We have in fact performed this experiment. We generally call it the 20th century. It is not possible for us – or any subgroup of us – to successfully plan the economy according to our desires. We can indeed manage to entirely screw it up by trying, possibly nudge it mildly in one direction or another by pressures upon the tiller of state – interest rates, say, fiscal deficits. But detailed planning of who does what, where, for how much and whereby, no, we’ve shown this does work. Anyone standing at the Brandenburg Gate and surveying the rubble of East Germany in 1989 knows this.
So, what happens? We get the old delusion back but in another guise:
Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government plans to cap the calories in thousands of meals sold in restaurants and supermarkets.
Pies, ready meals and sandwiches will also be subject to the new proposed calorie limits, in a desperate bid to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.
Under the draft proposals, a standard pizza for one should contain no more than 928 calories – far less than many sold by takeaways, restaurants and shops. And the recommendations suggest that a savoury pie should contain no more than 695 calories.
Public Health England (PHE) said “drastic” measures were needed to combat Britain’s obesity crisis.
Their plans will see recommended limits on thousands of regularly consumed foods, including cooking sauces, soups, burgers and processed meats.
No, really, they want to measure the calorie content of pizzas to within 0.1%. That is what one calorie in one thousand is, a tenth of a percentage point. There are how many food outlets of all types in the country? One hundred thousand? And they want to make sure that the calorie count is less than this, to that 0.1%? How do you even measure the calorie count of a cooked and prepared item of food to that level of detail? And what army of people is required to attempt it?
These people are mad. Gripped by one of those extraordinary popular delusions, a madness of crowds, that Charles McKay so warned us about. And yet we’ve got to pay for these fools with our tax money? Fire them all and confiscate their pensions, selling them into bondage not being quite in tune with the mores of today, and definitely plough the soil with the salt they so despise.
As a pendant has pointed out, it should be or fewer in the headline