The Great Debate
Recently, the FDA took the process of turning everything in life into profit and loss to an absurd level. A series of FDA regulations that go into effect this year require that chain restaurants, grocery store chains selling prepared food, large vending machine operators, movie theaters and amusement parks all display calorie counts on their menus. Within that document is an estimate that this caloric information will cause consumers to “suffer” up to $5.27 billion in “lost pleasure” over 20 years by virtue of fewer french fries and other fattening favorites. Assuming a U.S. population of about 320 million, this means that we are each going to lose about $18,000 worth of pleasure over the next 20 years. For those of us who don’t usually think of the price of happiness in dollars, that seems like many quanta of sorrow.
President Barack Obama is laying down his marker Tuesday with his State of the Union Address. He told a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats last week, “I’m not going to spend the next two years on defense. I’m going to play offense.”