Five Guys’ cheeseburgers aren’t killing anyone

NYTimes writer Timothy Egan spotlights what he doesn’t know about diet and health. The diet-heart hypothesis was debunked long ago. No doubt Egan missed that development because he was working within the NYTimes’ anti-science force field.

Read “Burgers, Fries and Lies.”

13 thoughts on “Five Guys’ cheeseburgers aren’t killing anyone”

  1. Your comment applies to all regulated mandates such as providing meal breaks, yet businesses flourish. One driver for the health insurance mandate is that sick people who have no insurance often become uncompensated care, and that cost is shifted to those employers who provide insurance. So harm to some firms would be benefits to others. The costs to society increase only if utilization expands. But even that possibility is not too bad when one considers that so much of health care is delivered to those with less than one year of remaining life.

    The question of “almost” is interesting. The crime rate in New York City in the 1970’s was so high (over 2,000 murders a year, for example) to be physically depressing. City inhabitants failed the “almost” test with respect to being good neighbors. New York City still has crimes (under 500 murders a year) but almost all inhabitants are law abiding, New York is one of the safest large cities..

  2. The real question is this: when did it become the business of any level of government to see that people have health insurance and that the insurance matches the government’s diktat?
    It may be appropriate at the state level to vet insurance providers for financial stability. What services to cover, how much to charge, whether an employer offers the coverage or the individual seeks it personally — these are questions for individuals, employers and providers to work out as private parties in the private sector. It’s called “liberty”.
    The usual response is, “We can’t turn anyone away, so how do we get paid?” (or some variation thereon). Pardon me, but that’s not a reason to overthrow everyone’s liberty. The obvious answer is to seek voluntary private-sector charitable help for those who can’t pay their bills. People can then contribute charity that matches their own ideas of how much they can give for other people’s needs instead of using the government to demand “charity.”

  3. How close is “almost”? What happens in the transition period? Do all business wait until the “drop dead” date and then add insurance or is it a slow transition? If the cost of the insurance drives up the cost of the service to where people won’t pay, does that not cause harm? People cant live without a lot of services and do when they become expensive.

  4. Economics tell us that you can not be a lone provider of health care for low wage employees. You will lose market share to those who don’t. Thus the stable positions are when almost nobody provides health care (Now) and when almost everybody provides health care (Mandate). Business establishments survive either way.

  5. Why doesn’t anyone ask the obvious questions? Would the 5 guys employees rather have job and no insurance, or no job and no insurance? And, why do they choose to work for place that doesn’t value their labor highly enough to pay for insurance? Are the employee’s skills marketable enough to demand insurance from any prospective employee?

  6. Maybe they should check out a small health food store and see if they are paying for employee’s health insurance. I’ll bet they won’t like the answer. This whole health insurance mandate is going to kill business faster than the burgers will kill any human.

  7. The column tackles two very different topics as if they were related and is, I believe, wrong on both.
    Regarding the employees at Five Guys and health insurance: probably most of the people making and serving the burgers are relatively young and relatively healthy. I’m also sure that many of them are family members of a household that does have insurance through a primary wage earner. I’m sure that, out of 1,000 shops, there are employees who are neither young nor healthy and I’m sure some of them wind up getting uncompensated health care. The number and amount of money is probably pretty low. No, I can’t prove that, but that would be consistent with demographics at Burger King or McDonald’s.
    Second, as our host notes, the link between diet, cholesterol and heart disease is far weaker than the column states. A steady diet at the high end of Five Guys or McDonald’s is probably a bit hard on the digestion and it might affect people who are sensitive to dietary fat. An occasional enjoyment of such a meal is safe.
    But this is a NYT column, so it meets expectations.

  8. Steve,
    You should leave a comment on that article to inject some actual facts and science into the NYT comment section …

  9. “Last year, the uninsured cost the system $39.3 billion. Guess whom the expenses are passed on to?”

    There is no “system.” His ilk want a system.

    It’s clever how the writer leaps from the RDU franchisee to the corporate earnings of a billion dollars, creating an illusion of wealth for the individual franchisee.

    I recommend Mr. Ruffer sell off 6 of his stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.