Soda Taxes

Why the World Health Organization is Wrong on Soda Taxes

WHO's proposal that countries enact steep fees globally is wrong and unjustified.

|

Soda
Ocusfocus / Dreamstime.com

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report, "Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases," that suggests countries around the world should enact exorbitant taxes on soda—as high as 50 percent—"and other foods and beverages high in sugar, salt and fat" as a means of combating obesity and other diet-related diseases. The report also urges governments to adopt subsidies to make fruit and vegetables less expensive to purchase.

The WHO report suggests these subsidies and taxes can "create incentives for behaviours associated with improved health outcomes and discourage the consumption of less healthy options."

Similar, far smaller taxes are on the books in a growing number of local and international jurisdictions.

Berkeley, Calif. was the first U.S. city to pass such a tax. Philadelphia adopted a soda tax earlier this year, though that tax, a cash grab on the part of the city—and one for which the city's been sued by beverage makers and distributors—was intended to add to the city's coffers rather than to combat obesity. San Francisco, Boulder, Colo., and several other cities around the U.S. will vote on local soda taxes next month.

Globally, Mexico is one of several countries that has enacted a soda tax.

The regulatory momentum, it seems, is on the side of soda taxes. Why, though?

A Los Angeles Times piece this week on the new WHO report notes several popular and on-point critiques of soda taxes, including issues of "fairness (consumption taxes are a bigger burden for poor than rich people), freedom (the government shouldn't interfere with your personal choice of what to drink), trust (officials won't spend the tax revenue the way they say they will) and economics (small business will be harmed if taxes discourage sales)."

Earlier this year, in an April bulletin, the WHO seemed far less certain of the impact of soda taxes on obesity, arguing that "pricing policies can influence purchasing patterns and have an impact on dietary behaviour," without claiming that such taxes could or would lessen obesity rates. "Time will tell whether the tax helps to reduce obesity prevalence as well," the WHO wrote at the time, of Mexico's tax.

It could be a long time.

One of Mexico's chief soda tax proponents, Dr. Juan Rivera Dommarco, director of the Mexican Research Centre in Nutrition at the National Institute of Public Health, admitted that soda taxes—even if they work—won't be impacting eating habits or health anytime soon.

"The results in terms of a real reduction in obesity and increase in healthy consumption habits will not show immediately," he said.

A WHO expert, Dr. Gojka Roglic, WHO medical officer, said it could take "five years or more" for any potential changes in obesity rates to appear.

These less-than-impactful predictions about the impact of soda taxes on obesity occurred as data showed soda consumption in Mexico had fallen in the wake of the tax. But, as I wrote earlier this year, if soda consumption fell after Mexico's law took effect, it began to rise again shortly afterwards. That's not what a successful policy looks like.

What's more, while the new WHO report calls for "economic tools that are justified by evidence," the report admits there's "[l]imited evidence"—or what the report charitably characterizes as an "evidence gap"—that "target[ing] sugar-sweetened beverages" will impact non-communicable disease outcomes.

So just what did the WHO recommend, earlier this year, as an effective strategy to combat obesity? It wasn't soda taxes.

"WHO recommends other price policies such as subsidies for, or lower taxation of, healthy food as well as initiatives to encourage people to eat a healthier diet, avoid tobacco and be more physically active," the body wrote in its April bulletin.

The need to combat obesity using methods other than soda taxes echoes an independent 2014 report from McKinsey. That report, which notably used WHO methodologies, found that a tax on foods that are high in sugar or fat ranked near the bottom in terms of its cost-effectiveness and potential impact as a programmatic lever in the fight against obesity.

There's no doubt that obesity is a problem in the United States and elsewhere. It's one I don't claim to know how to solve. I've argued before that we should stop using taxpayer money to encourage the growth and production of sweeteners by eliminating farm subsidies and/or tariff protections for those who grow crops—particularly sugarcane, sugar beets, and corn—that are turned into those sweeteners. (While we're at it, I'd also eliminate all other farm subsidies and food-related tariffs.)

If that in turn makes sugar, soda, cookies, candy, energy drinks, and other sweetened foods and drinks more expensive, then consumers can choose to adjust their consumption habits accordingly, without having been taxed to support the production of those sweeteners in the first place.

We shouldn't be taxed to encourage farmers to grow crops that become sweeteners. And we shouldn't be taxed for consuming the foods we encouraged those farmers to grow, either. Unlike the WHO report, there's no "evidence gap" in that reasoning.

