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Santa Clara Bans Happy Meal Toys

April 28, 2010

You can see the news story here: NY Times.

I strive to keep this blog apolitical, so I’m going to be reserved about whether or not the county of Santa Clara is wrong to ban the toys.  But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is wrong to market McDonald’s cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets to children.

Now, interesting question here.  Is it okay to ban a practice just because it’s wrong?  There are plenty of behaviors, like cheating on one’s spouse, that are immoral, but we wouldn’t want to see it criminalized because that would make an intrusion of the government on people’s private lives.  (I noticed that the people who are backlashing against this law think that Santa Clara is interfering with people’s freedom to eat cheeseburgers.  The law limits McDonald’s freedom.)  On the other hand, there’s the precedent of Joe Camel.  The Joe Camel cartoon marketed an unhealthy product, cigarettes, to children, and I don’t think anybody objects to this ban anymore.

On a related note, how do executives of fast food restaurants sleep at night?

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