The fat American: your ruling class at work

The hypothesis from an ‘evolutionary biologist’ regarding the nation’s ‘obesity epidemic’:

Merely medicating it won’t do, he [Daniel Lieberman] said, and education is well-meaning but ineffective. His answer? “Coercion. … We should start telling corporations what to do.” But not just corporations. He also advocated – “to hearty applause,” the Harvard Gazette noted – “requiring people to exercise.”

What is the evolutionary explanation the evolutionary biologist would have for attempting to assert this sort of control over other people’s lives? I suspect it goes something like this: when you can only get people to do what you want them to do through coercion it means other methods of persuasion have failed for some reason. But the goal is control. When you control people, you have power. When you have power, your agenda (and not necessarily the individual’s) is much more likely to be implemented.

Yale’s Kelly Brownell has long advocated taxes on Twinkies, soda, and other high-sugar snacks. That idea has gained support from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the mayors of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and state lawmakers in numerous states.  The New York Times’ Mark Bittman likens foods with added sugar to tobacco, and asks “How do we regulate the consumption of dangerous foods? … We need the government on our side. It must acknowledge the dangers caused by the most unhealthy aspects of our diet and figure out how to help us cope with them.” Bittman’s colleague, Frank Bruni, agrees. In a column lamenting America’s spreading waistline, he concludes that “we need to rethink and remake our environment much more thoroughly.”

It seems every do-gooder somehow thinks they (or better, a faceless government) should be making choices for normal, small-minded, careless, undisciplined Americans, regardless of whether the issue is the law, economic policy, the marketplace, taxes, health care, energy, affirmative action, obesity, or anything else.

How did Americans end up becoming obese in the first place? It’s suggested government subsidies for things like high-fructose corn syrup and the government created food pyramid calling for up to 11 carb-servings per day had something to do with the obesity epidemic.

But back to the do-gooders:

Of course the coercionaries could leave… [everyone] … alone… But this solution never seems to occur to them, does it? And why should it? It would require a certain degree of humility and restraint. Besides, they already know the solution: In the event of any government failure, apply more government directly to the wound.

My suspicion is their efforts are all about power; craving power and control over people’s lives (but without being told how to live themselves) without having to make a compelling or attractive argument. Otherwise, how do we get more sidewalks built or subsidies for electric cars or running shoes?

Consider Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al: control is the goal and government is the tool.


About Professor Mockumental

I enjoy almost all forms of parody, buffoonery, and general high-jinks. Satire has shown itself to be an essential societal need; I therefore humbly offer my services in such a manner. I enjoy mocking the usual suspects at the New York Times (Charles Blows, Moron Dowd, and the earth is flat guy) and Washington Post (Dana Milkbag, E.D. Dijon, and David Ignoramus). There are many others as well, but sadly, there are always too many targets and too little time.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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