Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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The Government War on the American Diet Print
By Joseph Groff
Wednesday, May 05 2010
Facts matter. When it comes to health, the government doesn’t have a grasp of them any better than we do. ... If we’ve learned anything from our “studies” it’s that almost nothing is good in excess, and almost everything is fine in moderation.

“My body, my choice” worked for abortion advocates, but that does not seem to apply to the American diet.  Federal and local governments for years have told us what we should and should not put into our bodies.  Whether it's alcohol or cigarettes, saturated or trans fat, sugar or salt, legislators and regulators pick things off our table because they think they know better.

Ronald McDonald better watch his back.  The government is gunning for him and all of his little toy friends, too.  The latest battlefront is where else but California, as the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance banning the inclusion of toys in high-calorie children’s meals.  In other words, the “Happy Meal” isn’t so happy anymore. 

Why don’t they cancel Halloween while they’re at it?  I mean really, it’s a holiday strictly geared towards setting kids loose in the neighborhood to collect enough candy to last them until Christmas.  Better yet, let’s ban the Easter Bunny.  That evil critter has gotten away with hooking kids on sweets for far too long. 

Absurd?  Of course, but this is the tactic employed by paternalistic governments like the board in Santa Clara County.  They want to break the link between fun and unhealthy food in the minds of kids.  But is any of this actually a child’s choice?  Not really.  A child has neither the money nor the means to make a fast food run.  Adults make the decisions about what they and their children consume.   But governments at all levels must make us out for morons because they are dead set on making the choices for us. 

The Happy Meal Massacre is far from the first time government has felt the need to shepherd us to a healthier lifestyle.  There was Prohibition, which instead of curtailing alcohol use led to bootlegging and fueled organized crime.  Then in the 1960s after a damaging government health report, cigarette and tobacco taxes turned punitive in nature, as Congress and the FCC waged an ad war, utilizing the “Fairness Doctrine” to provide free equal time for anti-smoking commercials.  Taxes have climbed so high that today there is a thriving black market for cigarettes.

Recently, nanny-staters turned their attention to high-calorie soft drinks.  Local and federal pressure has been applied to the beverage industry such that now we can refer to many K-12 schools as “dry” campuses.  Two states have soda taxes and more are contemplating them.  Never mind these drinks make up only 5.5% of the calories in an average American diet.  Pay no attention to the fact that obesity continues to go up despite a 10% drop in regular soda sales over the last decade.

The most recent bogeyman singled out for government assault is… salt.  After tackling trans fat, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on all restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily cut salt 50% in the next ten years.  Not to be outdone, State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn initiated legislation that would ban all salt from New York restaurants.  That’s right.  The bill reads:

“No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food”

With that stroke of genius, New York could go from the restaurant capital of the world to a place where even Londoners ridicule the blandness of a meal.

That’s just New York.  The entire country can look forward to what the FDA and the White House have in store.  The agency is taking unprecedented steps to limit the amount of salt in processed foods.   Setting the regulations will be a massive endeavor covering thousands of products across the entire $600 billion food industry.  From the White House, Mrs. Obama will lead a national awareness campaign, even though she admits “[t]here's no expert on this planet who says that the government telling people what to do actually does any good with this issue.”

Facts matter.  When it comes to health, the government doesn’t have a grasp of them any better than we do.  Every day there is a new study that eating X, Y, or Z is going to give us cancer or heart disease.  One day it’s saturated fat, the next it’s trans fat.  Atkins says carbohydrates are the devil.  If we’ve learned anything from our “studies” it’s that almost nothing is good in excess, and almost everything is fine in moderation.  

But with the passage of ObamaCare, the Feds now have a vested interest in controlling the cost of our health care, opening the door for them to pick through our pantries and tell us what is good and what is bad to consume.  The further problem is when government accepts responsibility for the people, the people no longer take responsibility for themselves.  People might stop taking care of their health altogether.  Is the government going to force us to eat our peas? Are they going to strap our feet to an exercise bike?

We all have our vices.  Some like to smoke (ahem, Mr. President).  Others drink a bit of scotch, while some, myself included, savor the sumptuous delights of a decadent meal.   Ultimately we should be taking responsibility for our actions (and our children’s actions) and rejecting the rise of the nanny state and its war on our diet.   I guess I had this place confused with America.

Our waistlines may not be shrinking, but our freedoms surely are.  Maybe I’ll go for a jog now… to an ice cream parlor before that gets banned.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said 'precious months' were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem…[more]
—Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?