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New York, Big Gulps and the Nanny State, Article Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 412

Article Review

In the article “New York, Big Gulps, and the Nanny State”, Leonard Pitts Jr. addresses the proposed law by New York Mayor Bloomberg to ban restaurants, movie theaters, and sports arenas from selling sugary drinks in sizes larger than 16 fluid ounces. Pitts argues that the law is an unnecessary meddling in the rights guaranteed to the citizens by the constitution. The author claims that comparing the law to smoking bans or San Francisco’s ban on Happy Meals is a mistake because the circumstances behind the other two laws are entirely different from those of the Mayor’s proposal. The author doesn’t doubt the Mayor’s good intentions but believes that the law will be an unwarranted intrusion into citizens’ private matters.

The author proposes that the Mayor should not proceed with his proposal. In order to explain why he thinks this ban is different to other bans, the author claims that smoking puts third parties in danger while the Happy Meals were targeted at kids who do not have the required maturity to make informed decisions. But none of these issues arise when it comes to consumption of sugary drinks, thus, this proposal doesn’t have the same merit as other two laws. While the author’s reasoning does appear to have a sound logic, the author could have appeared more convincing by giving examples of specific court decisions in which laws were struck down since they were considered unnecessary intrusion in private lives despite good intentions behind them.

I absolutely agree with the author because I think that one of the purposes of law is to hold people responsible only when their actions harm others. As long as people do not harm others and are willing to accept the consequences of their own actions, they have a right to live their lives as they please. The author is right that soda ban is different in nature than smoking ban and Happy Meals ban as soda consumption doesn’t hurt others and moreover, soda consumers are often adults who are capable of making sound decisions. In addition, people do not always make rational decisions otherwise they won’t even smoke or consume excessive alcohol. The only reason why being drunk in private premises is not against law while driving in a drunk state is that a drunk driver puts others at risk while a drunk individual at private premises doesn’t. This is why soda ban is an unnecessary intrusion by New York City Government in its citizens’ private affairs.

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