posted by meowser
How I dream of locking those two in a closet together, after hearing about Gov. Paterson’s belief that charging 15 cents more for a can of nondiet soda will totally slim down all the New York fatties, all of whom obviously bathe in the stuff. (As a giant fatass who will gladly pay $2 for a Mexican Pepsi and have that be my only soda consumption for weeks, and screw ALL major-brand American soda whether it’s diet or not, I can only snortlaugh.)
Anyway, this passage is from Oliver’s Fat Politics, page 174 in the hardback (and yes, I had to type it out):
The reason why snack taxes don’t work is that the demand for food is relatively insensitive to price; economists generally predict that a 10 percent increase in food prices would only reduce food consumption by less than 1 percent. That means that if you want to reduce soda consumption by just 10 percent, you would have to impose a 100 percent tax; if you wanted to reduce soda consumption by half, you would have to make a can of coke cost about four dollars. Not only do such taxes do little to deter demand, but they would take more money out of the pockets of the poor. Nutritionist Adam Drewnoski has shown that when food prices rise, poorer people eat fewer fruits and vegetables and eat more processed foods. Ironically, snack taxes might actually have the opposite effect — they might encourage people to eat more junk.
Okay, big fat hands in the air: How many people think this tax is a money grub from the working class, rather than something that’s actually motivated by Concern For Our Healthy Health Health?
And P.S. Governor, if you don’t want to make big fat bullseye targets out of fat kids, you could have imposed this tax in a way that wouldn’t make thin kids gang up on them because “now we have to pay extra for our soda just ’cause you can’t control yourself, fatass.” I hope you’re putting some of that extra loot towards self-defense classes for those fat kids. But somehow I think not.
And P.P.S. Cigarettes cost about TEN TIMES AS MUCH as they did 30 years ago. That’s why fewer people start smoking and more people want to quit, gov. That, and having to go outside when it’s freezing out to light up. I guess as soon as scientists figure out a way we can be fat outdoors only, and become magically thin when we come inside, you’ll finally be able to get fat people to quit leaving the house and blighting everyone’s eyesight.
(And if you haven’t read Oliver’s book, what are you waiting for? The “Obesity Policy” chapter, which contains the above quote, is especially kickass.)