Soda Pop guru John Nese makes the case for limited government


John Nese of Galcos Soda Pop in Los Angeles has an infectiously optimistic vibe to him. He started working there with his father when he was five years old and still has a childlike charm. The store he works for has been around since 1897, so it’s a good bet that he knows a thing or two about running a business.

First things first: he’s able to establish that there is indeed a difference between capitalism and crony capitalism:

About ten or eleven years ago the Pepsi Cola salesman came in. And he said, ‘I got the best buy you’re ever going on a pallet of Pepsi Cola cans. I’m only going to charge you 5.59 a case.’ I said, ‘Thank you, but no thank you. I’m going to send my customer’s down the street to Ralph’s because they’re going to be on sale down there for $1.99 a twelve-pack.’

And he says, ‘Well, you can’t do that. Pepsi Cola is a demand item and your customers are going to demand that you carry Pepsi Cola.’ And I said, ‘My customers are going to be happy I was honest with them and sent them down the street. They can buy them cheaper than I can buy them.’ And after two weeks of really being upset I said, ‘Thank you very much Pepsi Cola for reminding me that I own my shelf space and I can do anything I want.’ …

So I immediately went out and found 25 little brands of soda. Gee whiz, they’re still in glass bottles. I put them on the shelf and people would come in and look at them and say ‘What are you doing with all those old things that don’t sell?’ And when I got to 250 it was ‘Where are you finding them?” So now we have about 500 different kinds of sodas. …

When the American public has a choice, they’re going to try it. … Big Business loves Big Government. They just take the marketplace up, eliminate all the little guys — they run them out of business and then they jack the price ups and control the market. But you look at the candy section it’s Nestle’s, Hershey’s and Mars. Or you look at the soda pop market it’s Coke and Pepsi. My thought had always been that what I wanted to do was to do business with other businesses my size — to make them become unique businesses.

The more expansive the government, the more capitalism is replaced with crony capitalism. People always think that business don’t like government interference, but that’s not true because many times big companies love seeing new laws passed — as long as it benefits them.


That dovetails nicely with Mr. Nese’s experience with California’s “Refund Value” laws, which are billed as being necessary to help make a greener world. Is that true?


Perhaps, to some extent — but consider this:

Who do you think passed the RV laws? You’re going to get me on my soapbox again and then you’re going to have to point the camera up. It wasn’t written for the consumer and it certainly wasn’t written to keep this country green. It was written so Coke and Pepsi wouldn’t have to wash a bottle and they wouldn’t have to make recyclable bottles and they could transfer the cost to the consumer.

I called the recycling center when I got started and said, ‘Listen, I want to put a recycling center in. They bring them back to me and I’ll give them the money and I’ll sell them some more sodas.’

‘Oh, I’m sorry, you can’t do that because you have a recycling center two blocks away.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but they don’t give the full price. I want to give the full price to the customer to get them back to sell them some more!’ And he says, ‘Well, if you did anything like that you’d be in restraint of trade and you can probably get sued by the state.’ If we really cared about the state we would have reuse — not recycling.

So a business owner wants to install his own recycling center in his building, but he can’t because it will somehow be in violation of “restraint of trade” laws? Unbelievable.

How much more green could you get than a guy who sells soda in glass bottles to his local community, who then return those glass bottles to him — so that he could in turn wash them — and sell more? You can’t. And yet, the state of California would likely sue him if he went there.

Finally, John Nese makes perhaps the most important point of all, and it has nothing to do with politics. It’s about life.

People say, ‘Well, you’re here and you’re working all the time.’ And I’m saying, ‘I don’t work. I just play all day long.’ I come in and play.

Do what you love to do, and it won’t seem like work for you. When you do what you love — when you do what you believe you were born to do — getting up in the morning will be a joy. When you do what you love, it shows. It creates a positive feedback loops whereas you contribute more to your area of expertise, coworkers and customers are happy, they reward you, you’re happy and the process begins anew.

Cucumber Soda

Years ago I left a job that I felt in my heart was not in line with where I wanted to be. I took a leap of faith (and a pay cut) to do what I thought would get me there and I couldn’t be happier. There were bumps and bruises along the way, but I know that even if it didn’t work out that I’d have one less regret on my death bed. (I hope to have none.)

If you’re not happy with where you’re at, try and figure out what job you could envision yourself performing that you wouldn’t take a dime to do. When you figure it out, start working toward that goal and years down the road you’ll be one of the few who could say that their job is to “play all day long.” 

Soda jerks like Bloomberg are never satiated

Mayor Bloomberg needs to keep shoving meat pies in his mouth because every time he opens it he says something stupid. Just because you happen to be a dolt, Mayor Bloomberg, it doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Stop crafting legislation meant for babies because people tend to live up to your expectations. Hopefully that makes sense to your infant mind.

Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban is less popular than the bends, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping him from defending it. He’s at it again, and his defense today is just as sad as it’s been since the unveiling.

“The increase in sugary drink consumption is the largest single cause of the rise in calories in the American diet in the last 40 years. Many studies show consumption of these beverages is linked to weight gain and obesity, and more recently, diabetes and heart disease. ..”.

Response: One could argue that the correlation between a lack of self-discipline and obesity is stronger than the correlation between soda size and obesity.

Other studies show that people given larger portions simply consume more without noticing it or reducing calorie consumption at subsequent meals. …

Response: People who are treated like babies tend to act like babies, and the Bloomberg’s of the world have been treating Americans like infants for decades. Now they wonder why their constituents have no sense of responsibility.

