fries, cake and cookies.

The ban will start with just restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas but will inevitably expand to fast food restaurants, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas. Everyone’s profit margins are dependent upon the sale of large beverages. Distributors of soda provide gainful employment for thousands of warehouse and delivery people.

Restaurants, movie theaters, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas who stock larger sodas and related products assist in providing tens of thousands of additional jobs.

All of these people are our neighbors who are just trying to earn a living. Both businesses and employees pay taxes that help pick up the tab for municipal services. Customers purchase these products via free will. Even a child can figure out how to get around this ban. Customers will increase pollution by purchasing two smaller beverages to consume over 16 ounces. Our economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of the bedroom, marketplace and our stomachs! Just what will the politically correct Health Food Police go after next?

New Yorkers face a 10 percent unemployment rate with an additional 7 percent more who have given up looking, a looming multi-billion dollar municipal budget shortfall, growing $68 billion long-term debt along with critical issues in education, housing, transportation, public safety and the environment, just to name a few. Bloomberg should lighten up on becoming our Health Food Czar and worry about these more pressing quality of life issues.

LARRY PENNER

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