Good Governance

How Should We Feel About Bloomberg's Soda Restriction Being Tossed Out?

03.12.13 12:22 AM ET

A New York state judge has struck down the Bloomberg administration's ban on large-serving soda. And guess who is excited?

A trade group for the city’s movie theaters was quick to hail the decision on Monday. “Serious problems like obesity cannot be addressed by the imposition of an arbitrary and porous Mayoral fiat,” wrote Matthew Greller, a spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners of New York State.

The Hollywood Reporter adds:

[I]n the original complaint, the group noted that "concession revenues represent a significant portion of theater profits and help stabilize ticket prices."

The group warned that if the ban was kept, theaters would either have to raise ticket prices, lay off staff or reduce staff wages.

The serving ban obviously had problems. It represented an experiment that might or might not have achieved results. But if incremental - sorry, "arbitrary and capricious" - steps are not permissible, what is? Or is the plan that government can do nothing about the obesity problem except continue to defray through Medicare and Medicaid the large and rising costs of the super-sizing of the American population?