A few years ago, I was your typical office-worker: stressed out, uneven energy, overweight, and inconsistent complexion. Now I'm just your typical 28-year old urban hunter-gatherer on a quest to be healthy, and having a few adventures along the way. See my full bio.
When it comes to rule-making, I subscribe to a view that looks at "exit" and "voice".
Voice is influence on how the rules are made (e.g., voting).
Exit is being able to leave and go somewhere else if you don't like the rules (e.g., emigration).
When the power of exit is high (city-level), I have fewer problems with more restrictive rules. If you don't like them, just leave.
When the power of voice is high, people have control over the actual rules - so it's more or less self-governance.
The big problem is when there are weak powers of voice AND exit. This is the case with federal legislation, since my vote has a negligible effect on the rules that get made (no voice) and moving to another country bears substantial costs (no exit).
So that said, here's how I think about the recent ban.
I have far greater tolerance for these types of decisions when they are made at the local level.
For a city-level decision, it's easy enough to move to another city if it is that important to someone.
I like that Singapore exists as a possibility in the world, even if I'm not going to live there myself.
I would be strongly opposed to anything like this at the state level, and vehemently opposed to this at the national level.
There are certain fundamental rights, like owning a firearm, that American cities should not be able to ban.
Soda and sweetened drinks probably are the single most important factor contributing to obesity.
My big concern is that Bloomberg doesn't know what's actually healthy, even though he has the over-confidence typical of technocrats.
For example, his war on salt is totally misguided and not even supported by the existing scientific evidence.
I'm afraid Bloomberg is going to go after cholesterol, fat content, and stuff like that -- which is totally bogus, and may even result in more deaths.
So I'm not really up in arms about this specific ban, but I'm not excited about where this is all headed.
One of the employees at the Institute for Justice, Bob Ewing, is a friend and unsung hero who has been spearheading a lot of this behind the scenes. (Bob attended the New York City Barefoot Run the last two years, and Bob, my pal Michael Malice, and I will be speaking together in June at a Foundation for Economic Education seminar down in Atlanta.)
From the press release:
Arlington, Va.—Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what people should buy at the grocery store?
That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. And that is why today diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey of Stanley, N.C. has teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a major First Amendment lawsuit against the State Board in federal court."
Here's the fun caveman video that IJ put together on the case:
The 8-year-old twins love their iPad. They draw, play games and expand their vocabulary. Their family’s teenagers also like the hand-held computer tablets, too, but the clan’s elders show no interest.
The orangutans at Miami’s Jungle Island apparently are just like people when it comes to technology. The park is one of several zoos experimenting with computers and apes, letting its six orangutans use an iPad to communicate and as part of a mental stimulus program. Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program, hopes the devices will eventually help bridge the gap between humans and the endangered apes.
“Our young ones pick up on it. They understand it. It’s like, ‘Oh I get this,’” Jacobs said. “Our two older ones, they just are not interested. I think they just figure, ‘I’ve gotten along just fine in this world without this communication-skill here and the iPad, and I don’t need a computer.’
From Michael Pollan to Mark Zuckerberg, conscious eaters are choosing to source the animals they eat. And a growing movement of local farmers, hunters, chefs and butchers are providing options. What are the different cuts of animals and how can you make the less common and more affordable ones taste good?
Destin Layne, GRACE; John Durant, Hunter-Gatherer.com; Jason Fox, Fleishers Grass-Fed and Organic Meats; Nissa Pierson, Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center; Craig Haney, Stone Barns Centera
Here's the full program, with tons of different workshops. The conference is FREE, and is located at Brooklyn Tech High School, 29 Fort Greene Place Brooklyn, New York 11217. ...