Happy Meals

“San Francisco liberalism” is generally just a silly political epithet to scare Americans with gay people, but damn if San Fransciso didn’t just set the liberal cause back with their ridiculous over-reach on Happy Meals.  Normally, when conservatives complaining about excessive government interference and regulation, it’s just a lot of hot air (clean air and water regulations– oh no!!).  Alas, San Francisco has banned the sale of toys with kids’ fast food meals if they don’t meet certain nutritional requirements (e.g., contain a vegetable).  I’m all for encouraging healthier food choices for kids and families, but please don’t take away my kids’ Megamind toy because he wants fries instead of apple slices.  Without seeing the exact details of the legislation, if I’m McDonald’s I just would do something like toy available for $.01 with purchase of Happy Meal.  Also, there’s a 600 calorie limit.  It cannot be too hard to figure out marginally smaller portion sizes that take you to 590 or 29% of calories from fat instead of 30%.  Regardless, this certainly strikes me as over-stepping the proper bounds of government.  Or maybe its just because I love my kids meal toys.



More on race, poverty, education

As long as I’ve got smart commenters, I might as well use them to generate fresh material.  First, John recommends the fabulous This American Life episode, Going Big, about Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone.  I had actually thought about that myself.  But I pretty much always do when these issues come up.

Additionally, Mike has much better commentary on the subject than me:

This isn’t really new or surprising. But ask Bill Cosby what happens if you call attention to the impact that individual behavior and life choices have on outcomes. The problem is, this discussion too easily turns into competing all-or-nothing positions: the “see, it’s the person, not society” argument and the opposing “you’re blaming the victim and racist too boot” argument. Sadly, the truth is messier and makes people on both sides squirm because they have to acknowledge that it’s the person and the environment (i.e., social, historical, cultural, economic).

Wish I had put it half that well myself.  Conservatives go oh so too far in pinning everything on the individual, but I do wish more liberals would be willing to simply admit that there are different parenting styles/values across racial/ethnic cultures and that these differences can really matter.

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