- Politics and Social Issues
Growing Regulation of Food
Why is government expanding its regulation of what you eat and drink?
What you eat is your choice. If you want to drink yourself under the table every night it's your right. At least that's the ideal view of it for a free country.
It is not what we have today in America. The regulation of diet is expanding, too, unavoidably at the expense of your right to choose what goes into your body. Prohibition of all sorts of substances, from alcohol to fat to sugar, is now exploding at an unprecedented rate.
Money was the original motive behind prohibition. In America, the first instance of it was in 1791, when the Federalists outlawed untaxed liquor production in order to protect the New England shippers who imported alcohol from the West Indies. Alexander Hamilton, whose political allies were those business interests, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion by force in order to enforce the prohibition on unlicensed domestic production, protect his supporters, and preserve federal revenues.
Government became more involved in alcohol prohibition as industrialism grew to become the dominant economic system. The driving motive behind it was again monetary: to keep labor sober so it could be more readily regimented and exploited for greater corporate profit and federal revenues. Factory workers who come in late and hung over don't perform well. The scope of prohibition gradually grew over a period of over a century to encompass more and more recreational drugs, and it continues to grow today. Its function remains the same, though: to discipline citizens into being good little soldiers who follow orders willingly and make money for their employers and the federal government.
Now the state's compulsion to regulate is expanding into diet. Money is still the driving motive. Increasing regulation will bring increasing fees and taxes, but more importantly it is an attempt to drive down the government's medical expenses. As it assumes more responsibility for paying your doctors' bills, it concurrently takes more authority to influence, even to dictate, what you may do in order to control eating habits thought at the time to increase its costs.
Moral justifications are always the paper wrappings of control programs such as these. Morality is never the real cause of them. Tear off that paper and take a look at what is being done to American freedom in the name of better health.