NEXT: Free Brazil!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They don’t care whether soda taxes work. They care about control.

    Sticking cold meds behind the pharmacy counter didn’t work to stop meth production, but the decision hasn’t been reversed.

    1. It’s also about tax money,that gives the more control and more ‘people’ to enforce the law. And they will create another black market. Something,something usual suspects.

      1. The War on Soda – for your own good.

        Signed – do gooder prog

        1. Yup. It’s a modern-day sin tax. Nothing more, nothing less.

          1. I’m making over $16k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life…Go to this web site and click tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/j4onneg

          2. I Make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $70h to $86h?Go to this website and click tech tab to start your work? Visit this web? http://www.14EarnPath.Com

    2. Exactly. Authoritarians gonna authoritate and it has nothing to do with the effect they claim to have on the ‘problem,’ alleged or otherwise. There are countless examples, with the Theatrical Security Agency/Department of Fatherland Security being the most obvious.

    3. Laws , even mindbogglingly stupid laws, seldom get repealed. In a way, Prohibition was a terrific example of democracy in action, in that when it failed it was repealed. Pity nobody seems to want to apply the lesson.

    4. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Go to website and click to Tech tab for more work details…Go Now… http://tinyurl.com/hso7qky

    5. “How does one man exert his power over another, Winston?”
      Winston thought. “By making him suffer,” he said.
      “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own?”

    6. Ironically, with improved meth cooking methods, can you imagine the supply explosion if they could buy sudafed by the case?

    7. My Co-Worker’s step-sister made $14285 the previous week. She gets paid on the laptop and moved in a $557000 condo. All she did was get blessed and apply the guide leaked on this web site. Browse this site….
      This is what I do… http://www.Trends88.Com

  2. “There’s no doubt that obesity is a problem in the United States and elsewhere.”

    No one likes having to look at fatties

    1. No one likes having to look at politicians, either.

      1. Something should be done. For the children.

        1. Unfortunately, the politicians want to do things to the children.

      2. Chris Christie hardest hit

        1. You’d hit that? Eeeewwww.

            1. Sheesh, you’d think the captioner would get it right. That’s not an elephant gun, its a punt gun. Its for hunting ducks.

              Whole flocks at a time.

              1. Isn’t Christie a flock???

  3. “It’s one I don’t claim to know how to solve.”

    Outlaw electricity and the wheel.

  4. If obesity really kills then it seems like a self correcting problem.

  5. Or, you know, you could just not drink soda.

    Its the new tobacco. Its something people consume with no redeeming qualities (*other than tasting good/being enjoyable)

    Ergo, our masters believe they can make us pay them for the privilege of having such things. They know that taxes wont make anyone thinner. But they know that enough idiots out there think the stuff has the Devil in it, and its – like tobacoo – sold by Evil Corporations…. that the government should therefore be involved somehow.

    Its just their foot in the door of a new category of thievery. And they know that the industry can’t push back or theyll be further demonized. So unless people squawk, they will sneak it in, eventually

    1. When the so-called “public health” types talk about the quality of life, they never think about the quality of life of just being left the hell alone.

      1. When you have an industry called “Public Health”, it has a built in presumption that they’re supposed to “do stuff” and that their own doing-stuff actually helps. Because why? Because why else are they there?

        Its pretty much the same as the International Aid industry. My ex gf spent years in her masters program, more years in UNICEF and other orgs, before finally getting “on the ground” dealing with some problem, and then realized that the orgs and their education and their employees are mostly there to justify their own existence – and that they have zero real relationship with the ‘problems’ they claim to exist to combat. They exist in order to suck up billions in money from UN nations which fund their feelgood-conferences and their “Expert Studies”

        Which produce things like “the intersection of Gender Studies and Water Resource Management

        Some of what they say is actually true – sure, women are significant when it comes to water-issues in developing world cultures. But the net result of it is to simply provide a dozen new jobs for Gender Studies people to get their own seat at the bullshit-conference-table, and to suck a few hundred million more out of member nations by making what should be a mostly Engineering related problem – water – into a culture-studies-run feifdom

        1. This, a million times this

        2. Where else are PhDs with majors in __________ Studies to get jobs…Starbucks!!!!

        3. Ex-girlfriend? If she couldn’t see that for the load of horse shit it is from a mile away you lucked out.

          1. If she couldn’t see that for the load of horse shit it is from a mile away you lucked out.

            To be fair, man, 20-somethings dont have the ability to really comprehend institutional-cronyism on such a vast scale. And the NYC international-affairs social-circuit is pretty slick.

