We're a little late to the party as this story has been blowing up on the conservative interwebs this past week and rightly so because it really is the free-market feel-good story of the year.
Recall the Happy Meal ban put in place in San Francisco where McDonald's was prohibited from including any toys with said meal.
Don't get us wrong. We despise McDonald's. Not for their ubiquitous success nor for their LSD-inspired characters but simply because they serve up the worst hamburgers known to mankind. We haven't had one of their burgers in probably 15 years such is the revulsion with which our digestive tract greets them.
Having said that, we are pleased as punch with respect to this free-market end-around to the benevolent liberal fascism being imposed on the citizenry of San Francisco.
A ban against toy giveaways with high-fat meals doesn’t seem to have fazed San Francisco McDonald’s franchise owners. They’ve found a way to circumvent it.
Instead of doing away with the small Happy Meal toys that usually come free with each Happy Meal purchased, San Francisco McDonald’s owners will now charge 10 cents for the trinket. They say the extra money will go toward the Ronald McDonald House, a McDonald’s charity that supports sick children and their families.
Scott Rodrick, owner of 10 of the 19 McDonald’s in San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the 10 cent cost “complies with the letter of the law.
“This law is not what my customers wanted or asked for, but the law’s the law,” he told the newspaper.
Your dern tootin' it's the law and there are unintended consequences to such laws that are solely about politics and not public health as so ably demonstrated by Mr. Rodrick.
And cue the nanny state whining:
But Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Center, supports the toy ban, saying that the toys and the trinkets “clearly goad children to prefer and request less nutritional meals.”
He said the 10-cent charge shifts the toy, and less nutritious meals, from default mode and into parental decision-making.
Without any goading whatsoever, we would've preferred Fruit Loops and Skittles at every meal while growing up but Mom and Dad had other ideas. Slouching off parental responsibilities upon corporations is counter-intuitive, counter-productive and completely misses the point.
The government leveraging the law to alter the menus of fast food restaurants as a replacement to sound parenting makes about as much sense as it sounds.
Thank you, Mr. Rodrick, you've made our week.