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The New Jersey Counter-Obesity Agency

Usually, when a person is in some peculiar way displeased with his life, the first thing that comes to his mind is, Why doesn’t my state government have an agency to deal with this problem?

A fair question.

Residents of New Jersey labor under such despair less often, since the Garden State already has an agency for just about everything. And now, Jerseyans have finally been granted the right to be thin with the introduction of the brand new New Jersey Counter-Obesity Agency. Suited men with backpack vacuums will roam the mean streets of Newark, Camden, and Trenton. No lipid will escape the devouring maw of this new state agency. It’s thinness from here on out.

Oh, but you may be skeptical. You may see Fred M. Jacobs, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, on the street. And you may ask Fred, How, precisely, will the Official New Jersey Fat Response Unit prevent fatness? Isn’t it a personal liberty issue? But you underestimate Fred. All New Jersey agencies have public relations departments, and the Flab Squad is no exception.

“I want to do that without creating a further stigma on individual people,” Fred replies. “It’s bad enough when you’re fat that people think less of you. I don’t want the government piling on.”

Oh. Marvel, friends! Kneel, and avert! Behold a model bureaucracy! Not one full day old, and yet its self-justifying charter been etched into indelible granite. The New Jersey Obesity Reduction Task Force and Rapid Response Squad will: 1) Not do anything with respect to individual people, since they are stigmatized enough, and 2) Will not allow the government to “pile on” writ large. It must eliminate obesity, and yet it is prevented from doing anything towards that goal. It shall exist forever, producing ream after ream of reports about how its continued existence is 51% likely to be absolutely necessary.

Also, it anticipates costs going up next year.


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