Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fat tax

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fat tax

    They're at it again, wanting to tax us for our own good:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100308/hl_nm/us_food_tax

    CHICAGO (Reuters) Ė U.S. researchers estimate that an 18 percent tax on pizza and soda can push down U.S. adults' calorie intake enough to lower their average weight by 5 pounds (2 kg) per year.
    How about we just tax fat people? Food alone doesn't make people fat, and it doesn't make all people fat.

    Of course, if the government has to pay for our health care, it should have complete say in how we run our lives in the pursuit of health, as a cost-cutting measure. Absolutely anything that might be considered unhealthy should be criminalized, with violators sent off to fat camps and forced to "live healthy".
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Fat tax

    Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
    Absolutely anything that might be considered unhealthy should be criminalized, with violators sent off to fat camps and forced to "live healthy".
    Or you just decide to pay for the privilege of eating unhealthy. At one time the market decided that eating unhealthy was very expensive so few people did it. Since then eating massive amounts of sugar and fat has gotten oh so cheap. Much of that is due to the government. So it is just correcting itself.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fat tax

      This is bull plop! Totally not fair. I am naturally thin, my metabolism rocks, and every time I've had my blood tested, the docs have said all various levels are as perfect as they can be. It's a bunch of crap that I would have to pay a penalty for indulging once in a while, when it's the fatties that are going to cost the system. Make THEM pay more for the privilege of health care, not the food we all consume. I just signed up for a great plan with blue cross blue shield. I'm self-employed, so it's all out of pocket. My cost? $66/month. With this new scam of a government health care program, my health care costs are actually going to go WAY up to subsidize the people who WILL be using the system extensively. Makes me mad when I never use the doctor, except as an absolute last resort. I'M not the one mooching off the system, and I probably never will, yet I'm going to have to pay the same "fat" tax? Not cool!

      Also, I completely detest the fact that the government is trying to socially engineer society through methods such as this, just like I have a problem with excise taxes such as steep existing taxes on tobacco and alcohol, or prohibition. However, universal health care is supposedly what America's been begging for, so I guess all I should really say is "enjoy exactly what you voted for!" If you really want the government (meaning MY money) to take care of you, then don't complain when they try to really take care of you.
      "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fat tax

        Or you just decide to pay for the privilege of eating unhealthy. At one time the market decided that eating unhealthy was very expensive so few people did it. Since then eating massive amounts of sugar and fat has gotten oh so cheap. Much of that is due to the government. So it is just correcting itself.
        Do you have any more info on how the government has been involved in this? Shouldn't the free market and supply and demand regulate what kinds of food are cheap? I remember reading a bit about some of our trade agreements are setup make it much easier to import these unhealthy foods with high sugar\fat over some healthier alternatives. If you could go into more detail it would be appreciated. Here's what the article says:

        In a commentary, Drs. Mitchell Katz and Rajiv Bhatia of the San Francisco Department of Public Health said taxes are an appropriate way to correct a market that favors unhealthy food choices over healthier options. They argued that the U.S. government should carefully consider food subsidies that contribute to the problem.
        "Sadly, we are currently subsidizing the wrong things including the product of corn, which makes the corn syrup in sweetened beverages so inexpensive," they wrote.
        Instead, they argued that agricultural subsidies should be used to make healthful foods such as locally grown vegetables, fruits and whole grains less expensive
        I dislike the idea of using tax laws to further intrude in our personal lives, and the idea that the government is the entity that will "help us" get back on the right track. These issues should be solved by good examples and lifestyle changes, not by force via blanket taxation laws that make everyone, regardless of their eating habits, suffer. Also the idea of food subsidies seems unfair and unequal depending on which food you produce. Why do we need them? I suppose the international cost of importing many of these foods is probably much cheaper than getting them from domestic sources, although the local suppliers likely represent a significant voting bloc and are a sensitive political issue.
        Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
        Answers to every server question? Yes! TGNS FAQ

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fat tax

          Originally posted by aeroripper View Post
          Do you have any more info on how the government has been involved in this? Shouldn't the free market and supply and demand regulate what kinds of food are cheap?
          You should watch http://www.thefutureoffood.com/

          Here, I believe the point being hit is government corn subsidies. Which, along with Monsanto's growing monopoly on corn seed and patents on corn seed lines, is another fine example of corporate welfare in this great nation. Corn is the main ingredient in soda (after water).
          Do or do not, there is no try....
          -- Yoda, Dagobah

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Fat tax

            Corn subsidies are big. And it doesn't just keep corn cheap. It keeps meat cheap. And there are subsidies on many crops.

