In voicing his support for same-sex marriage, Mayor Bloomberg has mentioned — and appeared with — his niece Rachel, who is lesbian. “It brings it home,” he told me on the phone this week, though he added that beyond his desire for her to have everything she wants in life, “Government should not tell you what to do unless there’s a compelling public purpose.” He sees no such purpose in blocking same-sex marriage.
Right. Like Hugo Chavez only believes in nationalization when there is a compelling public purpose and Nancy Pelosi only believes in taxing the rich when there is a compelling public purpose and John McCain believes in war when it has a compelling public purpose.
If you’re a non-smoking, svelte gay couple you’re in luck, but otherwise Bloomberg sees human existence as one big fat smoke-sodden compelling public interest. As he once said “We live in a world where we have to have a balance. We can’t just say everybody can go everyplace and do anything they want.”
Someone could write a book about Bloomberg’s tsar-tinged nannyism, so we won’t dwell on his ban of smoking outside or on private property — because that mugging of individual freedom has already gone mainstream.
Rather, let’s focus on salt. Remember, Bloomberg’s believes that it’s his job to save “tens of thousands of lives” by cutting your intake of sodium.
And those New York anarchists who want to run a gourmet food trucks, salt or no salt, can only do so after attaining a “Food Protection Certificate” and a “Sales Tax Certificate of Authority” and then, if they’re lucky, a “Mobile Food Vendor” permit. Public purpose.
Not that they could afford to drive those trucks. We must, according to Mike, be “raising the [gas] tax and encouraging people to reduce consumption. The anti-tax people don’t like that. But using capitalism to encourage the right behavior is exactly the [right] direction of going. Tax policy is the way government uses capitalism.”
This is just a small look at the autocratic instincts of Mr. Bloomberg.
Pretending to use capitalism (but mosty just coercion) to compel the “right” behavior is the excuse of every two-bit dictator in history. Now, Mike doesn’t have the power to extract salt from your food, but if he did, does anyone doubt he would use it?