Here’s today’s riddle: Who is smarter - the world famous corporate clown Ronald McDonald or the San Francisco Board of Supervisors?
If you picked the Occupy Common Sense folks in the Nanny State by the Bay, guess again.
The supervisors enraged that too many kids were downing Happy Meals decided to strike a blow for the food police and outlawed the sale of any kids meal that came with a toy if it did not meet federal nutritional standards. The ban went in to effect Thursday.
The politicians bragged that they had instituted a de facto ban on the Happy Meal when they passed the law. Their assumption was that the crafty corporate types had programmed kids to incessantly nag their parents to buy meals that the nanny state had decreed unhealthy by dangling a plastic toy in front of impressionable youngsters.
Once the evil plastic toy was gone, Little Johnny and Little Sue would be clamoring for tofu burgers, carrot sticks, and spinach soufflé. The evil McDonald’s Empire would be brought to its knees.
So how is the reprogramming of American kids going in San Francisco?
Happy Meal sales haven’t slowed down, McDonald’s is making even more money, and parents are now spending an extra 10 cents per kid every time they stop by the golden arches.
How can that be?
McDonald’s simply started charging separately for the toys allowing them to continue hawking the dreaded Happy Meal. It essentially allowed Ronald McDonald’s bosses to institute a price increase by not having to package a toy with the meal.
And to show that they aren’t an evil entity, the extra 10 cents a parent pays for the toy goes to the Ronald McDonald house, which helps seriously ill kids and their families.
What makes this entire exercise even more appealing is the fact the ruling political class in San Francisco can’t even deliver what they demand corporate America deliver which are meals for kids that meet federal nutrition standards.
San Francisco’s city schools fail to meet the standard. Of course, they blame it on all of the advertising by corporate America that has conditioned kids to not eat healthy and to shun good choices. They also grumble about the cost.
Gee, maybe the liberal bastion’s leadership can learn a thing or two from the folks out here in the San Joaquin Valley with much more conservative ways.
They might want to drop by Manteca Unified School District cafeterias that are meeting the federal nutritional standards. Not only that, they are packing kids in so well and cost effectively with good tasting nutritional meals that they are making too much money.
And because the ultimate leaders of the nanny state mentality in the bureaucratic bunkers along the Potomac assume that means a school district must be somehow subsidizing those that don’t qualify for reduced or free school meals, they forced all school districts to up what they charge for meals sold to the kids of families who don’t qualify for assistance.
Maybe if San Francisco started in the schools they might just help kids develop better eating patterns. But if they did that they couldn’t grandstand, make demands, and dictate how the free enterprise system should bend to their personal edicts.
That’s why the ultimate Occupy Movement consists of those who occupy elected seats who spend all of their time demanding that everyone follow their take on the world or else they’ll try to bring commerce to a stop.
It’s almost enough to make you want to eat at McDonald’s.
This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 209-249-3519.