Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Common sense and personal responsibility
Have you caught wind of the Happy Meal laws floating around the country? They’ve been around awhile. Last year, San Francisco became the first major city to require that McDonald's Happy Meals and other restaurants' meals for children meet certain nutritional standards before they can be sold with toys. Now it looks like fast-food companies are fighting back by asking state legislators to remove restaurant marketing from local governments’ regulatory menu. As a McDonald’s shareholder, I say, “It’s about time!” I can remember when I was a kid going to the grocery store with my folks. The big treat: Picking out which cereal to buy. I’d walk up and down the aisle checking them all out. I didn’t give a hoot about the cereal; I only wanted the toy inside. How about Cracker Jacks? Yeah, the caramel popcorn and peanuts was good. The truth is, though, the toy prize at the bottom of the box was the big deal. But did my parents buy me a case of cereal or crate popcorn to pig out on? No way. One box that had to last two weeks. First we were too poor. And second my parents knew darn well that too much of that stuff wasn’t good for me. They’d didn’t have any government-sponsored studies telling them that pigging out on anything can make you fat. They just knew … I guess it was something called common sense and personal responsibility. So now we have wimpy legislators who are getting pressured by blocks of voters who don’t have the backbone to tell their kids that they can’t stop for a Big Mac, large fries and gallon of soda every time they hop in the car! What’s really sad is that all the laws in the land won’t help these kids one bit. They’re still going to overeat and sit on their butts too much. And the lawyers and politicians who want to control every aspect of our lives will continue to fatten their wallets on the backs of shareholders and ultimately the taxpayers. Best wishes, George P.S. I’m now on Twitter. Follow me at http://twitter.com/efinancialwrite for frequent updates, personal insights and observations on how to have a healthly retirement. If you don’t have a Twitter account, sign up today at http://www.twitter.com/signup and then click on the ‘Follow’ button from http://twitter.com/efinancialwrite to receive updates on either your cell phone or Twitter page.