From Tyler: Bloomberg’s Ban

tylerTonight Susie sits down with Muhtar Kent, the CEO of Coca-Cola. I’m interested to hear what he says about global business conditions, especially in Europe but also in the developing world. And since I live in the New York City area, I’d like to hear what he thinks about Mayor Bloomberg’s now-banned ban of sugar drinks larger than 16 ounces.

I get what the Mayor is trying to do. After all, we as a public do have a stake in promoting health, if for no other reason than we all pay for it one way or another. It’s not as simple as “Your food choice equals my expense,” but that’s part of the argument.

I confess, though, I’m conflicted about whether the kind of ban the Mayor proposed is the best way to promote better eating and drinking choices. The ban applied to certain kinds of merchants and not to others, and it exempted, for example, supersized drinks with alcohol and milkshakes. Fruit juices were exempt too. But what percent of a drink needs to be “juice” to qualify for the exemption? I confess I don’t know.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting debate about how and where we draw lines in our society and how much we want government involved in our individual economic choices. In that sense, it’s a debate as old as our republic.

I was interested to see your reaction to last evening’s interview with Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. He is, of course, a fierce exponent of a Keynesian approach to economics and fiscal matters.

Many of you agree with him; many of you don’t. That’s exactly what we expected. Rest assured, we will bring you the opinions of economists with different views. Our goal every evening is to inform, educate and stimulate.

Sometimes you will nod your head in agreement, and sometimes you will shake it vigorously. Over time, I hope you will do a little bit of both.

– Tyler

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