There is an ongoing debate concerning NYC’s attempts to ban large sugary drinks:  is personal health a private matter, or an issue of “…the general welfare…” of the country?  [BTW, that’s a quote from the Constitution, for certain federal judges and others who didn’t recognize it.]

IF health is a matter for the government to manage for the general welfare, justified under the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I Section 8, then it only follows logically that government has the responsibility:

  • to provide universal health care;
  • to ensure that there are enough doctors and medicines for all citizens and conditions;
  • to control the use of all harmful substances, including the banning of alcohol, tobacco, processed sugars, and red meats;
  • to require proper exercise and vitamin/supplement regimens;
  • to provide safe and healthy housing to everyone;
  • to include all residents, regardless of their legal, enemy, or criminal status;
  • to dictate to all our trading and immigration partners how they need to act to avoid violating our standards;
  • to determine how children should be raised and live from the cradle to the grave; and
  • to pay for its implementation, oversight, and enforcement by uniform taxation throughout the states.

And there you have it.  Look over the list and you must reach one conclusion:  Consistent government control over personal health is not possible, affordable, or desirable; and anything less than a consistent approach means that some rogue agency will determine which aspects and which citizens get left out.  That approach not only eliminates liberty, but justice as well.

IF health and health care are NOT civil rights granted, guaranteed and protected by the government, then under what circumstances would the nation/state be justified in getting involved in the issue?  It is apparent that there is a class of people that could not survive, let alone thrive, without government intervention.  I believe that the private sector (including the church) ought to do everything within its power to see the the needs of the poor and elderly are met apart from federal or state involvement; and that the government should get involved only in cases of genuine need regarding those who utterly lack the means of helping themselves.

Does banning sugary drinks meet that standard?  I don’t think so.  Does banning smoking in public places (such as sidewalks or college campuses) meet the standard?  Yes, because non-smokers in public have no way to protect themselves apart from avoiding those public places, which is unreasonable.  How about private places such as bars and restaurants?  Non-smokers have the reasonable ability to avoid those establishments where the owners have chosen to allow smoking, so Uncle Sam should keep his hands off.

What about the argument that people can’t control their consumption of sugary drinks, and that’s why we need regulation?  Phooey.  Their lack of self control in no way rises to the standard of compromising my liberty, justice, and taxable income.  Step up America!  You don’t want Marxism with its social engineering?  Then start at home–grow a brain and a backbone and eliminate the justification for government intervention.

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