When you think of fair, honest politics with little or no bias or hidden agenda, you think “Chicago.”

Who knows what’s up their sleeves on this one, but I’m sure time will tell.

Chicago aldermen are angry because fast-food places in that city continue to use oils containing trans-fats, and they want the CEO’s of these places to appear before them and fess up:

Chicago aldermen called Wednesday for the chief executives of major chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks to come to City Hall to explain their use of trans fat oils, which have been linked to cholesterol problems and an increased risk of heart disease.Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who proposes restricting the use of trans fat oils by chain restaurants, said he wants to ask the corporate chiefs, “Why, in light of all the scientific evidence, are you continuing to prepare food in this clearly unhealthy way?”  

Let’s say we give the aldermen their wish. Let’s force McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC to close their doors forever. Aside from driving Brian Dennehy to commit suicide, what would this accomplish? For many, standing in the unemployment line would be a slimming experience, so maybe the goal would be reached at least as it concerns former employees of these places. However, I’d be willing to bet that the Gary, Indiana Hot & Now would triple their business in the following year — until they fell victim to a moronic City Council as well.

In the real world though, lawyers and lawmakers are careful to not overdo it and shut down those businesses that make things that are “bad” for us. After all, it’s not about health, it’s about money. Lawyers and the government need these businesses to flourish if they’re going to be able to pay gigantic settlements and/or remain extortion-ready. The government and lawyers want cigarette manufacturers, fast-food joints, and other businesses that make things that are “unhealthy” for us to go out of business about as bad as Jesse Jackson wants to rid the world of bigotry and poor people.

This fast-food flap comes on the heels of Wal-Mart’s 1-1 record against the Chicago City Council. The Council approved the construction of a 150,000-square-foot store in a poor, largely black and Hispanic neighborhood on the city’s West Side. However, they rejected the construction of a Wal-Mart in a racially diverse, middle class south-side area.

The Wal-Mart argument stemmed over concerns about what are described as their low paying jobs and lack of health care — obviously things the Chicago City Council feels are only appropriate for really poor areas of town.

Back to the subject of girth, Mens Fitness magazine recently announced that Chicago is the fattest city in the nation. As a result, there have even been calls to ban fast food in the Windy/Tubby City. This should drive Al Gore nuts, since thousands of people firing up their SUV’s to drive to Indiana or the ‘burbs to fulfill their Big Mac dreams would surely melt a few inches off the polar ice caps, only to pile further onto Chicago waistlines.

Chances are that, by the time this is over, the fast food places remain, and more than one politician ends up with fatter pockets. Why do I suspect there’s more to this than just caring so much for the health of fellow human beings? Because Chicago has some of the toughest ethical laws in place for politicians, but is among the nation’s elite as far as ethical violations (and those are just the ones we know about). When the ethical violators are the ones who write the ethical laws, what is accomplished? The ethical “laws” end up with more loopholes than the wall between a high school girls’ locker room and the wood shop.

The U.S. surgeon general has said that obesity is the chief cause of death of an estimated 300,000 Americans each year, and costs $117 billion in health-related costs, including treatments for heart disease, high blood pressure, and herniated pall bearers.

This, however, it’s not the fault of fast food restaurants that Chicago’s floorboards are buckling in record numbers. Here’s the reason: People like that stuff. As a result, there’s big money in it, and where there’s big money, you’ll find a politician threatening to ban it unless he’s cut in.

If we could only get trans-fat battling politicians as interested in getting rid of all that unhealthy pork in politics.



Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.