            Cattle farmers get good deals on leases of federal land for our beef. Water is usually provided to farmers cheap by the public. Damns that manage water are paid for by government.

            Transportation systems such as the highways/railroads/air ports allow food to be cheap. Billions have been spent on research of agricultural practices. Land was given away to farmers and ranchers in the west. More billions have been spent on land conservation methods. Government stills spends a pretty penny on producing new strains of crops that grow well in various climates.

            The FDA, as much as it is maligned, is very important to the agriculture and food producing businesses. It gives consumers enough trust to buy stuff without knowing where exactly it came from. That was unheard of until the 20th century.

            Farmers get tax breaks. Family farms are exempt from much of the estate tax.

            Lots more stuff to consider.
            Last edited by El_Gringo_Grande; 03-09-2010, 09:59 PM.
            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fat tax

              For those against the idea of a fat tax or a tax on unhealthy food.

              What would you think if the government stopped subsidizing the bad food? Even if that meant the bad stuff price doubled or tripled? So even the cheapest McDonald hamburger cost $3 and a actually decent hamburger cost a minimum of $15-20.

              Or what if the government subsidized, in some way, good food? If fresh fruits, vegetables etc became half the price of bad food and was available everywhere?
              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fat tax

                Wow. That's actually an interesting thought to ponder on.
                "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fat tax

                  I would be completely fine with elimination of all taxes and subsidies. Let consumers set prices by their preferences. Government imposition of "fiscal policy" (ie. taxes and subsidies) is really a statement of no-confidence in consumers, a declaration that those who buy a product are idiots. That may be true, but at least be honest about it and don't claim it's the producers who are at fault for supplying exactly what consumers demand.

                  What's the subsidy that allows McD to offer a $3 crap burger? What makes a "good" burger cost $15?
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Fat tax

                    I think it all ties back to cheap grain, which is the most heavily subsidized. Modern cow farming is feeding them grain in bulk. Its not good for the cow and it probably isn't good for us. I prefer to buy my meat (through a family owned grocer) from a small ranch on the San Mateo coast. The cows wonder around and eat grass, like nature intended. They probably have a nice, stress-free existence, before we kill them to eat. It quite a bit more expensive than regular meat, because I'm guessing keeping the cow/m2 ratio healthy isn't as good for the profit margin as factory farming, and actually growing them decent food takes a bit more labor.

                    After driving past "cowschwitz" on 5, I swore I'd never eat another factory farmed animal again. Not because of some empathy for food animals, because I still eat them, but the whole thing just didn't look healthy.
                    Do or do not, there is no try....
                    -- Yoda, Dagobah

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fat tax

                      We live in an era where few in the US starve. It wasn't that long ago that such was commonplace, but memory is short. Anything that happened more than a decade ago might as well be prehistoric. If we eliminate that cheap grain, how long before we see mass starvation return?

                      What's the nature of the grain subsidy? Is it direct payment? Suppose we eliminate that: We should see competition from other sources (including foreign farms and other grains), which should keep the price of food down (but not as low as it is now) and free up those resources to pay for other things. Consumers who kept that money instead of paying it in taxes would spend the money on something else they want more than cheap food. (Or maybe not. But it would be the consumer's choice, not the politicians' or the bureaucrats'.)

                      (Note that when I object to taxes, it's not because I want that money, but because I think consumers should have a right to make their buying choices, not "representatives" thousands of miles away. But I'm slowly learning to become less noble and more selfish. Taxes are inevitable, so I might as well learn to make a grab for the proceeds, and get them redirected to my sector. ;))
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fat tax

                        I understand the reasoning behind the subsidies (to control the ebb and flow of market forces) and I strongly disagree with them as the grandson of an independent farmer (now deceased).

                        Per my grandfather part of the problem with the subsidies is that it encouraged less farming to increase prices by covering the fields that were not used that year. So it was a better option to not plant 1/4 of the fields and collect a govn't don't grow subsidy and also have the 3/4 of the fields sell for a slightly higher price than to plant it all and sell it for less as an individual because of the reduction in labor. The side effect was the commercial growers ended up being able to simply plant all of the fields because their efficiencies were such that they could farm it all for about the same price because they had multiple workers instead of a single person. They then got to make additional money off of the reduced output by the single farmers.

                        He also raised his own cattle and they were quite tasty because they were raised in open fields (not even a barn to hold them) and they ate either the available grass in the fields or the alfalfa that he grew on another field. While the meat was superior, this was prior to the whole organic craze (which is usually misleading anyway) so his meat sold for the same amount per pound as factory cattle. He refused to do the factory farming because he actually loved and was proud of everyone of his cattle.

