The Los Angeles Times ran this snark-o-rific op-ed today mocking the L.A. city council’s plan to institute a two-year ban on new fast food restaurants. Ostensibly aimed at combating obesity rates in low-income neighborhoods, the proposed fast food “moratorium” is a classic case of food-cop overreach. Overeager legislators have once again teamed up with nutrition zealots in an effort to impose absurd (and mostly ineffective) restrictions on personal choice in the name of “public” health. Sometimes the best way for the pro-freedom crowd to respond is to throw the activists’ pretensions right back at them. And that’s exactly what the Times op-ed’s author — attorney Laine T. Wagenseller — does:
I made resolutions to eat better and to exercise more regularly. But then I spread out on the couch to watch "American Idol," and that feeling passed like a 24-hour flu. Later, after much reflection over a burrito and a cola, I came to my senses and realized that this was not a problem of discipline and exercise — but one of zoning.
Yes, zoning. The problem, you see, was not that I made bad choices or neglected my health. The problem was that others had been allowed to build fast-food restaurants in my neighborhood. I was just a victim of bad zoning, unable to make decisions for myself …
While I initially hesitated at the thought of more government control at the expense of personal freedom, I simply repeated those warm and fuzzy words that always accompany attempts to limit our freedom: "It’s for the children." I can already feel the pounds melting away.