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Sunday, June 3, 2012

You Can't Legislate Health-Obesity is NOT a Crime

There are some liberals out there like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who think that by passing laws to ban salt, sugar and trans fats that it’ll reduce obesity in America.

Sorry, but having laws on the books to ban food products isn’t going to stop Americans from being obese. Nor will it make Americans healthier.

It’s just going to drive products underground. And turn citizens into criminals just for eating junk food.

Hasn’t anyone in American government learned anything from Prohibition? You know that tragic period in American history from 1919-1933 no one likes to talk about?

And hasn’t anyone learned anything from our ongoing war on drugs that started way back in 1971? The same war on drugs we’re losing as we speak?

Every time government tried to legislate health and morals of American citizens it led to corruption. Legislation banning products like alcohol and narcotics only led to a black market where organized crime made America’s streets run red with blood.

Does anyone in America want there to be shoot-outs over some Skittles? Gangland massacres and drive-bys over a pack of Twinkies? Sicilian neckties over some Diamond Crystal Salt? Dudes selling Super sized cokes out of the back of a McDonald’s for $15.00?

Seriously, do We the People want to let liberals to drive food underground? Seriously, do We the People want people preparing food on the Black Market without health and safety regulations? Do we want epidemics of cholera, e.coli, staph and other diseases from black market preparers not meeting safety standards for cleanliness? Do we want people selling expired products to people?

Sometimes it’s better to deal with the devil we do know than the one we don’t know. A ban on one thing opens a can of worms on a thousand others.

Which was the hard lesson a generation of Americans learned with Prohibition.

Prohibition led to the turf wars across the country that killed thousands of people and terrorized Americans for over a decade. As opportunistic citizens capitalized on the high profits they could make on the black market for alcohol, Al Capone and other members of the Mafia became very wealthy thanks to the enforcement of these kinds of laws.

Moreover, they used their wealth to become a powerful political force bribing police officers, judges, and even congressmen and senators to see things their way. The courts literally became a revolving door for criminals. Anarchy ruled the streets due to these kind of misguided policies.

Putting food products under this type of legislation just creates another black market for today’s criminal entrepreneurs to build a power base on. It puts the seeds in the ground for a new wave of organized crime and turf wars which will turn the streets turn into a bloodbath.

Does Anyone in America want to see people hiding flasks of salt and cups of sugar?

That’s what will happen if the food police get their way.

The last time I read the U.S. Constitution it granted people the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.

And some people are happy being obese.

And the last time I checked the U.S. Economy is a capitalist system. A free market. People make money producing what customers want.

And American consumers love to buy junk food. They love fat, salt, and sugar.

As long as American consumers demand junk food with fat, salt, and sugar there will be manufacturers to supply it to them. 

If customers didn’t want these products they wouldn’t buy them. And if they didn’t buy them American businesses wouldn’t produce them.

Economics 101.

Sorry Mr. Bloomberg, but you and your rich liberal friends can’t legislate weight loss. Nor can you force people to be healthy in these United States of America. This is not a socialist state or a communist state.

It’s a democratic republic founded by We the People.

If We the People of the United States of America choose to be fat then We the People have to take responsibility for the ramifications of those decisions. Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, or the inability to run up a flight of stairs. That’s the choice We the American People made by choosing to eat high sugar high-fat foods. It is the choice we are allowed to make as citizens in America’s free society.

Personally as a child who struggled with weight issues I can tell you it’s not the food that makes people fat. Everything is good in moderation.

But the American lifestyle isn’t moderate. It’s out of balance.

And because America’s lifestyles are out of balance Americans live to extremes. From the way we work to the way we play everything is about excess. Portions are oversized because the American culture itself is oversized.

The American lifestyle is about doing things BIG. Big money, made from Big jobs, Big homes, Big cars, and Big Food. Americans are the most ravenous consumers on the planet. They are never happy, never satisfied and can never get enough of everything. They want to have it ALL.

So naturally people are going to be obese.

More Americans are obese due to five factors in our excessive culture:

The sedentary lifestyles they live. Most American jobs over the past 40 years aren’t active. They’re passive. As we transitioned from manufacturing based economy to a service one, more people sit at a desk or stand at a counter. They get in a car and sit to drive to work. They sit down at home and watch TV or sit to surf the internet. That lack of activity keeps them from burning calories. And that leads to weight gain.

The lack of time to exercise, When Americans go to work at those sedentary jobs they sit or stand for 12-16 hours a day. And in some cases working on Saturday and Sunday. On top of those long hours they have commutes that are an hour to two hours long. There’s only an hour for lunch and even less time for anything else, especially if someone has children.

There are only 24-hours in a day. If people are working 12-16 of them at a job who has time to exercise or go to the gym? When do people get time to sleep?

The high amounts of stress from their lives, I wonder if those rich liberals who want to be the food police have worked a job these days. Had kids? Or worse lost a job and went out looking for another one? Worried about money? Worried about paying the bills? Worried about making it through a day? Dealt with bill collectors on the phone or sending out threatening letters?

Most Americans have a lot of stress. More stress than previous generations. And that stress creates a chemical called chortisol which makes people retain fat.

And the fact that they can’t afford healthy food. Most Americans are working harder for less money. Wages in America haven’t gone up since 1994. And the purchasing power of that money isn’t much.

Sure, some of these American families qualify for food stamps. But $150-$200 bucks only goes so far with a family of four at the supermarket. I can tell you from experience, this ain’t even gonna buy a week’s worth of groceries if you live with two or more people.

So when working families have meals they fill up on cheap food. And cheap food is usually filled with high sugar, high fat and carbohydrates.

