Road-to-Serfdom-17.jpg

There Will Be No Soda Served On The Road To Serfdom

Many thanks to Ricochet member Trace Urdan for sharing this report.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg, conqueror of french fries and czar of smoking zones wants to now use his powers over perfectionist living to OUTLAW food stamp recipients from buying soda.

While I prefer workfare to welfare for some to keep the rolls honest, other folks are on welfare because they truly can’t compete – the very young, the very old and the very sick. Social Security is not socialism, but a Capitalist’s moral safety net

Two points to be made here.

First – we don’t buy and own welfare recipients with our largess, and certainly don’t want someone who may have had some bad beats in life to suffer the further indignity of being told they aren’t worthy of the occasional guilty pleasure of an orange crush.

Second – as the illustration from Friedrich Hayek’s work suggests, once we give government any power over our freedoms, they’ll take the rest. Remember, Mayor (Nanny) Bloomberg’s ban on trans fats applies to all of us – not just food stamp recipients.

Hey Mayor Bloomberg – If you want to share an historical signal with early 20th century fascists, keep the trains running on time like Mussolini did. Beyond that, leave your neighbor alone!

  1. Jerry Carroll

    I wonder why Bloomberg maintains the pretense that he is an independent. He belongs in the same ideological camp as his fellow billionaire George Soros.

  2. cdor

    So why does this guy get re-elected? I need to get out of my cacoon to understand his popularity. Everything I read about him disgusts me. It is not the least bit surprising, however, for a nanny government proponent such as Bloomberg to sign on to this particular innitiative. If the Great Mayor outlaws foods that free people wish to buy with their own earned money, one would naturally assume he feels the need and power to tell people receiving “government” money what they can eat or drink. There are many negative points to make about Bloomberg, but the funniest was his assuming, immediately after the Times Square bomb attempt, that it was some right wing Teaba**er that must have been responsible. Hello, Mr Mayor…what world have you been living in the last 15 years?

  3. The Mugwump

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the poor not getting their fair share of vice. Food stamps in whatever form they take are redeemable on the black market for virtually anything. The black market provideth what the government taketh away. So shall it ever be. As I tell my leftist friends, capitalism is spontaneous, voluntary and completely organic. Learn to love it.

  4. River
    Your Grace: I wonder why Bloomberg maintains the pretense that he is an independent. He belongs in the same ideological camp as his fellow billionaire George Soros.

    Soros wrote in ‘The Alchemy of Finance’, “…I fancied myself as some kind of god… these expectations were excessive, and I kept them hidden as a guilty secret… a source of considerable unhappiness through… my adult life…. [but] reality came close enough to my fantasy to allow me to admit my secret… Needless to say, I feel much happier as a result.’

    cdor: So why does this guy [Bloomberg] get re-elected?… Everything I read about him disgusts me. It is not the least bit surprising, however, for a nanny government proponent such as Bloomberg to sign on to this particular innitiative. If the Great Mayor outlaws foods that free people wish to buy… one would naturally assume he feels the need and power to tell people receiving “government” money what they can eat or drink….

    cdor,

    We’re being tested, and that test is demonstrating – once and for all – what our price is; whether or not we’re willing to sell our inheritance of freedom and liberty for “a mess of pottage”.

  5. cdor

    The problem, River, is that you wake up one morning and say, “How did this happen?” Well it didn’t just happen. It has been happening for 70 or 80 years, a little bit at a time. It is so subtle, that we don’t even know we are being tested.

  6. River
    cdor: The problem, River, is that you wake up one morning and say, “How did this happen?” Well it didn’t just happen. It has been happening for 70 or 80 years, a little bit at a time. It is so subtle, that we don’t even know we are being tested. · Oct 8 at 5:48am

    Veritas quidem, cdor. I peg the turning point at around 1900, with 1914 as the visible beginning of the End Times.

    All the great and terrible changes begin almost invisibly, innocently (to our eyes), like sprouting seeds.

  7. liberal jim

    I note that you say the illustration form FH’s work suggests and not that FH suggests. Hayek clearly does not think that “once we give government any power over are freedoms, they’ll take the rest,” but he certainly does not deny this possibility. I am sure you are aware of this. Why do you want to give the impression he does? I agree with your overall argument, but not this premise.

  8. Bulldawg

    “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

    You wanna drink sody water, get off the dole.

    Or, more preferably, get rid of the dole.

  9. SoNowThen
    Tommy De Seno

    Social Security IS socialism

    Redacted for truth (purely in good nature).

    The very young have a harder time competing because of minimum wage laws. The very old had a long time to save and prepare. As to the very sick… that’s what insurance and friends are for (plus this is a pretty exceptional case). If we don’t want the bossy nanny to force us to eat vegetables and make us go to bed before we are tired, we shan’t have her there to pick us up and bandage our knee when we fall down.

    Tommy, if, as you say, Capitalists need a moral safety net, do you think it is not possible for this to be culturally motivated rather than legislated by the state?

  10. Trace

    I posted this to FB and facetiously asked the question whether Michael Bloomberg might actually succeed in getting welfare recipients to join the Tea Party, at which point I received this reply:

    “I agree, which is what makes ‘Tell the government to keep their hands off my Food Stamps’ as absurd as the ‘Tell the government to keep their hands off my Medicare’ argument.”

