The laws of New York City (not from *The Onion*)

Here is a new one:

Months after it barred schools from holding most food fundraisers, the city says bake sales can go on–as long as no homemade treats with undisclosed calorie counts grace the fold-out tables. The new regulation, designed to combat ever-increasing childhood obesity, limits bake sales to "fresh fruits and vegetables, or one of 27 specific packaged items" that include low-fat Doritos, Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars (blackberry only) and Linden’s Cookies (butter crunch, chocolate chip or fudge chip cookies in two cookie packs) among other things.

The article is here and hat tip goes to Elmira Bayrasli.


If you criminalize Rice Krispy Treats, then only the criminals will have Rice Krispy Treats

I was not even aware that schools ever permitted bake sales during school hours, I never heard of one in the Fairfax county schools my children attended.

Huh?? Are you trying to make some sort of sophistic point of "during school hours" that has nothing to do with this issue, or ... what is your point???

Surprised about the lack thus far of comments on the frightening implications of gov't "sanctioned brands." Who do I bribe to get my company's name on the Approved Bake Sale List™? -- jesus what is wrong with america

Mmmmm delicious delicious corporatism. /sarc

Anyway, this is pretty absurd. Leave it to the nany staters to figure another way to restrict market entry and fund raising. (Btw the left is now targeting not for profits, so be careful out there).

Well, that's great news for Linden's Cookies, Inc.

Sitting quietly on their texbooks for 7 hours a day so that the school runs conveniently doesn't have anything to do with obesity.

So, Ken, what happens to a Granny who dares to bring a homemade pie to a cafeteria? She gets arrested - cuffs and all? On what charges? What will be her criminal record then? Will she be considered a terrorist for fighting the Oh-Michelle-Said-We-Stop-Obesity policy?

"that include low-fat Doritos"

Ha, that's like the people who order a venti java chip frappucino with extra caramel sauce -- oh, and no whipped cream. You wouldn't want any fat to adulterate your sugar heap.

I'll take one Linden's cookie and one packet of fat-free Doritos, and throw in a Nutri-Grain Cereal Bar (BLACKBERRY ONLY). President Obama and the Great State of New York said they won't make me a fat waste of space when I grow up to be a drain on the future universal healthcare system.

Your tax dollars at work. Always plenty of money to pay bureaucrats a large salary to sit around making intrusive rules and micromanaging other people's lives.

One hears that the City of New York is also publicly humiliating school children by weighing them in class and announcing how much they are 'overweight'. The stupid people who are doing this are nothing but self-righteous, narrow minded bullies. So sure they are right. So heartlessly cruel, so willing to humiliate and embarrass others for some tiny unproven benefit. How can any supposed benefit in the children's "health" justify such tactics? What about their EMOTIONAL HEALTH and well being? Don't they have any rights of privacy, of dignity? Apparently not. They are 'too fat', and thus have no rights at all.

Bernard, you guys trip me out. This place has the best read commenters on the web.

Making false claims is one thing, but there is no reason to be up to date on every dumbass thing some committee concocts. the whole point of economics is not to have to know the 1001 dumb ways to do stuff, it's about being able to know the one right way.

They lost me at the idea that they were going to combat 'the obesity epidemic' by regulating bake sales. My feeling is that they don't like food fundraisers because they don't get the money, but oops! since they don't say that explicitly "we don't like bake sales because we don't get the kickbacks," I guess I'm just being a silly libertarian making silly assumptions about human beings tend to behave.

Oh, and you guys are introducing inaccuracy by your "it's no big deal, read the regulation." It is a big deal according to students who:
"are used to having bake sales several times a month. Now, Yardain Amron, a sophomore basketball player, laments that his team will not be able to raise money for a new scoreboard."

It is a change, and it is a negative one for the students who held these sales. And it is also irrelevant to make the claim that essentially says "don't worry, this stupid policy is only a little stupider that the previous stupid standard."

When I have reams and reams of stuff to read by smart people am I going to read NYC school district regs? That's a "hell no."

I'm torn on the public humiliation of fat kids because at that age a lot of the blame falls on the parents. How can we incentive fat people to lose weight, especially if it won't necessarily be reflected in insurance premiums?

Here's a hint, Paul. Adults humiliating kids is a bad idea. (period).

anon - great point - thanks

And kids humiliating other kids because of what they have heard their parents or their teachers or Michelle Obama say is right up there as a bad idea...

If kids went outside more often to run around and play or fight instead of sitting in front of computer games, that would get rid of the obesity issue. Only the kids who sit around doing nothing need to watch calories, but they're still sitting around. We need to bring back recess and gym class, or at least chase after kids with a stick just to get them into running.

Mmm.... processed nutro-bars are so much better for you than homemade goodies...

"So we can have as many bake sales as we like in evenings and weekends, and once a month during the school day, but just not in the cafeteria."


How much food are you going to sell at a school on evenings and weekends? The point is not that certain arbitrary rules imposed from on high are not really so bad; the point is that there are arbitrary rules being imposed from on high at all. These rules unfairly pick winners (e.g. Doritos) and losers (e.g. kids who want new scoreboards).

The role of government is not supposed to include arbitrarily giving some groups advantages over other groups, but those are increasingly the consequences of many regulations.

So we can have as many bake sales as we like in evenings and weekends,

Yes, that's a wonderful alternative, especially since so many students are on school grounds during the evenings and weekends.

and once a month during the school day, but just not in the cafeteria.

Yes, that'll work really well. You get one day a month to make enough money to fund your activity and the costs of the baked goods. One day. Which really means the 3 hours or so students are not in class. And you have to compete with all the other bake sales.

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