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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

San Francisco's City Government at its "Best" - McDonald's Toy Ban

So our Board of Supervisors (or what I call the Stupidvisors) approved a law where fast food restaurants that serves higher than a set standard on fat, sugar, and other content, cannot give away free toys with their meals. Basically, the is targeting the McDonald's "Happy Meal," but can also affect other fast food chains in the city as well.

But from what this article from the Chronicle says, the owner of a majority of the McDonald's in the city found a creative way to go around it, just have the toy sold as a separate item.

I've known that this law is a joke from the start. Instead of selling a $5 Happy Meal with a free toy, just sell the meal itself for $4.99 and charge the customer an additional one cent to "purchase" the toy." In the end, it's still $5 for the meal and the toy.

Here's another way to look at the argument: Let's say buying a pack of cigarettes comes with a pack of matches free; a city law similar to the Happy Meal toy ban makes it illegal to give away the matches for free, so therefore a business can easily just "sell" the matches for a penny. If the law was different where selling matches was banned, then one can argue in court that a cake shop can't sell them too so customers can light birthday candles on their cake.

So Board of Supervisors... what's the point of the "ban" on giveaway toys in kids meals, when the way around it is so simple? Is this just a way to encourage us San Francisco citizens to go across the border into Daly City (San Mateo County) and pay a smaller sales tax?


BBnet3000 said...

Liberals (im using this as a description, not as a pejorative) need to stick to laws that help people, not tell them what to do.

Mark Taylor said...

From what I have read, this was really a "feel good" law. It made Mar and others think there were fighting childhood obesity. It does nothing of the sort. It also interferes with personal choice. It ought to be for the parent, not the city, to decide about buying happy meals with toys. McDonald's found a clever way around it by selling them for ten cents and using the proceeds for Ronald McDonald house. Bully for them and the famous Brooklyn razz for Mar and the super dolts who voted for it!