    My liberal friend made a good point. As much as I find the Mayor’s efforts to be obnoxious, paternalistic, social engineering, it’s hard to fight the argument that if you want to deal with the devil, you have to accept his terms.

  11. Tommy De Seno
    C
    liberal jim: I note that you say the illustration form FH’s work suggests and not that FH suggests. Hayek clearly does not think that “once we give government any power over are freedoms, they’ll take the rest,” but he certainly does not deny this possibility. I am sure you are aware of this. Why do you want to give the impression he does? I agree with your overall argument, but not this premise. · Oct 8 at 6:16am

    I wasn’t sure if Hayek was responsible for the illustrations that appeared in LIfe Magazine, which is why I phrased it that way.

    And I guess you and I disagree – I think Hayek’s point is of the “give and inch, take a mile” variety.

  12. Tommy De Seno
    C

    SoNowThen:

    When I speak of the young – I’m taking about the under 14 set. When I say old – I speak of the far too worn to work old. When I speak of the sick, I mean the actually can’t hold a job sick.

    Capitalism is based upon the great competition for capital. Those I speak of can’t compete (you’d get no thrill beating a no-armed man in a boxing match, I’m sure).

    So Capitalism, as part of its own structure, must have built in it at the very least a subsistence level for those who can’t join the contest. That’s what Social Security was designed to do.

    Socialism, on the other hand, is when we start handing out government largess to those who can compete.

    Social Security, in it’s original intention, is good, moral capitalism. It may have grown into something else (as many warned).

  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Tommy De Seno:

    …When I say old – I speak of the far too worn to work old… Social Security, in it’s original intention, is good, moral capitalism.

    When you speak of “Social Security”, are you speaking of the safety net in general, or specifically of that entity that takes money from the paychecks of working people, puts it into a nonexistent “trust fund”, and cuts checks to retirees?

    Given that the older tend to have far more accumulated wealth than the younger (got this from Sowell et al), what is there to prevent them from using this wealth to care for themselves in retirement, even if they’re now too old to work?

    Also, why does our Social Security system dole out to the wealthy-and-old and the middle-class-and-old rather than only to the truly indigent and old?

    I’ve seen with my own eyes Social Security payments corrupt “bourgeois virtues”, seen the middle-class elderly not plan for the future as they should have (and could have) because they implicitly assumed “someone else” would take care of them.

  14. Michael Tee
    River

    cdor: The problem, River, is that you wake up one morning and say, “How did this happen?” Well it didn’t just happen. It has been happening for 70 or 80 years, a little bit at a time. It is so subtle, that we don’t even know we are being tested. · Oct 8 at 5:48am

    Veritas quidem, cdor. I peg the turning point at around 1900, with 1914 as the visible beginning of the End Times.

    All the great and terrible changes begin almost invisibly, innocently (to our eyes), like sprouting seeds. · Oct 8 at 6:04am

    The turning point had to be earlier than that. 1859 at least.

  15. Tommy De Seno
    C

    MFR – Not all of the elderly are rich or even have pensions. I’m willing to talk about means testing on the elderly.

    But we do have to have the a security net for the elderly person who was a pensionless wage earner.

  16. G.A. Dean

    My wife tells me she heard an interview of NPR yesterday with a food stamp recipient in NYC who said that if these controls go into effect people will probably just stop using food stamps.

    I guess that’s supposed to scare us, or perhaps shame us.

    Strangely I feel neither ashamed or frightened that food stamps may go out of fashion. While I fully agree that I have no business telling people how to spend their own money, I’m equally comfortable suggesting how they spend my money.

  17. SoNowThen

    Tommy, “we” may have to have a safety net (meaning as a society it is probably an overall benefit to actually help each other) but what I am asking is do you think this must come from the government? If the social security concept works then why can’t it be implemented in private rather than public? You and I can agree that basic human decency says lend someone a hand when they are down, but this is fundamentally an issue of personal, private help, I believe.

    Anyway, for consideration: http://mises.org/daily/2586

  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Tommy De Seno: MFR – Not all of the elderly are rich or even have pensions. I’m willing to talk about means testing on the elderly.

    But we do have to have the a security net for the elderly person who was a pensionless wage earner. · Oct 8 at 8:22am

    Pensionless and poor, right? Because I know at least one old dude who doesn’t get a pension, but made millions when he was younger and has no need of any safety net now because he saved well.

    Sure, let’s means-test the future elderly. (The current elderly — those who believe that they should get back what they paid in all those years — are understandably a bit hostile to having means-testing applied to them now.)

  19. Kenneth

    By the way, about a month ago Mike Murphy was explaining to a certain ignorant Ricochet member how smart it was to secure Bloomberg’s endorsement of Meg Whitman.

    Did that every actually happen?

    If it did, I missed it.

  20. Michael Tee
    Tommy De Seno:

    So Capitalism, as part of its own structure, must have built in it at the very least a subsistence level for those who can’t join the contest. That’s what Social Security was designed to do.

    Socialism, on the other hand, is when we start handing out government largess to those who can compete.

    Social Security, in it’s original intention, is good, moral capitalism. It may have grown into something else (as many warned). · Oct 8 at 7:50a

    First, what happened to the little platoons of society that are supposed to help those who are not able to compete? The churches, the families, the charitable organizations?

    Second, it is erroneous to describe the government regressive taxation policy whereby the poor support the rich and also burdens unborn citizens because of the national debt incurred by the program as capitalism.