I know what you’re thinking. But if the government occasionally has to lie to you, well, it’s for the greater good, for your greater good. The ends justify the means. And when the ends are bliss itself, human and earthly perfection, life without inequalities and disparities of any kind, then any means are the right means.
The hell with clinging to God and guns: the other G is where it’s at. The Government has your back, bro.
The latest bump to be removed on the path to Utopia are trans fats. The expert-filled Food & Drug Administration— without this watchful group to guide us people might eat brick dust1—has decided that you are not allowed to make a choice about whether to eat trans fats. They will ban them.
As I was writing this, a reporter came on the radio to announce the FDA will accept public comments about the “proposed” ban for the next so many days, “and then it will implement the ban.”
Yes, even reporters know what “public comments” means to agencies like FDA and EPA: nada, rien, nichts, nil, nix, nothing. (See how diverse I am?) They will do whatever they want regardless of what any member of the public says, and everybody knows this in advance.
I might remind you that the FDA is a part of the executive branch of our most wonderful government, and that bans such as this are not laws per se, but mere bureaucratic rules, fiats, made under the umbrella of whatever legislation the FDA’s clever lawyers might point to. Bans are, in effect, presidential actions. So much for Congress having the power to make laws. Truly, the Constitution is outdated.
I don’t give a damn about trans fats. The last time I thought about them was when Nanny Bloomberg—soon, alas, only citizen Bloomberg, replaced by a genuine communist; but never mind—bade the city ban them. I neither avoid nor seek trans fats. I have no idea, and have no interest in having any idea, how many of them I consume.
What’s that? You say “Research shows they’re bad for you”? So? What is that to you? You avoid them and leave me alone. Why force me to be like you? Are you worried about passive trans fatism? That stray molecules of trans fat from my cookie will waft to your gob and instantly cause your arteries to seize? Then stay far away from me.
Or are you so pathetic that you can’t exercise any self control and will gobble up any quantity of trans fats without Big Brother slapping your hand away? What an awfully sad person you must be.
“But if they government has determined that trans fats are bad, then there is no harm in banning them.” Two claims here, both wrong.
There is harm. The ban will cause a great many people inconvenience, loss of livelihoods, loss of freedoms, and so on. But worse will be in the increase in servility. People will assume the ban was right because it was the government that proposed it. Citizens are willingly entering into serfdom in exchange for a pittance.
The government may have determined trans fats are bad, but this is far from proof that they are. I have seen the statistical evidence against trans fats. It is poor, it is marginal, it is on the threshold of detection. It is ambiguous: not every study that seeks a connection between trans fats and, say, heart disease finds it.
This means the government’s claim that banning trans fats “could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year” is far from certain. Wait. Strike that. The government is 100% correct. Banning trans fats “could” save so many lives. That is logically true.
But the ban could also cause heart attacks and other deaths. That is also logically true.
The full truth is that nobody knows what the ban would do to the healths of Americans. This is not an argument in favor of a ban, in the form of some foolish precautionary principle, because we could say the same about any substance. Why not ban wheat or cars or #2 pencils because we have no idea of their effects?
We are under those sympathetic to the slogan “Whatever is not forbidden is mandatory.”