            1. This. I had a good friend from college who was one of those types. She became a social worker for one of the many Minneapolis programs. Gung ho for about a year. A couple years later, when asked what she did for a living, her response was ‘I try to help crazy people find jobs they won’t show up for’. She bailed soon after and found happiness in the private sector.

        4. what should be a mostly Engineering related problem

          While this is true in a perfect world, the reason most of the “engineering-related” solutions of the past usually didn’t stick is because the local (or not so local) warlord would come along with his band of thugs and they’d all steal/rape/destroy whatever they could.

          The problem is actually more about social order than engineering. People can be taught to build wells, to shit away from water sources and downstream of where they drink, to manage arable land, etc. But once somebody starts to build something useful, they attract attention. You either have more guns or you are at the mercy of those who do.

          But the grievance-studies majors understand none of this. They think Robert Mugabe institutionalizing thuggery in Zimbabwe was a step forward. Down with the ‘colonialists’ who know how to run a farm, in with morons, thieves, and murderers who don’t!

          To the extent they ever get their hands dirty and do something, it’s often to empower and enable the exact sort of behavior that makes the whole “aid to Africa” bullshit exist in the first place.

        5. to suck a few hundred million more out of member nations by making what should be a mostly Engineering related problem – water – into a culture-studies-run feifdom

          That’s why they call it “The Road to Serfdom”.

        6. I used to have to hang out with foreign aid types through my ex-wife. They loved to tell stories about where they went and what their accommodations were like (huge cred for living in converted conex containers on shipboard, for example), and conferences and other folks of their ilk, but surprisingly little about what the actually *did* to address any crisis.
          Granted, my X was a lawyer who specialized in Democratization and Human Rights, so maybe I just fell in with the wrong crowd.

    2. Ars Technica sorta maybe sometimes does ok with technical articles, if you can ignore the incredible word padding and multiple pages, but they stepped into social engineering pretty poorly: Big soda is buying off big health orgs to keep profits and Americans fat. The social justice outrage is wonderful to behold.

      1. “Big Soda” learned how the game worked. They use exactly the same tactics as the CSPI and other “MOAR HEALTH-TAXES” leeches. They get experts to produce reports which politicians can wave around.

        Dont hate the player – this is a game that the scumag people in health-scamming invented. The soda people would be far happier spending their money making beverages. But because the public health jerks declared war, they have to have their own army.

        1. Governments coerce and provide the incentives for others to join the game. When your only product is coercion, and it is mandatory, that’s what you get.

          If these people had to actually convince the public with arguments and facts and logic, they’d sink without a trace.

          Aside from my normal frustration at how much better off the economy would be if it weren’t for government dragging it down, it’s also frustrating to see how much logic and science have become bad words in the public fora, replaced by lies and decibels.

          1. But the science is settled!

            1. Yes, we don’t need any more. In fact, we have too much, as illustrated by GMOs showing how Hitler’s quest for Lebensraum was so misguided.

      2. Ars is derp central whenever there is a SJW or other prog nexus in a story.

      3. It makes much more sense if you simply think of it as a typical shakedown: “Nice soda industry you have there. Would be a shame if some regulation happened to it. Why don’t you give us some money so we can protect you?”

  6. Let’s just make another food pyramid with soda at the top so everyone understands that the USDA was wrong for decades and soda is at the top of the food pyramid, whatever that means.

  7. Good news for 2A. An honest media would ask Hillary what she thinks about this.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..hook-case/

    1. I understand the cocktail crowd here doesn’t want to cover the mammal with the hair. But this story would be a nice palat cleanser.

      1. Brian Doherty made it clear that spending is more important than gun rights. We bitter clingers need to get over ourselves I guess.

      2. Wait — Hillary wears a wig? Is she a cancer survivor, or resurrected and her hair was part of the polyjuice? Does the Trump campaign know of this?

    2. What’s troubling is we’ve seem to begun crossing the Rubicon where such cases exist.

      Once upon a time we were sensible enough to connect ‘seller’ not the same as ‘user’. That a transaction entered upon by two people was not contingent on what the purchaser did afterward. It’s just…basic.

