Director of Government Reform
Aside from crime, spending and transportation, Chicago leaders are looking to take a hard line – on energy drinks.
In a recent interview with NBC Chicago, Edward Burke, arguably the city's most powerful alderman, said, "Chicago ought to be on the forefront of public awareness and education about the potential dangers of these products."
You read that right – the world's deadliest global city wants to lead the charge against "dangerous" energy drinks. Sorry if I find that laughable.
The proposed blanket ban would target drinks like Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull, Full Throttle, 5-hour ENERGY and others.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the proposed ordinance states, "No person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish any energy drink.” The legislation would include a $100 to $500 fine for each offense.
NBC Chicago reports that Burke's ordinance cites Food and Drug Administration data claiming that at least five deaths since 2009 can be attributed to Monster.
The warning label on the cans of Monster currently sitting in our office clearly state, "Consume Responsibly: Max one can every 4 hours with limit 3 cans per day, not recommended for children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant women or women who are nursing."
While this may seem like a silly issue, it's indicative of a larger problem — government officials feel empowered to make decisions for you because, in their minds, you're incapable of making decisions for yourself.
Milton Friedman wrote, "There is no place for government to prohibit consumers from buying products the effect of which will be to harm themselves."
What Friedman understood is that liberty requires personal responsibility and accountability.
This campaign is eerily similar to the war on Joe Camel and cigarette companies, which big government has essentially won. Now they're moving on to soft drinks, energy drinks and more.
But it's all for the kids. Never mind the fact that these same lawmakers are loading future generations with the burden of perpetual debt by failing to reform pensions and rein in out-of-control spending.