Every had roasted stuffed goose, papardelle with tomato and stewed pancetta, or truffle tagliatelle?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his rich buddies probably have. Those delicacies are among the dishes that posh dining establishments in the Big Apple serve.
Besides costing a typical New Yorker a week’s pay, they have fat, lots of fat.
They make a Big Mac and fries seem like a tofu burger and carrot sticks in comparison. So why not a shame campaign and restrictive city laws involving fat-riddled gourmet food that the rich partake of? Could it be that one doesn’t bite the hands that feed you, since many fat cat political campaign donors tend to dine in such a manner? Or perhaps it is only the habits of the poor, working class and slowly disappearing middle class that irks Bloomberg?
The food/habit war against rank and file Americans smacks of class war.
Let’s slap a special tax on sodas because of empty calories but don’t touch $200 bottles of cognac or a $1,000 bottle of wine. And saying there’s a lot more soda consumed than bottles of wine — that cost about the same as the net take home pay of a struggling family trying to survive on a minimum wage job — is not nearly as a big a deal is not just a cop out, it’s blatant bigotry.
We are told the taxes that being proposed aren’t about collecting money but changing bad habits. So let’s break the rich of their bad habits.
And while we’re at it Mayor Bloomberg, why not slap a conspicuous consumption tax on any item that has the same function of anything you can buy at Wal-Mart but at four times the price or more?
I’m sure if His Honor tried hard enough he could find someone to do a study that confirms that shopping at Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue has a much greater impact on greenhouse gas than buying toilet paper at Wal-Mart
Taxes aside, Bloomberg’s edict to control portion control by limiting sodas to 16 ounces to avoid empty calories and possible long-range health impacts is even more prejudicial toward the 99 percent.
If he is so worried about growing guts, liver problems, cancer, and ill health in general, why not limit martini sales - a staple of the New York upper class - to 2.5 ounces per glass. Just like the construction worker that wants 32 ounces of soda, the 1 percent folks who are into martinis can be forced to order two 2.5 ounce martinis to get the equivalent of their 5 ounce per glass martini fix. Bet that will change the drinking habits of those who consume martinis.
And now the Great Mayor of Odd is proposing an attack on cigarettes. He wants New York retailers to hide cigarettes from public view in such a manner that makes them more taboo than open displays of porn magazines. At the same time Bloomberg wants a law stopping stores from taking cigarette coupons or honoring discounts. And, as an added bonus, he wants the city to dictate the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes.
Hold onto to your Slurpee cups. We know where Bloomberg is heading. He’s going to eventually ask for a minimum price on sodas so the poor can’t afford them. And, for good measure, retailers will have to hide sugary drinks from the view of impressionable 12-year-olds. Brilliant.
Bloomberg’s theory is impressionable young minds won’t be tempted so they won’t start smoking if they don’t see cigarettes in stores. OK. So why doesn’t the mayor call for producers to ban any smoking in movies or TV series filmed in New York City?
Want to take a guess? It’s not about not wanting to chase away revenue. Bloomberg has buddies in high places in the entertainment industry.
And if Bloomberg believes studies that verify that 11- to 15-year-olds are impressionable - now that’s ‘duh’ research - then are we to assume that he’s going to start pushing for an end to violence in TV shows, movies and video games? Bloomberg says he’s against gun violence - and who isn’t except the perpetuators - why not go after what could be a root cause? Could it be that rich folks like Bloomberg control movie studios and gaming and make tons of money from entertainment?
The one instance of spreading girth the mayor should attack is the laws and regulations of the expanding Mommy State.
If you really want to improve the health of this country, then get intrusive government out of people’s personal lives.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-249-3519.