The PJ Tatler

Bloomberg Wants to Curtail Drinking

By gum, that’s the ticket. It’s not enough to control salt intake, sugary drinks, trans fat, smoking, and rent in New York City — now Mayor Bloomberg wants to limit the number of establishments that sell booze in the interest of forcing New Yorkers to drink less.

New York Post:

The city Health Department’s far-reaching Partnership for a Healthier New York City initiatives proposes to slash the number of establishments in the city that sell booze.

Community “transformation” grants provided under President Obama’s health-care law would help bankroll the effort.

One of the goals listed in the “request for proposal” document to community groups is “reducing alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density and illegal alcohol,” the document states.

“Talk about a nanny state. Why don’t they just close all the liquor establishments?” quipped Mike Long, a former liquor-store owner in Bay Ridge and head of the state Conservative Party.

“This is absolutely insane. They want to run the retail establishments in New York,” said Long, who likened the effort to the temperance movement of more than a century ago.

Health officials and advocates have also discussed banning liquor advertising seen by millions of straphangers in the transit system.

“Reduce the exposure to alcohol products and bar advertising and promotion in retail and general (trains, buses, etc.) settings (stores, restaurants, etc”, the department’s document says.

The department yesterday, declined to discuss specifics on how it would implement the controversial proposals

“Partnership for a Healthier New York City.” “Community transformation grants.” This is the language of control — benign at first glance, easy on the ears, leaving a soothing feeling on the lips when uttering them. It is a testament to the elasticity of the bureaucratic mind that it can conjure up these nightmares and coat them with a patina of total normalcy — even necessity.

Should people drink less? In a free society, that would be up to them. In controlled societies, not so much. It is an outgrowth of the drive to nationalize the intimate and globalize the personal that empowers government to believe that it can do anything — as long as they can justify it as being in our interest.