      But these are different times and the ‘cult of the blamer’ will push.

      What happens when a judge one day does the opposite?

      1. I can’t wrap my head around this. Are people going to try and sue auto makers if someone kills a person with one of their cars?

        We already absurdly see people suing tobacco for getting cancer (specious in of itself) and winning leaving those people’s own actions borne of free will off the hook.

        It’s nuts.

        1. Bbbbbbut I read yesterday on this site that things are getting so much better! The proles need to continue to pay no attention to the top men and women behind the curtain. Have a nice weekend H&R friends!

        2. But guns were designed as point and click death machines! Not so with cars!!! Now put on your fucking seatbelt and register with your municipality.

    3. I am confused. I thought I remembered that Lanza only used pistols in that shooting, that his bushmaster and a shotgun were in the trunk of his car. Maybe I have that shooting mixed up with another one.

      1. That’s how I remember it, too.

        *does some research*

        Looks like he shot his victims with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle:

        A large quantity of unused ammunition was recovered inside the school along with three semi-automatic firearms found with Lanza: a .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, a 10mm Glock 20SF handgun, and a 9mm SIG Sauer P226 handgun. Outside the school, an Izhmash Saiga-12 shotgun was found in the car Lanza had driven.

        Trigger warning: Wikipedia.

        1. I am not buying that. I remember seeing the video footage of him approaching the school and he appeared unarmed because he only had the two pistols hidden in his clothing. The rifle and shotgun were found in his car and I do remember initial erroneous reports of his using the rifle when video footage showed cops looking at his rifle.

          I distinctly remember that he only used pistols in the actual shooting because he didn’t think he could smuggle the rifle into the school.

          1. Just read over the account. Jesus christ.

            And the janitor hid in a nearby home? He just hid there while the shooting went on and on and on? No gun was available in that house? Why didn’t he arm himself and go shut that shit down?

    4. I’m surprised that Bushmaster didn’t have more competent legal team.

      You would think they would have the best money can buy in such a case and not one that wouldn’t know the correct forms to file.

      If the Judge had not explained her reasoning for denying the original petition the correct one may never have been filed and that could have resulted in an earth shattering conclusion.

      1. From what I understand, gun making isn’t that profitable. And I don’t think they were expecting this. They’re used to getting sued for defective guns. Getting sued for making an effective product is blindsiding them. The same tactics have been used before to go after other “undesirable” industries.

      1. (That’s two separate links.)

  8. Maybe we should stop giving away massive quantities of food to “poor” people.

    http://www.10tv.com/article/co…..snap-flaws

  9. Like smoking, eating poorly just cuts off the bad years anyway. Who wants to be 95?

  10. Altogether now…TAXES ARE INEFFICIENT.

    1. Remember taxes never effect behavior unless it is abortion, tobacco or sodas.

      1. More accurately, taxes never affect behavior unless the left intends them to.

      2. Remember taxes never effect behavior unless it is [alcohol], tobacco or sodas.

        and carbon, don’t forget carbon!

        But not jobs or businesses! If you tax those, you magically get more of them!

        It’s like God intervenes and makes sure that taxes have the effect progressives intend! And they have the science to prove it!

  11. http://abcnews.go.com/Internat…..ook_widget

    This is starting to get very scary. And the country is utterly blind to it. I feel like it is July 1914 sometimes.

    1. . I feel like it is July 1914 sometimes.

      Im feeling more a 1984 vibe

      1. These people are too comical and stupid for 1984.

    2. It is worrisome. What’s just as bad is hardly anyone seems to give a damn.

      1. We have a set of very small people running the country who are forever dominated by events rather than shaping them. I have the terrible feeling we are sliding towards something horrible and the people who could stop it lack the intelligence and awareness to do so.

        1. You’re right about that. What gets me is the cheerleading of this from the Dems for political obfuscation. Conventional war with Russia would be catastrophic and a nuclear exchange would be civilization ending. What’s going on here is incredibly dangerous.

          1. They have lived such sheltered lives they can’t imagine that life could ever be any different or that something really horrible could ever happen. it is all just a game to them. We would never have a big war. The Russians wouldn’t really do that. Ah, yeah we could. They have always been dangerously stupid. Today they are delusional as well. That is terrifying.

