New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes that his immense wealth automatically gives him the power to dictate the way people live. He doesn’t govern by reason, but rather what his personal feelings are. He doesn’t like guns, so he is spending millions of dollars to outlaw guns throughout the nation. He doesn’t like painkillers being sold on the streets, so he limits their use in hospitals to patients who need them. He doesn’t like people to have sugary drinks, so he has done his best to ban them. Seems to me, Bloomberg doesn’t like much of anything except his wealth and power.
Most recently, he banned the sales or serving of soda and other sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. Heaven forbid that a parent hosting a birthday party for their child at a place like Chuck E, Cheese’s would be allowed to buy a pitcher of soda for a group of kids for fear that one of the kids will drink the whole pitcher.
Finally, someone of authority is telling Bloomberg enough is enough. New York State Supreme Court Justice Milton A. Tingling issued a ruling on Monday saying that Bloomberg’s ban on large size sugary drinks was arbitrary and capricious and is more dangerous than the drinks themselves.
No doubt Bloomberg is appealing the judge’s decision, but most New Yorkers are welcoming it.
Even many health conscious people who would never purchase any of the supersized drinks believed that Bloomberg’s ruling had gone too far. Diane Lloyd, a former teacher in Brooklyn believes that education and expanding gym time in schools is a better way to approach the subject than by a mayoral dictate. She told reporters:
“Eating healthfully is different when you don’t have a lot of money to spend, and that’s something the mayor probably didn’t think about, because he didn’t have to.”
A number of businesses said that ban would have hurt their sales and in today’s economy, they can’t afford that. Om Kohli manages a Subway not far from Times Square and he commented:
“The ban would have affected our sales, but then there is no other option.”
Perhaps money can’t buy everything, at least it hasn’t bought Judge Tingling. Not only has he stepped in to strike down Bloomberg’s supersized soda ban, but he also stopped the ban that placed a limit on the number of art vendors in the city parks. He has a history of watching out for the people and not siding with big government or wealthy mayors.
Now if he would only issue a ruling that would prevent Bloomberg from being involved in state and local issues and campaigns outside of New York, we’d be getting somewhere.