When someone has a family and makes between $1800-$2400 a month and has to feed their household they have no choice but to buy cheap food. It’s a lot cheaper to buy ramen noodles, canned pasta, dollar deli meat, bread or a bottle of soda at a place like Family Dollar than it is to buy expensive organic products gourmet lean meats or fresh fruit at a high end market like Whole Foods or Fairway.

$200 won’t even get you two bags of groceries in these places.

On an $1800-$2400 a month budget money has to last. And the only way to stretch it is to buy the cheapest food available.

I find when liberal politicians play Food Nazi it’s just a way to deflect people’s attention from the decades of bad policies they implemented over the past thirty years that eroded the middle class and forced working people into poverty.

Who were the ones who passed laws like the telecommunications act of 1996 and the Banking deregulation that led up to the worldwide financial crisis of 2008? Who were the ones who wrote the policies like NAFTA sent American manufacturing jobs overseas forcing American workers to take high-stress low pay jobs in the service sector which left them anxious and craving the comfort of a candy bar or a donut because they couldn’t afford things like a vacation or a day off?

Instead of writing stupid laws trying to ban sugary drinks liberals like Michael Bloomberg ought to do the following to help combat obesity in America:

Add more Physical education classes to the daily schedule so kids can have some BALANCE to their lives. Y’know gym class was a nice break for kids back in the day. Allowed them to run, jump play and learn a sport. Burned off all those calories.

Give Elementary school kids their recess period back. Maybe kids wouldn’t be so obese if they werent’ sitting in class all day doing test prep or reading and writing drills.

How about reducing some of the overtime for Municipal Workers so they can have a more balanced life. Maybe if people worked 8-hour-shifts instead of insane 12-16 hour days they’d have the TIME to spend time with their families, prepare healthy meals and exercise. Maybe even get the required 8-hours of sleep people need to function effectively.

Tell their rich friends who run those big businesses to stop with the overtime on all their employees who work in those corporate jobs. The Average American today works a 12-16 hour days and some of those Wall Street types here in New York work 20 hour days. When someone works that kind of schedule, they don’t have the time to even breathe, much less work out or even

Tell your boys in the food industry to stop using high fructose corn syrup in the products you manufacture. High Fructose Corn Syrup is something food manufacturers use to substitute for sugar to lower production costs on everything from soda to those one hundred percent juices people THINK are healthier to drink. High Fructose Corn syrup is the main reason why many are packing on the pounds. If we started manufacturing products with real sugar, people would be a lot healthier.

Tell your friends in Madison Avenue and Hollywood and the trustees of all those wonderful places like museums, baseball games, fairs, and zoos would like to go to STOP RAISING THE DAMN PRICE OF ADMISSION. I’d love to go out more. But how can most working people go out if the cost of admission to a museum is $20.00? How can a person take their family to a sporting event if it costs $1200? How can a person go to the movies if it’s over $200?

The Average working person only makes $1800 a month. And over 50% of that goes into bills.

Most people sit on the couch watching DVDs, surfing the net and playing video games because they can’t afford to go out.

Tell your rich friends in Madison Avenue and Hollywood to stop promoting BIG as a culture. The American way over the past 50 years has been BIG. People making BIG salaries, living in BIG houses, driving SUVs (because simple four-door sedans won’t do) wearing high-priced designer clothes. Everything in America is about EXCESS. This excess culture is why many are packing on the pounds. Americans are the most ravenous consumers in the world.

Worse, they don’t feel they have to share with others. American obesity is just a byproduct of American GREED. Americans super-size because they want it ALL. Big culture has thrown America out of balance and led to the expanding of people’s waistlines as they try to conform to the distorted and unrealistic standards of BIG AMERICA.

Tell your rich friends in Madison Avenue and Hollywood to stop promoting a distorted image of America. BIG America and its oversized culture is distorting people’s perceptions of what America is about. This unrealistic picture of ideals is making people do everything in excess. Overworking, overplaying, Overeating, and overthinking. People have life and liberty, but don’t have the time to pursue their own happiness because they’re too busy trying to consume products to medicate their pain because there is no balance to their lives from the overload they have to burden trying to conform to set of changing standards that become more unattainable with each passing day.

Tell your rich friends in the food industry to lower prices on all that healthy food so a family can afford to buy all those fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy stuff. I’d love to shop at places like Whole Foods, Food Emporium and Fairway more often. But the price of groceries there prohibits myself and most working families from going eating healthier.
Buying those groceries will break the Average American’s bank. I’ve seen people spend $400 at these places and barely have a cart of groceries.

Give American Workers a Raise. The average American hasn’t had an increase in their salary since 1994. The cost of living continues to go up but wages have been stagnant in America for close to 20 years.

As stated before, Americans can’t afford things like vacations or even the opportunity to go out to anyplace but the movies due to their limited incomes. So they find comfort in food, the only thing they can afford to buy because everything else is so damned expensive. Maybe more people wouldn’t buy super-sized food products if they could build a regular sized savings.

All of these things cost next to no money. And they’d make a huge impact towards helping Ameirican people maintain a healthy weight. But most liberal politicians don’t want to do them because they require them and their rich friends to make a SACRIFICE and share some of their wealth.

Here’s a notice to those liberals like Michael Bloomberg: We the people make the laws here. And we need to exercise a little common sense in supporting people as they work towards developing a healthier lifestyle. Legislation won’t help people lose weight. Only working towards putting all of America on more balanced schedule will help people get the liberty to pursue a happier healthier life.

1 comment:

  1. You've got some great points here, Shawn, and I don't see any of the pundits tackling it, or even many comments. We need to stop and think -- and soon.

    Thanks for an excellent blog.