Results 1 to 42 of 42

Thread: Taxing Unhealthy Foods

  1. #1

    Default Taxing Unhealthy Foods

    In Canada, when one person is unhealthy, we all bear the load. For instance, when smokers smoke, they increase their risk of lung cancer and other diseases, costing our public healthcare system more money. In return, we put taxes on cigarettes, not only to reduce the amount being sold, but to indirectly pay for their hospital bed they will need in the decades to come. Without this tax we would generally agree that it would be unfair to the non smokers, who are paying for other people's life choice.

    While tobacco is one thing we justly tax and regulate, why not do the same thing for very unhealthy foods? By 'unhealthy foods', I'm referring to foods that include high levels of trans-fat, sugar and sodium among other ingredients that are damaging in excess. These pose the same danger if not a greater danger than cigarettes. For example, Obesity leads to a variety of diseases including Diabetes, Heart Disease, and a several forms of Cancer. To treat all these diseases is costly as well, and again, is unfair to the person who maintains a healthy diet.

    I recognize that for many obesity is genetic, but this would not target this demographic but rather those who habitually eat unhealthy and in the long run burden our healthcare system. I also realize that regular exercise is important for reducing obesity but that is not something as a society we could effectively monitor.

    Even a small tax would help reimburse tax payers and more importantly change the diets of some Canadians to more healthy diets. Additionally, this might challenge food producers to reduce the fat, sodium, sugar and other harmful products in some of their food produced.

    In a public healthcare system, where we all pay for everyones health, do not we have a responsibility to maintain a level of fairness?

    http://www.canada.com/health/junk+fo...736/story.html

  2. #2
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Downtown
    Posts
    3,866

    Default

    Top_Dawg has no objection to a tax levy on things like potato chips and chocolate bars.

    However, your suggestion of taxing all foods with high levels of sodium will mean that virtually all canned food would have to be taxed. Low income people live primarily on canned food as it is the most affordable option. Such a tax would disproportionately target those who can least afford another hit.

  3. #3
    Becoming a C2E Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    303

    Default

    Don't they already do this very thing? GST is charged on things like potato chips and cookies but not on bread, milk or canned staples.

  4. #4

    Default

    NO WAY. It doesn't matter WHAT you eat, obesity depends on HOW MUCH you eat. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you are going to get fat. Period. That is why I desagree with any tax like this.

    Plus, it's not as simple as "fat = bad" or "salt = bad". Are "low fat" foods going to be taxed less than "full fat" foods? And why should they? Is whole milk going to be taxed more than skim milk, even though it is healthier for children to drink whole milk? Are "low fat" baked products going to be taxed less than "full-fat" baked products, even though the low fat varieties often have more sugar in order to make it more palatable?

    What I eat and how much I eat is my business, and my business alone. The health consequences of any of my actions are my business as well, just like getting fat from eating too much, or getting treated for an STD from risky sex.

    And if we put taxes on foods deemed to be "unhealthy", then we might as well tax earphones and stereo equipment because it damages hearing. Or tax concert and sporting even tickets because they also damage hearing. Or, with the way skin cancer rates are rising (the fastest-growing category of cancer in Canada for a while now), we better start drafting some legislation giving out fines to people who don't wear hats or sunscreen in the summer months.

    No, no, no. I am sick of legislation that tries to treat me like a child by steering me in one direction or another though interference of the monetary price of goods. We have enough "nanny state" legislation already.

  5. #5
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Holyrood
    Posts
    4,846

    Default

    ^ Except that we all pay for everyone's "health consequences." A new tax like this would help even out the burden I think, as long as those taxes are going back to healthcare.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  6. #6

    Default

    So do you want to tax everything that can possibly be bad for us?

    How about taxing sporting equipment, to help pay for the care involved in treating injuries that people get while playing sports?

    Or adding more taxes to automobiles and bicycles because people who drive and cycle will sustain more injuries than people who don't?

    How about taxes on air fresheners and other scented products because the terpenes in the scents react with ground-level ozone, producing carcinogenic chemicals in our indoor air?

    We should also tax ovens because people get burned by their stoves.

    And people who live in homes with more stairs should pay more taxes because injuries from falls in the home cost us all money in health care as well.

    Peanuts should be taxed because many people are allergic to them, and they require medical attention if they have a reaction.

    Grapefruits and grapefruit juices should also be taxed because they can cause a lot of harmful drug interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications.

