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Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in At TMV | 6 comments

Bloomberg Bans Food Donations To Homeless

Ok, I am for better health standards as much as anyone but this seems a step too far.

New York city Mayor Bloomberg has banned donations to all government run homeless shelters because they cannot be sure that the nutritional content of the donations are good enough.

While I do see that we want people to eat healthy, it seems to me that when the choice is between no food and food that is a tad too salty that we could bend the diet a bit.

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  • slamfu

    Its times like this I want to vote Libertarian. While I am in general in favor of regulation of things in the public interest, things like this are absurd and only make a case for those who use this as an excuse to deregulate things that really should be regulated. Was there no one in Bloomberg’s administration to have the ounce of common sense needed to overrule this ban?

  • PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

    Did you just use the words common sense in reference to government ?

  • Rcoutme

    If you read the linked article you will find that Bloomberg was asked about the situation. He replied that his functionaries should have enacted the policy earlier than they did! This is a clear-cut case of wealthy completely and totally lacking any understanding, sympathy or empathy with the poorest. Expect this to become the new fashion if Romney becomes president.

  • zephyr

    “This is a clear-cut case of wealthy completely and totally lacking any understanding, sympathy or empathy with the poorest.”

    Bingo. These people have no idea what it’s like. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Talk about insulated and out of touch. It’s all paper, numbers and lawyers to them. Bloodless wankers..

  • Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Last year, Orlando’s city council passed a law making it illegal to feed the homeless in city parks and 29 activists were subsequently arrested for doing just that.

    It’s stories like this that make me wonder any person who values the ideas of tolerance or individual liberty could ever support Bloomberg for mayor–much less for president.

    First, he supported the USA PATRIOT Act (a bill that was passed in Congress despite the fact that not more than a handful of congressmen had even read the bill), and many people supported this abridgement of civil liberties because they were certain that this law would increase the safety and security of the American people.

    Then, in 2002, he opposed efforts to decriminalize cannabis (despite having candidly admitted in an interview only a year earlier that he had both “smoked” marijuana and “enjoyed” it), and his supporters hardly flinched it his hypocrisy.

    Then he banned smoking in bars, and many people supported this abridgement of civil liberties because they were concerned for the well-being of people who worked in bars.

    Then he forced NYC restaurants to restrict the amount of trans-fats they used in their foods, and many people supported this abridgement of civil liberties because they recognize the health concerns regarding of trans-fats.

    Then, earlier this year, he pushed for even more stringent gun control measures (despite the fact that NYC already has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country), and many people again supported this abridgement of civil liberties because they are concerned about gun violence in large cities.

    The question is, just how far is Bloomberg willing to go to protect us from ourselves? Just what other freedoms–once considered sacred in the United States–are Bloomberg willing to sacrifice for the sake of health and security?

    We really shouldn’t be all that surprised by Bloomberg’s banning of food donations to the homeless. When American voters believe that the government can pass any law and restrict any freedom in order to improve health and security, then the banning of food donations to the homeless is the inevitable result.

  • bookworm914

    @Nick Rivera
    You present a compelling narrative of the incremental approach to this colossally unjust decision. I think I disagree on smoking – it seems to fail the test of “your right to carry a knife ends when the point touches my skin”, because I must breathe the carcinogens you are spewing, and yes I could walk to the other side of the public park, but no I can’t change jobs to avoid you.
    However, I am with you on trans-fats – it would be arguable that establishments should be required to provide information, because that is necessary for consumers to make rational decisions, but it should not be controversial that the government is overreaching when it uses public safety precedents so far from their original intents. And I see the fairly straight line you draw from that interference in the personal to this interference in the personal.

    An alternative to radical liberty, though (I think government is useful for controlling the market sometimes), might be to impose rigid hierarchies on government priorities. EG, the reason this case is blatantly unjust is that, as someone up there pointed out, ‘having NO food is clearly worse than having IMPERFECT food’. So if government were required to consider providing sufficient food, then preventing communicable illness in food, then preventing diet-exacerbated chronic illness, this would not have happened. People take priority hierarchies for granted when they cede power to the government – if the priority hierarchies were preset, it would be less troublesome, maybe.

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