Saturday, October 23, 2004

This week's winner of the Strange New Respect Award

David Frum writes that Canada's over-taxation has a positive consequence--forcing Canadians to be heathier by being able to afford less food that is bad for them:

....What accounts for this difference? Perhaps many things, but here is one that surely has a lot to do with it: food portions. Incomes are generally lower in Canada and costs and taxes are higher. Food vendors respond by offering smaller sizes in order to hold prices down. The market is still dominated by 10 ounce aluminum cans of soda, not 20 ounce plastic bottles. A “small” coffee contains six ounces not eight. At Canada’s best-known chain of sit-down family restaurants, the standard dinner is a quarter piece of roast chicken and about as many French fries as would comfortably fit inside a wine glass.....

The Super-Size Me school of conservatism!

I'll admit that Mr. Frum has a valid point, namely that as long as there is any form of socialized medicine, that the state has a right to keep costs down. Nevertheless, there are so many areas of policy where the state throws up its hands instead of imposing a set of moral standards on citizens. Why crack down on food?