    How about a new tax on knives and otehr sharp things because they can cut people, causing some people to need stitches?


    Taxing food that may be bad for our health in large quantities is just as overbearing as any of theseexamples I have given.

  7. #7
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    jasper east
    Posts
    1,504

    Default

    the only solution is to educate people and encourage them to make healthy food choices. if you tax bad food, you haven't accomplished anything

  8. #8
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Holyrood
    Posts
    4,846

    Default

    ^^ Good points, but I think unhealthy foods cause more long-term and overall more expensive healthcare problems than the things you mentioned.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  9. #9

    Default

    In the long run I think it's a wash. Fat people die sooner, thus draw less or no pension, require long term care, etc. The money we'd save (trying) to keep them skinny and healthy would be lost in keeping them medicated when they're 90 and just don't wanna die.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  10. #10
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    4,972

    Default

    I like what you are getting at. An interesting topic for debate. Sort of a food version of Dion's Green Shift.

    The education is a start, but many people who know certain foods are bad for them continue to eat them. And it does end up costing all of us to an extent, but not to the extent it costs the person in question.

    It would be pretty hard to implement, though. Do we tax meat too? Some of it is good for us, but maybe it costs us environmentally.

    Exercise is also a big part of the equation. Endurance athletes actually might need more sodium and calories in their diets. I'm very much in favour of offering tax breaks to encourage healthy activities.

    Maybe the carrot is a better idea than the stick here?

    Now that I'm not driving, I wouldn't mind as much if we doubled or tripled the price of gas at the pump by adding a huge tax. It might go a small way toward discouraging one of the most unhealthy behaviours we as a society take part in. Not to mention partially covering the cost we pay in terms of our environment (oil sands).

    Fun to debate, but I pity the politician who tries it though.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    I think unhealthy foods cause more long-term and overall more expensive healthcare problems than the things you mentioned.
    Maybe, maybe not. I don't have the data on treatment costs, follow-up, etc. for injuries versus obese patients.


    But I think if foods are taxed, then anything that makes us get less exercise should be taxed as well - TV & stereo remote controls, automatic garage door openers, electric windows and locks in cars, nail guns, electric knives, electric saws, electric mixers, electric toothbrushes, etc.

    After all, obesity is a combination of improper diet AND lack of exercise. Might as well go all the way here.

  12. #12

    Default

    Don't bring gas into this. I require the use of a vehicle for my job, as do many thousands of others. We can't penalize them because of some fat people.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    I think unhealthy foods cause more long-term and overall more expensive healthcare problems than the things you mentioned.
    Maybe, maybe not. I don't have the data on treatment costs, follow-up, etc. for injuries versus obese patients.


    But I think if foods are taxed, then anything that makes us get less exercise should be taxed as well - TV & stereo remote controls, automatic garage door openers, electric windows and locks in cars, nail guns, electric knives, electric saws, electric mixers, electric toothbrushes, etc.

    After all, obesity is a combination of improper diet AND lack of exercise. Might as well go all the way here.
    Yup, let's tax ourselves back to the stone age. Or we could instead just keep working on education and opportunity, which has had some impact.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  14. #14

    Default

    We should then put taxes on plus-sized clothing to entice people to lose weight.

  15. #15
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    jasper east
    Posts
    1,504

    Default

    ^ ha! funny

    how about instead of solving every problem with taxes like we have been taught for everything...and maybe ...say... place some standards in the province that limit the import of "bad foods"? out of sight, out of mind might help people with their salt cravings. OR go canada wide and force producers to not put so much crap in canned/processed foods if they want to participate in this country's market.

    Salt and some chemicals are addictive but there is no warning. If we tax these foods, should we put a graphic on 1/3 of the package in both english and french?
    video games are addictive too. does that mean that we should charge people/kids who buy video games tax because they're increasing the probability of becoming obese?

  16. #16
    grish
    Guest

    Default

    I think a tax like this is closest in spirit (pun intended) to tax on alcohol. I think in some way people should learn that potato chips is not breakfast. I am willing to consider a tax as the means to discourage, although education and teaching good habits is more to my liking.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    After all, obesity is a combination of improper diet AND lack of exercise. Might as well go all the way here.
    Sort of - obesity is a result of consuming more calories than you burn. You can do zero exercise and not be obese, just by cutting calorie intake, or do lots of exercise, perhaps even be fit, but be obese.

