Matt HealeySaturday,23 March 2013

The Snap:

As I have written, I am a proponent of the NYC large soda ban. My basic point is that I would prefer to have the government regulate the sizes than have the beverage companies chose what size soda I should drink. Granted it does not effect me that much because I have not had soda since 2008 (maybe 2009). Regardless, I find the recent law passed in Mississippi amusing. MS recently passed a law that forbids counties in the state from restricting the size of beverages and bans restaurants from displaying the calorie count of their food.

The Download:

I love Mississippi. Not just because they recently (this year) became the final state to ratify the 13th amendment — the one that bans slavery — but because they are the poster child for backwards thinking. Let’s look at some data on MS. They rank last in life expectancy of all 50 states and the district of Columbia. The life expectancy in MS is 74.8. The US average is 78.6. New York is ranked 4th at 80.4 and Hawaii is first at 81.5. MS was ranked #1 in obesity rates (26%), deaths by heart disease (327 per 100,000 people), and Diabetes (8.9 per 100 adults). I am sure I could find more stats but I think you get the point. Given that data, one would expect that the government should be looking into ways to help the population. Especially because the links from these chronic health problems and diet is very well established. But that would not be the Mississippi way. Rather than try to help their residents, the state government bans anyone from trying to help.

The problem with this is not that I care about the residents on MS. I don’t. The problem is that MS is one of the biggest takers from the federal government. From 1990 to 2009, MS took in $240 million more in federal spending than it paid in federal taxes, while New York paid $1.1 billion more in federal taxes than it received in federal spending. And yet they continue down the path of not helping themselves. They rank last in science and math education — the lynchpins for good job prospects in the current era. The have the lowest incomes in the U.S. It has been this way for decades. So what is the solution? Personally, I recommend that we listen to them and do what they want. They elected a Tea Party governor, and that organization is driving for dramatic reductions in federal spending. I would agree and enact federal legislation that a state can only receive federal spending in the amount they contribution in taxes. That way states like MS can head off in their insane direction and people in NY do not have to pay for it.

Hat Tips:

MS anti-Bloomberg law, MS life expectancy, MS Obesity, MS heart disease, MS Diabetes, MS Taking from the federal government, MS Math and Science Education, MS income, MS tea party governor, Image Credit: Flickr

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