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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become the face of nanny state politics during his tenure. Whether it be his unsuccessful bid to ban sodas he deemed to big, or his fight against big Styrofoam, “Nanny” Bloomberg has been obsessed with making decisions on your behalf. His current issue with how those in New York City live their lives? They take the escalator and elevator too much, so he rolled out his take the stairs package, complete with executive orders and legislation. On Wednesday Bloomberg signed an executive order that requires city agencies to promote staircase use and smart design strategies for new construction and major renovations. The bills introduced would increase visibility and access to at least one stairwell in all new buildings around the city. This includes putting up signs near elevators. Mayor Bloomberg has once again overstepped his boundaries in looking to dictate healthy behavior.
The research done on the short-lived Big Gulp ban in the city showed that consumers just purchased more sugary drinks. The individual found a way to get the amount of sugar they had grown accustomed to. Human nature won’t change based on arbitrary executive orders by billionaires on power trips. All the signs and ajar fire escapes won’t change people who take the elevator and escalator. It will cost the public and private sector money to accommodate another nanny state policy that strips citizens of their ability to make their own decisions.
At the press conference announcing his newest agenda, Mayor Bloomberg said that “I’m not here to tell you how to live.” With all due respect to the mayor, the bulk of his “legacy” is dictating to the people he works for how to live. There has to come a time where the citizens of not just New York City, but all Americans tell the government that they own their bodies and not the government. If I want to drink 64 ounces of soda and take the elevator up one floor, then who is the government to tell me I can’t do that? When did we decided it is the government’s role to dictate soda size and whether or not we take the stairs? That’s certainly not a society I would like to be a part of.
Michael Bloomberg is rightfully the face of nanny statism in the United States and is seeking to remove more of the day-to-day decisions of city residents. I’m sure in these public buildings the employees are well aware that stairs exist in their buildings. I’m sure everyone reading this article knows where the stairs are in their workplace. These policies aren’t just about attempting to force healthy behavior, they’re also about control. How much more ground are we willing to cede to the government over the control of our own bodies? I think it’s high time we not give another inch.