    I agree with you though - the whole idea of this thread is IMO wrong. Nobody has anybody but themselves to blame for being fat (with the possible exception of kids - I think any fat kid can legitimately consider their parents to be abusing them for overfeeding them). It is purely a matter of personal responsibility. Why should unhealthy foods I enjoy be taxed extra resulting in me having to pay more just because some other ***** can't control how much of them they eat?

    I agree with your thought of a tax on plus sized clothing though - that would be more fair as it wouldn't impact people who aren't obese.
    Last edited by moahunter; 17-09-2009 at 05:22 PM.

  18. #18
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    3,696

    Default

    What needs to be done, first of all, is to overhaul our agricultural subsidy regime. And the US's. Because as it stands, that alone is probably one of the single biggest reasons we eat so much unhealthy junk: corn's ridiculously cheap, we have far too much of it, and so why not just make a whole whack of unhealthy crap based on it and raise a bunch of livestock using it as feed?

    This graphic is pretty telling how completely messed up the subsidy regime is in the US, and I'm sure it's similar here and in Europe:

    But of course any politician who'd campaign on such a platform would be committing career suicide. Even though there's only a couple hundred thousand "farmers" left in Canada, they're an extremely powerful lobby group and very adept at pulling people's heart strings ("you don't want to kill off 'family farms', do you?"). Especially so in the US.

    The unfortunate part is that this subject is EXTREMELY interrelated with developing countries and their inability to gain access to rich Western markets to sell what few goods they're able to produce, while the developed countries shove free trade agreements for everything else down their throats in return for meager development assistance.
    Last edited by raz0469; 17-09-2009 at 05:40 PM.

  19. #19
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Holyrood
    Posts
    4,846

    Default

    The idea of taxing unhealthy foods goes beyond simply "punishing" individuals for poor eating habits.

    1. Provided the tax revenue is distributed to healthcare, it helps to balance the costs of healthcare by shifting some of the burden to those who choose unhealthy lifestyles
    2. It provides incentive for companies to produce healthier products, and provides incentive for consumers to choose healthier products
    3. It raises awareness of products that are unhealthy, which - correct me if I'm wrong - would be part of this coveted education campaign that is talked about.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  20. #20
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    3,696

    Default

    Let's fix the complete distortion of the marketplace caused by massive agricultural subsidies and give that a decade to sort itself out, THEN we can start worrying about taxing unhealthy foods. It would be absolutely perverse and non-sensical to tax soft drinks, when they're made from heavily subsidized high fructose corn syrup. It would be some bizarre circular tax and subsidize regime.

  21. #21

    Default

    ^I agree with you on that Raz. These subsidies are also what keeps much of the developing world poor. If markets were able to set prices, and people alowed to sell in any marketplace, then a famer in Africa who can produce at a lower cost, could sell produce either locally, or even one day export it here. Instead, that same farmer cannot farm, becasue no-body will buy the produce, because rich countries "dump it" as aid. Why would an African family buy from a farmer, when they can get free Canadian, European, or American product? The end result is the farmer gives up farming, and also takes the aid. The dumped left over results of the subsidies that distort production are a disincentive to the entire developing world to try and develop.
    Last edited by moahunter; 17-09-2009 at 07:11 PM.

  22. #22

    Default

    I appreciate the responses, this has just been something I've been thinking for a while. Although some of the responses take what I'm saying out of context to the extreme. Let me begin:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    NO WAY. It doesn't matter WHAT you eat, obesity depends on HOW MUCH you eat. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you are going to get fat. Period. That is why I desagree with any tax like this.

    Plus, it's not as simple as "fat = bad" or "salt = bad". Are "low fat" foods going to be taxed less than "full fat" foods? And why should they? Is whole milk going to be taxed more than skim milk, even though it is healthier for children to drink whole milk? Are "low fat" baked products going to be taxed less than "full-fat" baked products, even though the low fat varieties often have more sugar in order to make it more palatable?

    What I eat and how much I eat is my business, and my business alone. The health consequences of any of my actions are my business as well, just like getting fat from eating too much, or getting treated for an STD from risky sex.

    And if we put taxes on foods deemed to be "unhealthy", then we might as well tax earphones and stereo equipment because it damages hearing. Or tax concert and sporting even tickets because they also damage hearing. Or, with the way skin cancer rates are rising (the fastest-growing category of cancer in Canada for a while now), we better start drafting some legislation giving out fines to people who don't wear hats or sunscreen in the summer months.

