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Space-Age Vending Machine Says No Nachos for You!

By: Frank Worley-Lopez - Dec 11, 2014, 2:31 pm

A few years back there was a joke making the rounds on the internet about buying pizza in a nanny-state world. Although there were variations, the joke went something like this: a guy calls a pizza place and asks for a large pepperoni. The operator stops him and says he has already had his fill of pepperoni for this month, and he is way over his cheese quota. He also mentions that his cholesterol is high and he is a borderline diabetic, so he can have a tofu pizza.

“Where did you get all of that information,” the caller demands?

“Well, from your public records … from the government.”

The latest in vending-machine technology, with facial recognition, and soft paternalism. (Telegraph)
The latest in vending-machine technology, with facial recognition for soft paternalism. (Telegraph)

It is not a joke anymore. A new vending machine has been released and is about to hit the coffee-break room near you. It can tell you when you can and cannot buy junk food. That’s right folks, a vending machine that tells you what you can eat.

A report in the Telegraph indicates the new vending machines use facial-recognition software to determine who you are and your dietary restrictions. The Luce X 2 vending machine was debuted in October of this year.

The machine can learn your preferences, but it can also deny sales based on age, medical records, daily nutrition requirements, and even your purchasing history. You’ve already bought a pack of smokes today? Well, sorry, you’ve had enough. Bought too many lottery tickets? Sorry, you’ll just have to wait till the next drawing.

Each unit can be programmed to meet the owner’s desires or personal limitations, but how long before this becomes a government mandated set of restrictions? Not possible? Think again.

In March of this year the UK Health Department ordered restaurants to cut the sizes of pizzas and other items to lower the caloric intake of the populace. Obamacare has regulations on food labeling, and who can forget the banning of trans fats and sodas of a certain size in New York City?

Ronald Reagan famously said, “the scariest words in the English language are, ‘I’m here from the government and I’m here to help.'” Reagan nailed it.

Yet since the Supreme Court approval of the mandatory clause of the Affordable Care Act, government really has no limits, as long as they include a tax (that isn’t a tax, until it is) to enforce the mandate. You don’t want to do it? No problem; just pay a tax. There is also no limit on how high that tax can be.

Another US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of the “military-industrial complex.” In all honesty, that doesn’t worry me anymore. What worries me is the “corporate-government complex.” The cronies are likely waxing the palms of political coffers as we speak getting ready to introduce test legislation at the state or local level to implement mandatory use of these kinds of machines. The proposal will likely be sold as a away to help dieters and protect children and a tax.

So where will they get all of the age, dietary restrictions, and health information from? Do you really have to ask?

Not to rub it in, (okay I’m really rubbing it in) but smokers have been saying this was coming for years. Once you regulate personal behavior in the name of health and cost to others, you open the door to total regulation for everyone.  As I have said many times before, “granting government power over something you hate, is granting government power over something you love; it’s not a slippery slope, it is historical fact.”