Last week, New York City’s Panel for Educational Policy approved a new rule for school bake sales. Home-made treats are no-no, but pre-approved packaged products, the ones that are also in school vending machines, are fine.I probably shouldn't be shocked, but I am shocked at just how far the nanny state has progressed in our country. If you've taken my second course in public sector economics you should also recognize this as yet another illustration of BOOTLEGGERS & BAPTISTS at work to help the local vending operators be successful rent seekers.
The bake sale ban is supposed to reduce childhood obesity. An education bureaucrat explained that homemade goods can’t be allowed because it’s impossible to know their portion size and content. You may add raisins to your banana bread and slice it thin, while I add walnuts and cut it thick.
Hence banana bread, cupcakes and anything else baked at home have been banished; but kids are free to gorge on Kellogg’s Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, which come in portion-controlled packages and have known ingredients—in fact a long list of ingredients from high fructose corn syrup to yellow dye #6.
This is a vivid little example of how regulation in general functions and the impact it has in many areas of social life.
One, regulators are almost always influenced by the industry involved and work to its advantage— the NYC schools’ chosen vending operator plans to sell “fund-raising kits” of packaged products.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Obesity Bake Sales
Chidem Kurdas comments on New York city's BAN ON HOME BAKED GOODS at school bake sales: