Last Call for Responsible Drinkers in NYC

Across the country the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been spending millions of ‘Stimulus’ dollars running campaigns and ads attacking tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages like soda. Health police have also waged overt war on alcoholic beverages. After taxing beverages to no end Big Brother has turned more frequently to regulating away individual choice.

Nowhere is the Nanny State more alive and well than in the Big Apple. Under the guise of public health, Mayor Bloomberg is planning a draconian assault on alcoholic beverages, plotting to close a number of drinking establishments and restrict alcohol advertising throughout the city. Initial outcry from consumers as well as local businesses has caused the Mayor’s office to back pedal. However, this newest offensive against individual choice has stemmed from a particularly peculiar thesis; rather than focus on responsible drinking practices of New York denizens, the city hopes to punish them in an attempt to send a message to patrons who drink more regularly.

This social engineering goes much deeper than simply throwing ideas around as the Mayor’s office has portrayed. NYC’s Health Commissioner happens to be Dr. Tom Farley, co-author of ‘Prescriptions for a Healthy Nation’ which argues that Prohibition was a success because public health improved and deaths related to alcohol consumption were reduced by half.

Thus, officials have taken another tactic in promoting Prohibition for the 21st century. The New York policy relies on a concept of ‘curve shifting.’ The theory is that targeting the middle group of consumers (those of us that drink occasionally), instead of the outliers who may exhibit more reckless behavior, aims regulation towards the largest number of individuals. With the utilitarian concept of achieving the greatest impact on the greatest number, NYC’s Health Commissioner believes this will lead to fewer heavy drinkers. According to this fairytale, slashing the number of bars, liquor stores, and eliminating advertising targeting casual drinkers, will decrease the number of drinkers who over-imbibe.

It is clear that this is simply another assault on consumer freedoms from elite politicians, and along with another regulation comes fewer jobs and oftentimes more taxation. Mayor Bloomberg might be concerned about the health of Nanny York’s residents, but with the unemployment rate at 9.0 percent, it is the Big Apple’s economy that is on life support.

TAGS: Regulation, Nanny State, Health Care

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