The mayor of New York and that city’s health commissioner have decided to pressure city restaurants to lower the amount of salt in food they serve by half over the next decade even though the science behind the decision is ambiguous and uncertain. On top of that, lowering salt in your diet may lead to depression.
Many people will argue that doing something like this surely won’t hurt anything and might help a lot but in fact, there are always hidden costs to any public policy decision that politicians and people who favor more government never have to face because they are practically invisible to the public. Costs like spending more money on altering the supply chain of their food to remove supposedly high salt foods. Those costs get passed down the chain and even though it’s not obvious will eventually lead to things like higher costs or job losses. But that just gives politicians the chance to “do something else.”
The government can’t even protect our food supply from diseases that kill us directly like the latest outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter. How can we ever hope for them to protect us from some disease in the future that may or may not be related to an ingredient in most of our food today? This complete disconnect with the abilities that government actually has and the desire to increase the power of the government so that it can expand its powers over us seems odd to me. Let me choose whether to eat high salt or fat foods. You try to keep salmonella and E coli out of my peanut butter for a couple of years and we’ll see how that goes.
Politicians are largely driven by power and fame and the only way to continually feed those drives is to regularly “do something important.” Until we start electing more leaders and fewer power hungry megalomaniacs, we will keep being saddled with ridiculous laws and bigger government, government that is largely impotent in its attempt to protect its citizenry and many times inflicts great damage in the name of “doing something”.