For the November issue of the magazine, The Atlantic's editor in chief interviewed Michael Bloomberg about some of his boldest views and decisions. Here is the full transcript of their conversation.
I'd love to start out with the campaign against the sugar-industrial complex, and then hopefully a little bit about national policy and politics -- some of what you covered in the economy speech -- and get to journalism if there is time.
So starting there, what do you say to the people who respond to this campaign by saying you are infringing on their ability to take responsibility for themselves?
I have two questions to ask -- answer -- first. One, what is the responsibility of government? And then, how do you pick the issues to go fight? I think the responsibility of government is not to keep people from doing things that are --
[A staffer interrupts to inform the mayor that the city's Board of Health has passed the soda ban, with eight "aye"votes and one abstention.]
We staged it to come during there! Sometimes you get lucky. We didn't stage the attack in Libya correctly, given my speech yesterday -- anyway, I think it's government's job not to ban things but to give you information and let you make the decision. So calorie counts would do that. Portion control is a graphical or physical way of giving you information in terms of how much sugar you're consuming, and whatever. Prohibiting you from smoking in places is information -- it also, unlike these other things, is required, if you're going to protect other people from the smoker's action.