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Argumentative: For the Flavor(议论文─利益)
送交者: 天边的红霞 2020年06月06日08:26:49 于 [五 味 斋] 发送悄悄话

2016-12-08

【Aiden in English】

        The point of living is to live a unique life, and to choose the direction it goes? We live for choices, and the choices define the person and the path he or she takes.  However little of a choice, it is a choice nevertheless. Yet still, not everyone thinks of soda as a choice, and even less believe it has much to do with destiny. Truthfully, soda is a start to an argument that may go on for ages, as the governor of New York has just issued a ban on large-size soda drinks. It is a choice that is being taken away, and how small it may seem, the dam can break from just the smallest cracks. The government therefore should not be able to regulate the amount of food and drink their citizens can purchase because of how much freedom is limited and little this helps the obesity crisis.

        Our country was founded on the basic idea of choice. The revolution was fueled by the dreams of choice and the longing for self-control. Since the start, America has always stood for free, but the modern era brings many issues violating these simple rights. The New York soda ban targets large-sized sodas, preventing citizens to purchase certain drinks quantities. This goes strictly against the ideals put forth by the founding fathers, and it ironically is being enforced by the government. People should have the ability to choose whether they want ketchup on their fries, or butter on their popcorn. “We are a country built on freedom” (Klein), and right now, these bans are breaking the foundations of the country. Besides, small cracks join with other cracks to form a larger breach in the dam. If these laws and bans are continuously passed, what is stopping the government from, say, total control? The ban on soda, even if it may not seems like it is risking the freedom of us now, violating the ideals of the past, and setting a dangerous path forward.

        As of 2010, the obesity percentage of those older than twenty had reached an all-time high of 35.7 percent(1). That's a near twenty percent increase from the 1960s, and if this trend continues, the obesity crisis will be everyone’s problem. Mayor Bloomberg plans to ban large-sized sodas in restaurants, which theoretically may help the obesity crisis. Truthfully, this ban will simply not work due to the contradictory holes within the implemented rules. If restaurants can’t sell two-liter bottles, what is stopping the consumers to buy multiple 16-ounce quantities of soda? It doesn’t change anything with obesity, because the buyer is still consuming the same amount of the drink as before the ban. Furthermore, why can’t the consumer simply buy from a, say, 7-Eleven? The ban of large drinks accounts for restaurants, but not for those convenience stores under the eyes of the state. Mayor Bloomberg, according to the Forbes 2016 list(2), was ranked as the sixth richest person in America. Ironically, it feels as if the entire idea of the soda ban is for business. Even when restaurants can’t sell large sizes, how come convenient stores can? Why does the government allow exceptions within this rule? Also, is it coincidental that the only stores which can legally sell large-sized sodas are under the influence of the government? If the government really wants to help the population, maybe it should begin by changing themselves.

        Throughout history, the ruling government, whether it was a dictatorship, monarchy, or a Parliament, always intervened in times of depression. Their decisions are made to help the people, and some believe this soda ban is just a way of the government showing their care for the public. Fortunately, this isn’t the medieval ages, and the society we live in today is a democratic society. The focus within this style of governing gives the people power and having a single person demanding a ban is not how this country is run. In fact, it may as well be a straight-up dictatorship. Mayor Bloomberg, having built a strong influence around him, nearly owns the entire government of New York City. He has appointed the Board of Health, which approves of the law. This board is meant to judge the decisions fairly, but when a man like Mayor Bloomberg’s power, he has the ability to control most of the power in the government. Even if everyday life doesn’t show it, Mayor Bloomberg has slowly taken over the system of governing. By abusing this power, he is limiting the people’s freedoms, and at the same time, gaining money himself.

        Choices have always presented themselves in life. They are there to make everybody unique. If the world accepts the ban, it is also accepting the idea of limiting freedom and rights. No matter how beneficial it may seem, Mayor Bloomberg cannot singlehandedly decide what the people have or are unable to obtain. There are many choices humans have no power over, but for those we do, we should make the most of them, without anyone holding us back.

