the national interest

Bloomberg Finds Defender of Soda Ban

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks on as the New York Knicks play against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a friend, unless you’re paying him. Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg’s decision to ban the sale of non-diet soda drinks over 16 ounces has drawn scorn and ridicule from pretty much all corners. (Even Richard Thaler, the influential behavioral economist and demon-figure among conservative opponents of nany state-ism, pleads, “a BAN is not a NUDGE. The opposite in fact. So don’t blame Bloomberg’s ban on large soda cups on us.”)

So is anybody happy about this? Why, yes — Doug Schoen is.

Schoen is a putatively Democratic pollster known primarily for flaying Democrats for being too left-wing and fond of big government. One might be surprised that Schoen, of all people, would approve of such a heavy-handed application of the state. But no, Schown is positively glowing in his appraisal:

This time, Bloomberg has wisely chosen to circumvent a messy process that could be derailed by lobbyists and special interest. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” the Mayor correctly noted. Therefore, he is instead opting for a small, measured plan that can be implemented with minimal interference. 

Mayor Bloomberg has long led the way when it comes to public health policy. 

Surprising! And no doubt completely unrelated to the fact that Bloomberg is Schoen’s client, a fact not disclosed anywhere in Schoen’s encomium to the soda ban.

Bloomberg Finds Defender of Soda Ban