Free Market Tyranny!

As soon as I heard about the Bill Clinton-brokered agreement to keep sugar soft drinks out of schools, I knew we'd be hearing complaints from the free market crowd—even though the deal was worked out in the marketplace by market actors. Well, we didn't have to wait long. Witness this tantrum in response to a professor who thinks that the industry might have gone farther:

C'mon Barry, why stop there? Let's ban all soft drink advertising and stop selling soda to those under 18 years old. Then, let's impose a hefty tax on soda, say 50 cents a can and a $1 on bottles. I am sure you would also like to see police crackdowns on underage soda consumption and DUIS, driving under the influence of soda.

It's worth noting that the professor in question wasn't advocating regulation, at least not as quoted. What conclusion should I draw from this except that the "free" in "free market" does not simply mean freedom from unnecessary regulation? It should be crystal clear that these folks want business to operate free from any constraint on profit, even restraint urged by the oft-rumored but never photographed corporate conscience.

The soft drink manufacturers did what they thought was right. Whether their decision was based on a sense of social responsibility or a calculation of PR value doesn't matter. Some people won't be happy until every last dollar that can be squeezed from people's (in this case, students') pockets has been.

Comments

Barry Popkin

Is a widely acknowledged expert on the epidemic of obesity in the United States, an epidemic that has been fueled by a free-market frenzy pushing sugar to kids at every corner. Just the kind of expertise the Puppets want to suppress when they take over the University.

Public schools belong to We the People. If we don't want sugar pushers in our hallways, we have every right to through them out. The soft drink manufacturers simply saw the writing on the wall and acted in their own self interest.

Lance, you're really going above and beyond the call of duty by visiting backstage at the Puppetshow (aka, the Locker Room). Those guys are flat-out bizarre.

It's a web worm hole

or something like that. Fuzzy blogic. Quantum psychics.

"Fuzzy blogic."

I love it.