Have you heard of the game “TriBond”? The basic premise is to figure out what the 3 words or phrases have in common with each other. For example, take these 3 words: Car, Tree, Elephant… what do these 3 things have in common? All of them have trunks.
So, with that introduction, what do the following 3 words have in common: Soda, plastic straws, semi-automatic rifles. Take a minute to think it over before reading on; it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
These 3 things are a few things from a broader list of items the liberals want to ban. Already, numerous cities in America, with an epicenter on the west coast, have banned the sale or distribution of plastic straws with hefty fines for those who do not comply with the new law. More cities are joining the cause by the day.
Will this craze on banning plastic straws help? Well, it should help keep videos like this from happening, but in the overall scheme of things… it’s a complete farce. If every plastic straw used in the world (estimates say around 500 million per day) washed into the ocean, it would only account for 0.03 percent of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year. Banning straws will do nothing to reduce ocean pollution from plastics.
It is safe to say that the second word bears no explanation. It is no secret that those on the left side of the aisle want to ban guns. What’s that? The democrats don’t want to ban guns in the U.S.? Well, that’s weird because this lady, whom you might recognize, would love to do that if she could! There are many more examples, but I digress…
On to the 3rd word… soda. The liberals want to ban soda? That seems a little odd doesn’t it? Well, the war on sugary beverages has reached an all-time high after revving up over the last decade, in large part thanks to former First Lady Michelle Obama. One of her key initiatives as First Lady was to fight against childhood obesity, starting with her “Let’s Move!” campaign. This led to the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which changed up school lunches into what many claim to be awful and uneatable meals. Some even suggest that kids were throwing away their entire meal, uneaten, due to lack of interest in the particular foods.
Another target of Michelle Obama and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010? Soda and sugary beverages. No longer would you be able to find a Coke machine in the lunch room of schools. Instead, water, low-fat milk (which, ironically, is actually worse for you than whole milk) , or 100% fruit/vegetable juice have taken sole possession of the vending machine buttons.
The liberals didn’t stop there though, they are coming for more than your kids lunch cokes, they want all sugar drinks gone. The Nanny-State thinks they know what is best for us and that we should abide by their own opinions, rather than make decisions for ourselves. California has a bill that is on Governor Brown’s desk that attempts to regulate kids meal options at restaurants. The bill requires all restaurants with a children’s menu to make the “default beverage water, sparkling water, or flavored water, as specified, or unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative, as specified.”
Is this really a big deal? Well, on one hand, no, but on the other hand, yes. It’s simply a change on the standard menu at the restaurant and you would be able to request a substitution to whatever drink you would like, but it must be requested (and potentially require an upcharge?). The government, however, needs to stay out of these issues. It is not their job to tell or suggest to the general public what they can and cannot drink with their meals. If the free market decides this is the best option, then the free market has every right to change it’s own policies, without government mandates, laws and interventions.
In fact, the free market has been doing this quite well as of late. Companies have been pushing for more environmentally friendly options for the past several years on their own accord. American Airlines, Disney, Starbucks, McDonalds, Hyatt and Marriot have all announced that they will phase out plastic straw use for more environmentally friendly options. Likewise, Kroger just announced that they will completely do away with plastic grocery bags by 2025.
If the market deems a reduction in sugary beverages to be a wise and necessary change, the market will follow through with it. The government needs to stop putting it’s nose in places where it shouldn’t be. It seems that California has enough problems of its own to deal with, and plastic straws are BY FAR the least of them. Maybe spend some time on the water problem. Or give a minute of attention to their wall of debt, crime or even the out of control homeless problem in the state. Plastic straw bans are a cop out to actually doing something worthwhile.
When faced with a problem, MOST of the time, the answer isn’t more government regulation and control. The government can only stick it’s finger in so many pies before you no longer have a pie to eat.