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Food For Thought

Here’s a letter to the CBS New York (Channel 2); this issue is in the news now because of hurricane Sandy:

Imagine Saturday Night Live spoofing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s fanatical passion to restrict New Yorkers’ diets to foods that Mr. Bloomberg divines to be appropriate.  An hilarious skit would feature a Mayor Mike lookalike standing in a homeless shelter and ordering heavily armed policemen to turn away private citizens who come to donate food.  The “Mayor” would calmly explain to hungry residents of the shelter that the City hasn’t the resources to inspect donated foods to ensure that the fat, salt, and fiber contents of these foods meet the Mayor’s exacting standards.  So no donating food to hungry New Yorkers!

The audience laughter would be uproarious.

The question, though, is raised: How does Saturday Night Live spoof Mayor Bloomberg’s actual – his real; factual; no joke; don’t laugh; you can’t make this stuff up – ban on food donations to homeless shelters because he worries that such food might have too much fat, too much salt, or too little fiber (“Bloomberg Strikes Again: NYC Bans Food Donations To The Homeless,” March 19)?

Reality as farcical as a comedy skit is tragic.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

(HT New York City’s own Reuvain Borchardt)