William Saroyan wrote that in San Francisco, “every block is a short story, every hill a novel.” And now, it seems, every meal is a political dispute.
Recently, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to prohibit fast food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that don’t meet their bureaucratically-determined criteria. The measure has become commonly known as "the Happy Meal Ban.” Despite Mayor Gavin Newsom’s opposition, the law is likely to take effect because the Board had enough votes to override his veto. This measure is a clear example of government overreaching its power.
For some parents, Happy Meals are a way to reward children for good behavior; for others, they're a way to have a good time with their kids; and for still others, they're a hassle-free way to eat out. Moderation when it comes to food is important, but these decisions are best made by parents, not politicians.
There is nothing wrong with taking a child out for a Happy Meal, and this is not a proper target for government intervention. Part of living in a free society is being able to raise your child free of bureaucratic busy-bodies. So on November 20, 2010, consider taking your child for a Happy Meal to celebrate the fact that you still have that right. It’s something that San Francisco residents no longer have.
For more information about the event, or to schedule an interview with CEI staff, please contact Lee Doren at Ldoren@cei.org or 202-331-2259, or Nicole Ciandella at Nciandella@cei.org or 202-331-2373.