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Old 12-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #11
Arien Malec
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Originally Posted by Grissim Connery View Post
is the cigarette issue considered fixed?
Since we started an aggressive policy on cigarette taxation and public smoking bans, we've seen a progressive decline in the incidence and prevalence of smoking, and declines in second hand smoking deaths. I can pull up the stats for you if you want, but it's a public health success story.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
Daniel Olmstead
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Seems nobody is paying attention to the other half of this tax: the money being raised is (purportedly) being used exclusively for the health education we all agree is necessary. That, I think, is more important than whatever small decrease in consumption would result from the tax. States these days obviously don't have the resources to foot that bill themselves, so the tax makes sense.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:21 AM   #13
Kevin Perry
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Shouldn't this be a moral issue? It's the individuals own personal responsibility when it comes to what they put in their own bodies and that comes down to their own education.

I have conflicted feelings on this, it just seems to give the state or the feds an excuse to tax anything they want but in reality will it actually teach anyone anything? Unlikely. People are generally too ignorant to know what is good or bad for them.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:24 AM   #14
Mike ODonnell
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The more we try to "save everyone"....the more screwed up it all gets.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:58 PM   #15
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Great...tax the poor more, the primary drinkers of such things.

Of course they also have a problem with paying for urban schools - vicious cycle.

Kevin - they've been taxing things people like (I do remember some boat in a harbor once full of tea...) for thousands of years, that isn't going to change anytime soon.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:38 PM   #16
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Great...tax the poor more, the primary drinkers of such things.

Of course they also have a problem with paying for urban schools - vicious cycle.

Kevin - they've been taxing things people like (I do remember some boat in a harbor once full of tea...) for thousands of years, that isn't going to change anytime soon.
Ok so I quoted that wrong, the economy is down they need to make money somehow...

Either way I do not drink soft drinks so it does not affect me...
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:01 PM   #17
LucienNicholson
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The more we try to "save everyone"....the more screwed up it all gets.
That's the most insightful thing I've read on this thread.

If the government instituted a 10 percent tax or a 50% tax on bumpers and grassfed beef, would it stop anyone on this forum from consuming those two items?

If anyone thinks the government could ever help anyone with a wise diet plan, take a look at the Food Pyramid.

Besides taxing obese people, they're also taxing fit people like me who enjoy rum and cokes ever couple of weekends or so.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:59 AM   #18
Arien Malec
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This is an interesting set of remarks. Again, I was looking at this through the lens of what I consider to be a successful policy on taxing cigarettes, and through a political philosophy that is quite close to the approach in Nudge: http://www.amazon.com/Nudge-Improvin...67134&sr= 8-1

Of course, again, I'd be content if we merely elimitated our massive subsidies for corn and soy-based products (like HCFC-sweetened drinks). (On that note, I find the comment on rum-and-coke funny, since the rum portion is heavily taxed and the coke portion heavily subsidized).

Also interesting the comments on obesity being an individual moral issue. To my mind, it's not, either:

1) Are we any less individual moral now than we were 100 years ago, or 100,000 years ago? (note that everyone thinks the previous age was the golden age, but really?)

2) We all pay for the increased burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in our taxes and health care premiums

Or, to put it a different way, our modern health care crisis is a consequence of the society we live in, including both governmental and societal norms, and we need to change both, with a lot of undoing of stuff that we are currently actively doing to mess things up (subsidizing HCFC, corn oil, and grain fed antibiotic resistant beef), and lots of nudging the other way.

I, of course, take all the points about how wrongheaded the current governmental/scientific "consensus" on diet currently is as well.
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