In predictable obeisance to all things commercial, the John Locke Foundation objects today to restraints on advertising directed to children for products that are ruining their health. In this case, JLF is spending Art Dope's money to whine about Europe's swift and powerful reaction to their own emerging obesity epidemic.
While some critics of soda machines and cola ads mouth a broadly anti-capitalist critique, the usual justification for banning them is childhood obesity. In Europe, soft-drink companies themselves decided that the prospect of regulators blaming them for kiddie flab was so dire that they needed to announce last week a “voluntary” ban on advertising to children under 12. They also said they would eliminate soda machines in primary schools while increasing the availability of non-carbonated drinks in secondary schools.
He blubbers on . . .
Advertising to children is not a villainous act. Indeed, there are some authors who even argue that such advertising helps more than it hurts families by reducing the price and improving the quality of the products they consume, while ensuring that children actually like the clothes and enjoy the toys they are given.
Sorry John, but your column is total, total, total, total bullshit.
It is the job of parents first and public policy makers second to stem the tidal wave of negative impacts that advertisers and media have on our children. Later this month, a new study in Pediatrics will show that the toxic media environment is quite literally killing our children, and that parents and policy makers are completely ineffective in countering these disastrous effects.
THERE IS NO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO FREE COMMERCIAL SPEECH. The word "corporation" does not appear in the Constitution. Our country is about "we the people" not "we the businesses."
When companies deliver products and advertising that undermines the health of our children,"We the People" have every right to stop them in their deadly tracks.
Wingers like John Hood and his sugar daddy Art Pope are so dedicated to a libertarian view of the world that they can't even see the tragic costs of their delusions. They don't understand that the common good matters. That protecting children matters. That people need help. That everyone isn't rich.
And that, dear reader, is the difference between the radical right and the progressive left.