    No, no, no. I am sick of legislation that tries to treat me like a child by steering me in one direction or another though interference of the monetary price of goods. We have enough "nanny state" legislation already.
    First of all, obesity depends on how much you eat AND what you eat. (and exercise I know). You're telling me that if someone was eating 2000 grams of Celery 500 vs. a Big Mac would make the Big Mac more healthy just because is has a smaller mass?

    It's actually is pretty simple that salt and sodium are generally bad for you. I'm not talking about about skim milk vs. whole milk, the fat in that is very insignificant compared to other foods/drinks available today. For example, a food made in a fast food restaurant that has >50% of your recommended daily in take of Fat and Sodium in would be taxed (slightly) vs. foods like butter, lard, milk, that is essential ingredients for home cooking which would not be taxed.

    How can you talk about "nanny state legislation"? We have protections in our country against harmful chemicals, cleaning products as well as standards for foods. This is just an extension of these policies.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    So do you want to tax everything that can possibly be bad for us?

    How about taxing sporting equipment, to help pay for the care involved in treating injuries that people get while playing sports?

    Or adding more taxes to automobiles and bicycles because people who drive and cycle will sustain more injuries than people who don't?

    How about taxes on air fresheners and other scented products because the terpenes in the scents react with ground-level ozone, producing carcinogenic chemicals in our indoor air?

    We should also tax ovens because people get burned by their stoves.

    And people who live in homes with more stairs should pay more taxes because injuries from falls in the home cost us all money in health care as well.

    Peanuts should be taxed because many people are allergic to them, and they require medical attention if they have a reaction.

    Grapefruits and grapefruit juices should also be taxed because they can cause a lot of harmful drug interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications.

    How about a new tax on knives and otehr sharp things because they can cut people, causing some people to need stitches?


    Taxing food that may be bad for our health in large quantities is just as overbearing as any of theseexamples I have given.
    You're equating heart disease and cancer to cuts and burns - bypass surgery and chemotherapy to stitches and topical cream. Obviously we're not going to tax everything that COULD pose a threat that would clearly be ridiculous. Moreover the treatment for these diseases caused by obesity is much more expensive then a nurse applying stitches. Heart Disease and Cancer are two of Canada's biggest killers cuts and burns are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by DTrobotnik View Post
    the only solution is to educate people and encourage them to make healthy food choices. if you tax bad food, you haven't accomplished anything
    I agree that is the most important step. Although, if you've seen the school curriculum these days in Alberta, it is pretty thorough about nutrition, the Canada food guide and the importance of exercise. Unfortunately, curriculum is not at the point that it places a high enough emphasis on physical education in school. I think most people agree it could go further.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    I think unhealthy foods cause more long-term and overall more expensive healthcare problems than the things you mentioned.
    Maybe, maybe not. I don't have the data on treatment costs, follow-up, etc. for injuries versus obese patients.


    But I think if foods are taxed, then anything that makes us get less exercise should be taxed as well - TV & stereo remote controls, automatic garage door openers, electric windows and locks in cars, nail guns, electric knives, electric saws, electric mixers, electric toothbrushes, etc.

    After all, obesity is a combination of improper diet AND lack of exercise. Might as well go all the way here.
    No why would be "go all the way here". Stop taking my points and trying to equate them to crazy ideas I never insinuated.
    Yes exercise is a very important aspect of good health, but just because we are not going to monitor one's fitness, it does not mean that we can provide society with healthier eating.

    Quote Originally Posted by DTrobotnik View Post
    ^ ha! funny

    how about instead of solving every problem with taxes like we have been taught for everything...and maybe ...say... place some standards in the province that limit the import of "bad foods"? out of sight, out of mind might help people with their salt cravings. OR go canada wide and force producers to not put so much crap in canned/processed foods if they want to participate in this country's market.

    Salt and some chemicals are addictive but there is no warning. If we tax these foods, should we put a graphic on 1/3 of the package in both english and french?
    video games are addictive too. does that mean that we should charge people/kids who buy video games tax because they're increasing the probability of becoming obese?
    Placing standards is a possibly a good idea. As for the rest of your post it doesn't deserve a response as I responded to a similar one earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by raz0469 View Post
    What needs to be done, first of all, is to overhaul our agricultural subsidy regime. And the US's. Because as it stands, that alone is probably one of the single biggest reasons we eat so much unhealthy junk: corn's ridiculously cheap, we have far too much of it, and so why not just make a whole whack of unhealthy crap based on it and raise a bunch of livestock using it as feed?