Bibliography:

1. "Overweight and Obesity Statistics." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

2. "The Richest People in America." Forbes 400. n.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

【红霞译文】

        生活的焦点是否在于既要过得有个性又要活得有方向?大家为选择而生活,个人选择决定了人生道路,哪怕再小的选择都是选择。但是,并非每个人都把苏打饮料当成选择来看,更不相信它会跟命运扯到一起。事实上,针对纽约州长刚刚对大瓶苏打饮料颁布禁令,苏打饮料可能成为男女老少争论的首要话题,选择权就这样被剥夺,别看它微不足道,但祸患常积于忽微,政府不能规定老百姓该买多少吃的喝的,限制自由未必有助于缓解肥胖危机。

        我们国家建立在选择基本理念之上,追求选择与渴望自制推动了历史变革。自从联邦共和立宪制度成立以来,美国一直主张自由,直到现代社会才出现许多违反民生权利问题。纽约苏打饮料禁令拿大瓶包装开刀,限制市民购买数量,政府部门公然违反开国元勋所倡导的思想,令人啼笑皆非。市民应该有权选择炸薯条蘸番茄酱或者爆米花拌奶油,毕竟“我们是一个建立在自由之上的国家”(克莱因),如今这些禁令破坏了国家基本原则,“千里之堤溃于蚁穴”,一旦这类法律禁令继续泛滥,民众还有什么办法阻止官方专制呢?喜不喜欢苏打饮料另当别论,但禁令本身让我们有失去自由的危险,不仅有悖于传统理念,而且影响未来进步。

        截止到2010年,廿岁以上肥胖比率已达35%并创历史新高(1),这比20世纪60年代增加了几近20%,如果按照该种趋势继续发展,那么肥胖危机将是每个人的问题。彭博市长计划禁止餐馆出售大瓶苏打饮料,理论上有助于缓解肥胖危机,实际上却因实施条例中有不少规则自相矛盾,所以这项禁令根本行不通。假如餐馆不允许出售2升瓶装苏打饮料,那么消费者是不是可以购买若干个16盎司听装产品?因为买主仍旧消费禁令前消费的同等数量,所以丝毫没有改变肥胖现状。此外,消费者为何不能去7-11便利店打点所需呢?禁令只适用于餐馆,而对州政府眼皮底下的便利店却没有任何限制。根据2016年福布斯排行榜(2),彭博市长名列全美第六富豪,苏打饮料禁令似乎为了迎合生意,真是“项公舞剑意在沛公”。餐馆不能推销大瓶饮料,为什么便利店却可以呢?莫非政府允许在规定的范围内搞特殊化?在政府的影响下,唯有便利店才能合法出售大瓶苏打饮料,难道是巧合吗?如果政府真想普渡众生,也许应该从改变自身做起。

        纵观历史, 执政当局无论是专指政权、君主制还是议会体制在萧条时期经常出面干预市场,但他们本着为民服务的原则。有人认为苏打饮料禁令则是政府纯粹为了打造公众形象,幸亏这不是中世纪年代,今天我们生活在一个民主社会,政府治理之道在于赋予人民权力,国家不是靠个人制定法规来运作的,事实上,这样也许会导致独裁统治。彭博市长影响力极强,几乎可以左右整个纽约市府,由他钦命的卫生委员会批准该项禁令生效,卫生委员会本应主持公道,可是一旦遇到像彭博市长这样重要级人物当权,他肯定说一不二。尽管平常觉察不出,但彭博市长逐渐掌管各部门机构,通过滥用职权而限制民主自由,同时又从中获益。

        人的一生始终离不开选择,选择让人与众不同。如果全世界都接纳这个禁令,那么也就等于允许限制民生自由与个人权利,但甭管利益多少,彭博市长不能单方面决定市民该有什么或不要什么。人类面对多种选择往往优柔寡断,“箩里选瓜越拣越差”,因此对于那些能做出选择的应尽力把握,勿让任何人阻挡我们。

参考书目:

1. 《超重与肥胖统计》:美国国立卫生研究院、美国卫生与福利部,网络:二〇一六年十二月八日。

2. 《美国富豪》:福布斯美国400富豪榜,出版地点不详,日期不详,网络:二〇一六年十二月九日

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