In my hometown, now mayor, then councilman, Robb Davis came out strong against obesity, proposing a soda tax to battle it since he’s “so concerned” about the health of Davisites. He wants to combat “fatty liver disease:”
Fortunately, the soda tax was not put on the ballot, but the fight is “far from over.”
The concern for health comes from poor diet choices and the sedentary lifestyle most Americans lead. I read a lot online and see news reports decrying this “epidemic” and that “something must be done!” (to save people from themselves).
But how about we look at the problem from a different angle? We live in a society where the average person can engage in full time occupations which require no physical exertion, and which pay them enough to purchase the richest food imaginable. And for them to eat as much as they want of it! Compare this lifestyle to the lifestyles of their ancestors even 100 years ago. People barely got enough to eat back then. In the days of feudalism, the average peasant was starving, toiling from sun up to sun down, and turning over the majority of the hard-won fruits of their efforts to their landlord. That was the plight of the average person. Today, the plight of the average person is to live like kings of old.
This is what capitalism has brought us. As long as we have a relatively free market, our store shelves will be stocked with more food than our ancestors could possibly have imagined, of a staggering variety. Each time I set foot in a store like Safeway or Grocery Outlet, I am floored by the incredible variety and quality available to me. I thank my lucky stars I live here, instead of a place like Venezuela or North Korea. I’m so glad I didn’t grow up in a place like the Soviet Union, or Mao’s China. It is truly a blessing to be living in a market economy!
I guess I just have grown tired of the constant whining from socialists who decry capitalism because there are people who have more than others. So what? As long as I have a free market to work with, I can work to pull myself out of poverty. Upward mobility was something unheard of for peasants of old, yet it’s here for anyone who really wants it and is willing to work hard for it. And by working hard, I don’t mean just endless toiling–I mean confronting your lifestyle, learning frugality, saving, investing, and, well, changing your entire outlook on life. Practically anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
So the next time you hear screams about obesity, be thankful that it is a “problem!”