Opinion

Examiner Local Editorial: Nanny State 'concern' ends in coercion

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Opinion,Local Editorial

If you've been wondering where the Nanny State is taking us, look at what's happening in New York and Washington, where elected officials such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3, believe they have the right, indeed the sacred duty, to stick their noses into your personal business.

The results speak for themselves.

Following up his daft crusade to limit soda drinking in the Big Apple by not barring the sale of cups larger than 16 ounces, Bloomberg's latest proposal would limit prescription painkillers administered in local emergency rooms so people won't get addicted to them.

Instead of doing his job and enforcing his city's drug laws, Bloomberg's simplistic "solution" to drug addiction is to yank pain medication away from the very people who actually need it. Allowing sick people to suffer needlessly so others won't get high is now official policy in the nation's largest city.

Meanwhile, here in the nation's capital, Councilwoman Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3, wants to force vending machine operators to stock what she determines to be "healthy" snacks in all government buildings, even those located in federal agencies over which the D.C. Council has no jurisdiction. One of those agencies happens to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which came under fire last year for its revised "healthy" school lunch standards after students across the country bitterly complained that they were not getting enough to eat.

It apparently never occurred to Cheh that what she proudly calls her "broccoli-in-the-vending-machine" bill would be considered an outrageous and unacceptable interference in the city's internal affairs if it were proposed by the federal government instead of the other way around. But there's no time to ponder such details when one is hard at work doing the people's work by trying to regulate snack-time.

Underlying both proposals is a profound contempt for other people's right and ability to take responsibility for their own lives and make their own decisions without government nannies second-guessing them at every turn. These official busybodies couch their intrusiveness as evidence of government's "concern" for the public's health and well-being. In reality, they are evidence of government's increasing attempt to control every aspect of people's lives, right down to the bag of Doritos that D.C. workers would not be allowed to purchase from the office vending machine.

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