When discussing NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I have trouble deciding whether “arrogant” or “condescending” is a better word to describe him. Based on his latest statement at the UN last week, it’s only fair to use both, at a minimum.
What do you believe government’s “highest duty” is? If you still believe coercive government is legitimate, what is its top priority? When he’s not being hugged by giant hotdogs, Bloomberg apparently believes it’s government’s primary duty to make sure you that you make healthy decisions for your life, including forcing you to eat as he thinks you should eat:
Speaking on the government’s role in diet and health last week, Bloomberg told the UN General Assembly, “There are powers only governments can exercise, policies only governments can mandate and enforce and results only governments can achieve. To halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option. That is ultimately government’s highest duty.”
Bloomberg has been known for years for his efforts to force restaurants to cut down on the amount of salt they use, even though there’s never been a real scientific basis for the recommendation to cut salt intake. But once food nannies get something in their minds, the actual facts don’t matter. All that matters is forcing you to obey them.
To the extent that any actual government has to exist — no matter how big it ought to be — the highest duty of a freedom-loving government is to protect people against violence from other people. It’s to protect people from foreign invaders and domestic criminals who would violate our rights to our own bodies and property.
But arrogant social engineers such as Bloomberg don’t think that’s enough. They’ve decided it’s their job to make your decisions for you. They’re dangerous. The truth, though, is that you can’t have coercive government without this sort of nanny mentality catching on. Before you know it, politicians and technocrats are “taking care of you,” whether you want it or not.
Bloomberg and the arrogant, condescending people like him are wrong. If we want to be free, we have to stand up to them and tell them we won’t accept their coercion.