4 thoughts on “Taxing sugary drinks invariably hurts the poor”

  1. Posted 01/12/2015 at 17:16 | Permalink

    Great work, Chris. It is good to see someone hammering away at this. The fact that these supposedly concerned busybodies are hurting the people they pretend to help is a message that could change the support they get if we can get it out there.

    I have to take issue with your assessment of a revenue neutral version of this. If the revenue were all given back to the poor on a reverse-poll-tax basis it would not change the incentives. Each punished poor individual would only get back ~1 one-millionth of his own taxes, and what he gives back to his fellow poor has little incentive effect. Indeed, the net effects would be progressive, since richer people pay some of the taxes. Of course there would be pockets of regressiveness within the overall progressiveness, but at the gross level this would work.

    The problem there is actually that it is just not done. It is not ever part of the proposals. As you note, even the supposedly neutral versions of this really just direct the money to someone’s pet project. Moreover, even if it were done as a reverse-poll-tax for the poor, it would crowd out other poor support. It would take only about five minutes before that were considered just part of the existing pool of poor support, and be counted when deciding how much total to provide.

    So your conclusion there is valid, but the theory of it — which you challenge — is actually right.

  2. Posted 02/12/2015 at 11:13 | Permalink

    “But people don’t abandon products en masse for the sake of a 20 per cent tax.”

    People are already paying 20% tax on these products (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-of-vat-on-different-goods-and-services#food-and-drink-animals-animal-feed-plants-and-seeds). These bully-statists are arguing for a (currently) *extra* 20% on top.

    So a bottle of pop that would cost £1 before VAT would cost £1.20 after VAT, and then when they add their extra 20% on top (because they’ll want to double-dip of course, rather than calculate it on the nett price) would end up being £1.44.

    They are essentially advocating for a 44% tax.

  3. Posted 03/12/2015 at 07:35 | Permalink

    It is about getting people to eat the best diet. In my case my doctor frightened me. I eat better and have lost weight. But I have to take metformin. This would argue for the NHS to educate and punish fatties

  4. Posted 03/12/2015 at 12:23 | Permalink

    David Hutchinson wrote, “This would argue for the NHS to educate and punish fatties.”

    How depressing. And war is peace and freedom is slavery.

    The NHS is *supposed* to be a health service; the courts are supposed to issue any punishments. Maybe he thinks that jail time without sugar is a just sentence. No “opinion” is surprising in these days of mass mind control.

    One thing that I have never read in this debate (unless I have written it myself) is that the majority of “sugary” drinks are laced with artificial sweetners, often aspartame, the chemical which has had by far the most complaints to the FDA in the US.

    It is thought to cause dozens of diseases, including cancers.

    If the government wanted us to be healthier, they would ban this substance, but we know they don’t care about us being healthy, they want even more of our money and even more control of our behaviour.

    The poor will always be worst affected by taxes on goods.

    When O’Brien is torturing and interrogating Winston, he asks,

    “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?”

    Winston replies, “By making him suffer.”

    “Exactly,” says O’Brien, “Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

    See page 336 for more: https://archive.org/details/Orwell1984preywo

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