Mike Bloomberg cares about your health. Isn't that sweet?
Quite the contrary. He's taking sweetness out of life for the eight million people who live in New York City. And I'm not just talking about the sugary sweetness of the large beverages that Mayor Bloomberg's Board of Health voted today to ban . I'm talking about something so sweet that life without it can only be bitter: freedom.
Joy is found in the achievement of the values one has chosen. For a human life to fulfill its potential, a person must be free to choose the values he wants to pursue. And that's true as to trivial values, such as drinking a soda of a certain size, as well as more important values, such as building a business -- including one of the many businesses to which the ban, assuming it isn't blocked by some judicial or other authority, will apply.
Other Bloomberg Administration health initiatives have been adopted beyond New York, such as smoking bans in restaurants, so some fear -- and some hope -- that this law will spread .
Such a fear will be justified until the public clearly recognizes the principle involved. The question has nothing to do with whether drinking giant sodas is a good idea; the mayor may even be right that it isn't. The principle that must be affirmed is that people have the right to produce and sell, and to purchase and consume, whatever products they please. No limits are permissible, except for the protection of the rights of those who do not choose to be involved. The businesses threatened by such regulations will continue to fight back , which they should do, but if they want to secure their rights, they need to affirm the principle of rights .