Energy Drinks may be banned entirely in Chicago, if an ordinance proposed by Alderman Edward M. Burke passes. Chicago has numerous problems, including falling home prices, major gang violence, and budget issues; perhaps the city council could bother to focus on actual concerns to the residents of Chicago.
Michelle Minton of Human Events discusses the possible motives of Burke, making a case that there is not conclusive evidence that highly caffeinated beverages have an adverse impact on health. She observes, "Whatever the motives of the bureaucrats, lawmakers, and self-styled "public health" advocates who call to ban or restrict certain products, their proposals are bad policy in every context." Minton correctly notes that it should not be the call of a lawmaker or bureaucrat to determine what a responsible adult can determine for him or herself.
Chicago rated #4 on Forbes list of the "most miserable cities" this week, written by Kurt Badenhausen. He cites "plummeting home prices", high foreclosure rates, and "a net migration out of the city of 107,000 people the past five years." Not to mention the massive problems with the education systemÂ—although teachers average the largest salaries in the country, Chicago has one of the highest high school dropout rates in America. Out of the entire education budget, an astounding 71% goes to "pension and health care costs," as reported by Jeff Tucek of Champion News. Energy drinks clearly should be the least of their worries.
On top of all this, violent gang-related crime in Chicago is legendary. Despite being the "nation's most gun-controlled city," as reported by Invester's Business Daily, the city has a murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people (Compare to 4.8 per 100,000 citizens in America as a whole in 2011), with a whopping 80% of those murders being gang-related. It is reminiscent of the ridiculous ban on the sale of large sizes of sugary drinks. New York, by the way, is #10 on the Forbes listÂ—is there a trend developing?
Despite all of Chicago's actual problems, Alderman Edward M. Burke, described as the "City Council's most powerful alderman," by Fran Spielman of the Sun Times, has taken it upon himself to focus instead on what Chicago adults are allowed to drink. His ordinance says, "No person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish any energy drink." If someone were to (gasp) violate this directive, he or she could be subject to a fine of up $500 for each offense. The push by Burke to regulate caffeinated beverages just goes to show how completely disconnected some lawmakers are from reality.
Image Source: Policia News