    This graphic is pretty telling how completely messed up the subsidy regime is in the US, and I'm sure it's similar here and in Europe:

    But of course any politician who'd campaign on such a platform would be committing career suicide. Even though there's only a couple hundred thousand "farmers" left in Canada, they're an extremely powerful lobby group and very adept at pulling people's heart strings ("you don't want to kill off 'family farms', do you?"). Especially so in the US.

    The unfortunate part is that this subject is EXTREMELY interrelated with developing countries and their inability to gain access to rich Western markets to sell what few goods they're able to produce, while the developed countries shove free trade agreements for everything else down their throats in return for meager development assistance.
    Yes, this is very interesting. I know a bit about international development in the global south, but I don't see how it would necessarily stop regulations/taxes from occurring on things like burgers.
    Last edited by mnugent; 17-09-2009 at 07:17 PM.

  23. #23
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    3,696

    Default

    Yes, this is very interesting. I know a bit about international development in the global south, but I don't see how it would necessarily stop regulations/taxes from occurring on things like burgers.
    Subsidies wouldn't stop taxation of unhealthy foods, that's not my argument. My argument is that it would be self defeating. The government is using taxpayer dollars to subsidize meat, poultry and dairy production so that such foods are artificially cheaper than they would normally be, leading to many poor families finding that fast food is one of the most economical food sources available to them. Unsurprisingly, poor people in developed countries are more likely to be overweight. Big surprise!

    You're asking that we tax such foods to raise their prices and discourage or at least reduce their consumption. I'm saying that's completely redundant, or putting the cart ahead of the horse until agricultural subsidies are eliminated, reduced, or restructured to remove their deflationary effect on the pricing of crappy food.

    Get rid of the subsidies or at least reform the system, let the market settle out for a few years, see where that's gotten us, and THEN if there's still a perceived need for taxes on unhealthy food we can discuss it then.

    Why not cut out the middle man?

  24. #24

    Default

    The government would have a way harder time getting rid of subsidies for farmers then it would implementing a small tax. You're brushing it off as if it will be a simple political accomplishment.

    I agree that they should stop or reduce subsidies, for the reasons of development but I just don't see that as realistic because of the political opposition it would receive.

  25. #25
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    3,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chillNU
    You're brushing it off as if it will be a simple political accomplishment.
    I suppose that's exactly what I said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    But of course any politician who'd campaign on such a platform would be committing career suicide. Even though there's only a couple hundred thousand "farmers" left in Canada, they're an extremely powerful lobby group and very adept at pulling people's heart strings ("you don't want to kill off 'family farms', do you?"). Especially so in the US.
    Or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by chillNU
    I agree that they should stop or reduce subsidies, for the reasons of development but I just don't see that as realistic because of the political opposition it would receive.
    Just because the proper way to do something is more difficult, doesn't mean we should just take the easy short cut that doesn't solve the problem at it's basic level. Health organizations, NGO's, and other interested parties need to really get behind subsidy elimination and coordinate their efforts to make it a political AND moral issue, because it's one of the biggest problems preventing or slowing development in poor countries AND is a big part of the obesity problem.

    I'm not opposed to taxes as you envision them, but again, I think we should fix what's causing the problem in the first place, before looking for supplemental methods.

    I don't accept that it's too difficult to do. Look at how far the climate change debate has come in the past 20 years through concerted efforts by environmental groups.

  26. #26

    Default

    ^ Yeah but the whole point of this wasn't "What's the best way to promote a healthier Canada while helping 3rd world countries develop better?" It was "What's a good way to promote a healthier Canada that also places less of a burden on our healthcare system".

    You're focus really shifts away from the main point of this thread. I'm all for helping the global south develop, but it doesn't mean that in the mean time Canada cannot be healthier through simple legislation.

  27. #27
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    City of Champions
    Posts
    7,278

    Default

    I as a rule tend to say no to taxes, no to subsidies, last time I checked governments tend to mess things up royally even with the best of intentions.

  28. #28
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    3,696

    Default

    ^In my opinion the development aspects of it are a pleasant side benefit, the central issue is that the agricultural marketplace in North America is totally distorted by the current subsidy structure, and that needs to change.