Critics claim this policy restricts choice. But, currently, people almost never have the choice to purchase as small as an 8-ounce beverage, which was considered adequate for decades.

Response: When I don’t want to drink 16 ounces I tend to just … not fill up the cup all the way, add more ice, or pour the excess down the drain. It’s worked for me since I was a kid just fine. Try it, Mike.

Notice once again that the Soda Jerk never bothers to ask what the proper role of government is. All that matters to the Bloombergs of the world is that the self-righteous caprices of the masters (i.e., them) are implemented. Their good intentions trump your individual rights because they know what is best for you, for the community and the society at large. You can not push the buttons on the soda machine until the guys working the levers of power in government tell you it’s okay; to resist them is to resist “progress.”


Liberal busybodies are never satiated because their goal to control the population is always thwarted by the complex nature of man. The liberty-stealing politicians’ problems are exacerbated because they believe that more laws and more regulations and more obstacles are the answer — as if people can be treated like glorified cattle.

The way you change someone’s behavior is by making a compelling moral argument that resonates. That takes time and effort, and it’s not something you can do by using the tax codes to redistribute wealth. And so, the Mayor Bloombergs of the world don’t go there.

Today, it’s hard to make a moral argument because we live in a cesspool of moral relativism. No one wants to be judged. We make reality television stars out of the most debased and disgusting individuals. We make celebrities out of vapid millionaires who make sex tapes, and then laugh when they make a mockery out of the institution of marriage. We’re not allowed to stigmatize irresponsible sexual behavior, but then we wonder why individuals have zero impulse control when it comes to sugary snacks.

We’ve made a despicable mess of ourselves, and instead of acknowledging that we’re a nation of irresponsible pigs wallowing in arrested development, we allow the Bloombergs out there to prolong the pain, steal our liberties and engender a kind of hopelessness that perpetuates the cycle.

And finally, to add insult to injury, the “studies” the wannabe slave masters cite to lure people into passively accepting their fate comes from San Francisco researchers with obese egos:

“There is nobody on the face of the planet who needs a soda, let alone a 32-ounce soda,” said Robert Lustig, a pediatric obesity researcher at the University of California at San Francisco who is a vocal proponent of restrictions on sugary drinks.

The question isn’t whether anyone needs a soda, but whether idiots from California or New York have a right to prevent me from entering into a lawful contract with the vendor in a manner that leaves us both happy — I give him money and he gives me soda.

How would Professor Lustig like it if I followed him around for weeks at a time and annotated all the things he does that he doesn’t “need” to do, and then gave that list to politicians who would “correct” or “curb” that behavior through arbitrary changes to the tax code and intrusive regulations? I’d much rather live next to the guy with a voracious appetite for Coke products than the politician or researcher with a voracious appetite for power.

You’re an idiot, Mayor Bloomberg. Stop treating the rest of us like one.

Mayor Bloomberg: Soda Jerk serves up soft tyranny

If you remember Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! then you’ll remember Soda Popinski. Mayor Bloomberg is a little like Soda Popinski, not because of his association with carbonated beverages as much as the fact that a lot of people want to punch him in the face right now. That tends to happen when you’re a tyrannical soda jerk.

A friend of mine read about New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg (aka Soda Jerk), and his plan to ban sales of sodas, sweetened ice tea and energy drinks above 16 ounces at many venues. Although I never gathered this friend to be particularly political, she likened the mayor to Loki, from Marvel’s Avengers:

“Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel,” (Marvel’s Loki).

My reply? Bloomberg and his ilk are arguably worse than a “Loki” type of dictator or tyrant because soft tyranny is harder to get people to see. The power-hungry politicians, absent of any principles, chip away at our freedoms and liberties until one day we wake up and say, “What happened? Where did it all go?”

If an invading force landed on American shores tomorrow we would fight tooth and nail to save the nation, but when the Bloomberg’s of the world slowly enslave the citizenry under the guise of “doing something,” then liberal allies bizarrely find ways to defend the indefensible.

Two telling snippets from the Soda Jerk:

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’” Bloomberg told The New York Times. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.

We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup.”

When you listen to Soda Jerk, ask yourself one question: Why is that Mayor Bloomberg is never really concerned with what the necessary and proper role of the government is? Liberals are always concerned about “doing something,” even if meddling on their part infringes upon the individual liberties of the population. They seek to act because the optics of action are preferable to principled restraint.

At what point do all of these “minor” infringements on liberty add up to something so divorced from our founding that it becomes time to break ties with our oppressors? Ask any liberal politician and many so-called “Republicans” today to speak on the limits of the federal government, and watch them hem and haw because, in truth, they don’t believe there are any limits to what you can be “forced” to understand. That same mentality then bleeds into state politics, where sick and twisted men like Mayor Bloomberg feel the need to tell you what sized carbonated beverage you can buy at a restaurant, what kind of oil cooks your french fries, and whether or not you can attend Happy Hour.

There are politicians who are using the Death by 1000 Paper Cuts method on our nation. They have been at it for decades, and many of us are sick of bleeding. Send a message this election season that you’ve had enough. And then do it again, and again, and again because it’s going to take years to undo the mess we’ve made of ourselves.

Ever shake up a can of soda, throw it in the air and then witness what happens when it hits the concrete? Well, guys like Bloomberg have been shaking brand U.S.A. up for quite some time, and the pressure is intense. There’s a reason why the Tea Party and the Occupy movements bubbled up, and if they keep “shaking” the nation our little can is going to burst. And that’s when things will get … sticky.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 32 ounces of something to drink. Perhaps more.