                        I think most subsidies and tax breaks only 'work' for an area because if that area didn't use them another would. If they canceled them across the nation businesses would actually gravitate to the appropriate locations and offer appropriate goods. Attempts to improve health should be based on dissemination of information, like health classes in schools, not by subsidizing production at the request of the large scale producers like we have with corn.
                        |TG-6th|Snooggums

                        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Fat tax

                          Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                          I understand the reasoning behind the subsidies (to control the ebb and flow of market forces) and I strongly disagree with them as the grandson of an independent farmer (now deceased).

                          Per my grandfather part of the problem with the subsidies is that it encouraged less farming to increase prices by covering the fields that were not used that year.
                          The actual reason for letting fields lie fallow is to conserve land, not to artificially maintain the price of a commodity. Growing crops year after year on the same land ruins the land leading to dust bowls.

                          There isn't much fear that this will increase the prices of a commodity. As you said corporate farmers don't really use the subsidies.
                          Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Fat tax

                            Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                            The actual reason for letting fields lie fallow is to conserve land, not to artificially maintain the price of a commodity. Growing crops year after year on the same land ruins the land leading to dust bowls.

                            There isn't much fear that this will increase the prices of a commodity. As you said corporate farmers don't really use the subsidies.
                            Yeah ok, I'm sure he didn't know anything about land usage after farming for 50 years and his reasoning and those of his fellow farmers to let the fields lie for income instead of rotating crops to avoid depleting specific nutrients was just what he told me for some secret reason. [/sarcasm]

                            No, growing something every year doesn't tap out the land automatically or everyone's lawns would die after a few years. Yes specific crops can drain the land of specific nutrients and crops can be rotated to replenish those nutrients as plants take in different nutrients and leave others behind. There was one Dust Bowl ever, and it was caused by climate abnormalities in the 30's due to ocean temperature fluctuations, a lack of moisture being moved into the atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico and a weak jet stream that when combined failed to bring rainfall to the midwest, allowing the land to dry excessively and be blown about by the normal ground level winds.

                            As noted my grandfather was a farmer, I helped him out regularly and was present for every harvest between 1982 and 1993 including the year I broke my arm (wheat chaff in a cast itches like the dickens!) and I understood the reason certain crops were raised on the same fields may need a field to lie fallow or rotated on a regular basis, although that is not an absolute. I also know that he decided not to harvest specific fields, and some others whose land he would regularly plant and harvest with a rental payment going to them, would opt to not have him plant so they could claim the subsidy. The reason the commercial farmers planted wasn't because the commodity price effects weren't affected, they were, it was just that it was cheaper for them to go ahead and farm it because it was cheaper in time and money to harvest than they would be getting from the subsidy (which also frees up time for a single farmer to do other things, like cattle).

                            My grandfather would pay attention to the fluctuating prices of the grain because volume and production massively affected the price he would sell at. When you don't have the volume of the commercial farm things don't even out over time, you have to get it while it's good. If there was a likelyhood that an area had a lot of storm or rain damage he would hedge his bets and sell later when the known low volume drove up the price. If the year was great he would give a little time for the price to come up from the initial extremely low starting point but sell before it was known that everyone was doing well. Total wheat production in the state predictions absolutely affected his sale price.

                            I'm not sure why you thought you needed to correct me with bad information, I started off with 'Per my grandfather' right after 'grandson of an independent farmer' so there's a decent chance I knew what I was talking about.
                            |TG-6th|Snooggums

                            Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Fat tax

                              Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                              Yeah ok, I'm sure he didn't know anything about land usage after farming for 50 years and his reasoning and those of his fellow farmers to let the fields lie for income instead of rotating crops to avoid depleting specific nutrients was just what he told me for some secret reason. [/sarcasm]
                              A lawn is much different than a crop. Really, it is. Lawns have much less stress put on it.

                              I also grew up in a farming community. Worked on farms. It isn't bad information. I lived in the area that caused the creation of the laws and subsidies. We where taught this in grade school. Go back and read about land conservation and the dirty thirties. You can rotate crops but if the crop isn't demanded in the market you loose money. Cheaper and simpler to just let the land lie fallow for a season.

                              All this may have outlived it's usefulness. Organic farmers would care to differ. Corporate farmers would agree. Nobody would disagree that they are abused. All things are abused. It is the nature of man. Doesn't mean we should abandon it. If that was the case there should be no involvement of government in health care.

                              *Edit

                              Plus think about it. Subsidies are meant to keep things cheap. You are saying they keep prices up.

                              No. If anything the purpose has become to keep family farms in business while keeping food cheap.
                              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X