  29. #29

    Default

    I don't think taxing junk food is a fix for obesity. It is a lot more complicated than that. If we started to tax junk food we might as well tax DVD's as we sit around watching them. Tax video and computer games as they promote sitting around playing them. Add an extra tax to computers as we all sit around giving our opnions on forums. Adding more taxes to junk food will get the government richer but we will get no thinner.
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

  30. #30
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Holyrood
    Posts
    4,846

    Default

    ^ I don't think anyone is touting it as a "fix", but as one piece of a larger puzzle.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  31. #31

    Default

    It is one piece of a very large puzzle.
    The western diet industry takes is billions world wide and the citizens are just getting bigger. We do have a good standard of life compared to other countries.
    To much food, to much excess to little control. I think they are going to have to come up with another remedy for obesity other than drastic stomache stapling.
    It's hard to know were to begin.
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

  32. #32

    Default

    ^Is obesity such a bad thing for society though? I assume it is a bit like smoking, it typically kills people off just after their most productive years. If that is the case, then over a lifetime it saves society a small fortune - not having to provide pensions, old peoples homes / in home care, and all the expensive medical costs that arise as people age (arthritis, Alzheimer's, glaucoma, etc). At the end of the day, all of us will die. Maybe there is no harm from a macro sense, if people who can't control themselves die sooner?
    Last edited by moahunter; 18-09-2009 at 11:11 PM.

  33. #33

    Default Liberals considering soda tax

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/soda...nada-1.3712411

    It won't really impact me, but what do people think? My fear this sort of tax, is it won't make anyone give up soda pop, it will just make life harder for a lot of poor people who make unhealthy choices.

  34. #34

    Default

    More nanny-state governmment-sponsored inflation by people who "feel" rather than think.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  35. #35

    Default

    Like smoking, etc. the taxpayer is often on the hook for poor to bad choices through health care and other costs.

    If higher costs don't cause people to make different decisions, what will?


    I wonder about the terminology. What are artificially-sweetened beverages? This could be problematic if it included diet drinks. If a product has zero-calories it's tougher to argue that it is causing weight gain.
    Last edited by KC; 08-08-2016 at 08:25 PM.

  36. #36

    Default

    I think it's a slippery slope deeming certain foods and beverages junk food. Plus the government is notorious for saying an extra tax on certain things will go towards the negative effect of that certain thing but then the money ends up in general revenue. We all know they are about as much use as a plastic barbeque grill with the money in general revenue. Another thing that annoys me is the government selling this notion that it is only the overweight people that are unhealthy. This is simply not true. There are millions of thin people out there who have terrible diets. They also substitute junk food or whatever the 'health food of the month' is for a nutritious meal. Why tax soda pop when there is already a tax on it. Where will this tax go next, cookies, chips, birthday cake, ice cream. There is a whole slew of food that could go under the umbrella of junk food or deemed healthy food. Soda pop one day then slowly they will start adding a 'special tax' to the rest. Pft.
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

  37. #37
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    teh city of gold
    Posts
    1,063

    Default

    They should TAX all veggies and other lefty type food!
    Stop illegal aliens! Enforce the LAW!

  38. #38

    Default

    If they implement taxes on "unhealthy" foods, then they should give a tax rebate every time someone works out at the gym.

  39. #39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    If they implement taxes on "unhealthy" foods, then they should give a tax rebate every time someone works out at the gym.
    They're just causing more unnecessary pollution. (Heat and light and space requirements.) Give them a tax rebate for doing something productive like shovelling sidewalks, intalling solar panels, etc.

  40. #40

    Default

    I suppose increased physical activity of any kind will cause a person to exhale more carbon dioxide pollution. So I guess exercise should just be taxed as well.

  41. #41
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Crawford Plains, Millwoods since 1985
    Posts
    2,737

    Default

    Just don't tax bacon and I'll be ok.

  42. #42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    I suppose increased physical activity of any kind will cause a person to exhale more carbon dioxide pollution. So I guess exercise should just be taxed as well.
    True, we are carbon burning polluters. I calculated some years ago when I started biking to work, that my 45 minute bike ride cost me more than driving in the car. I tended to burn about 400 to 500 calories, the cost to provide that amount of food (about a quarter of my daily diet), is considerably more than the gasoline to go that distance. It would be better for the environment, if we eliminated most people (freeing up all the land they destroy for food for nature), and replaced with machines.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •