“Bloomberg’s Long History of Nannying”

Caleb Brown interviews me in this new Cato Institute podcast, in which we discuss the futility of Mayor Bloomberg’s effort to turn NYC soda fans into two-fisted drinkers (that is, they’ll need to carry one in each hand); the role of federal grants from the Obama administration; and more broadly, the creepily intrusive ambitions of the New York City Health Department. If the embedded version doesn’t work, you can find it here.

Related: “The issue is freedom, not soft drinks.” [Jonathan Tobin, Commentary]. “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign,” wrote John Stuart Mill [Patrick Basham, U.S. News] A new study finds restricting people’s junk food choices doesn’t help them lose weight [Reuters] James Lileks offers a helpful picture gallery distinguishing “Poison” from “Not Poison,” and classes a-burger-and-a-Coke in the latter category. Contrariwise, a ban backer at the Daily Beast is happy to contemplate future rules limiting hamburger sizes: “why not? Eight- and ten-ounce burgers are sick things.” And from earldean71: “If history is any guide at least one Atlanta suburb will pass an ordinance requiring giant soda drinks if NYC has a ban.” Earlier here, here, here, here, etc.

More: Watch me on the video version, just up on YouTube:


  • Let’s summarize Ted’s arguments here:

    1. Not only does the restaurant serve bad food, but the portions are too small (arguing that the ban is both bad and ineffective).
    2. Somehow bringing up the fact that a person has been photoshopped to appear to be an amputee in a diabetes ad either makes the campaign invalid or somehow is relevant to the underlying discussion and isn’t just some sideshow issue that he’s using to slam government in general.
    3. Policy should not be based on the latest and best scientific information known at any given time (yes, this is actually what is implied at around the 4 minute mark)


  • Let’s summarize Swift’s level of seriousness and attention here:

    1. I dropped by to snark at the interview but couldn’t be bothered to check that the person in it is not Ted, who hasn’t blogged here in more than a year.

    wheeeee, indeed.

  • I’m not good with names. My comments are still valid.

    The day Cato acknowledges that market failures are real is the day they may be taken seriously.