            1. I am so with you. The lefties are all about Trump is crazy and will start a war. Even though he is a businessman and knows that, in general, we are better off not being at war. (I am not arguing he has a solid grasp of free-market economics, that is a completely different issue). Meanwhile, Hillary, who used to have a reset button, now all of a sudden literally wants to force us into shooting down Russian planes. To protect the most radical of Jihadist groups.

              Whatever Trump’s issues, and make no mistake, he is a boor and a dick. But, this is fucking serious. This isn’t hiking income tax rates up or down by 2% or 500 million in “stimulus” spending. This is serious war mongering.

              1. It really is.

    3. Good analogy. It’s hard to think of any war which was begun, fought, and ended more stupidly, and everyone just placidly slid into it with eyes wide shut.

    4. Apparently Metro 2033 was only 3 years off.

    5. Why do I still feel like we are being played?

      1. It isn’t like you are being played. Everyone is being played and the governmental and quasi-governmental organizations are playing everyone recognizing that very few will recognize they are being played.

        1. That’s just it. Fucking Russia can’t go to war, either. It would finish them.

          It’s what Mencken said:

          “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

          1. Events have a way of getting unexpectedly out of hand. It’s not so much that we or the Russians want war, it’s that we could blunder our way into it through walking a fine line and accidentally stepping over it. I agree that this saber rattling is at least partly for domestic political consumption on both sides (that’s what you’re getting at right?) but this is uniquely dangerous.

          2. I think that Gulf War I bought a lot of peace. The U.S. just cleaned the clocks of the Iraqis without breaking much of a sweat. The rest of the world was, no doubt, in awe. But then Mogadishu showed we could be beaten when we weren’t really committed. Serbia/Bosnia/Kosovo showed we would throw our forces around out of pique and hubris. And finally Afghanistan/Iraq showed that we are not the British Empire and are either unable or unwilling to pacify threats in the long term.

    6. Foreign policy with Russia is becoming my top election issue right now. I hope I am way off base with that because I really do no want the US to get into a no-shit war with the Russians.

    7. Could someone explain to me what our interests in Syria are? Honestly I cant think of a single thing to gain by fucking around there. It looks to me like president peace prize is just screwing with Putin. I guess he got tired of being punked over and over though I never got the impression that Obumbles really understood how badly he was punked repeatedly.

      So the Dems are going to drag us into what could possibly be the worse war in the history of the world because of dumbshit Obumblefuck’s ego? Those people that dressed up in maosuits and danced for the coming Hildebeasts administration of equality and inclusion should shoot themselves in the head. Anyone who voted for Obama should join them.

      1. Well, our arms manufacturers do stand to make a lot of money. The lobbyists who bribe our various public officials aren’t going to pay for themselves.

        1. Electronic money may not have much value after a nuclear exchange.

      2. you gotta break a lot of windows to support a fallacy.

      3. Anybody that isn’t voting for Trump at this point, regardless of political affiliation, is setting up the biggest catastrophe the world will ever see. This shit is getting very scary, very fast.

          1. Nothing on a potential nuclear exchange between two of the strongest nations on Earth? Or is it gonna be another stupid fucking joke?

            1. There’s no proof that Trump wouldn’t blunder us into a war with Russia.

              At least Johnson doesn’t even know where Aleppo is to think about fighting Russia over it.

              1. Hey look, Johnson will be great if we just ignore that he got his ass handed to him twice by the media.

            2. I’m confused here. Hillary accuses Trump of being all lovey-dovey with Putin.

              Sounds to me like Hillary is itching to go to war with Russia, according to Hillary herself.

  12. Before I realized how incompetent government is at everything it does, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out individual reforms to keep government honest. Boy was I a dreamer! One of government’s many problems is that money in fungible. Just as giving non-military foreign allows dictators to shift the money they would have spent on food to their military, so do special-purpose taxes allow other tax shifts. Many states dedicate lotto income to education so general fund expenditures can be switched to other things.

    So every spending program had to have a unique tax source with a maximum (not minimum) budget. Many programs could suck from the same teat, but had to be an exact amount — .01 cent sales tax for mosquito abatement, 1% in income tax for getting old cars off the road. No general fund, no transfers. If a tax produced a surplus for its budget, the tax would be reduced correspondingly next year.

    So a soda tax directed at reducing obesity with advertisements and educational lectures at schools which brought in twice as much it would drop to zero next year because its budget was already collected. Of course politicians could rewrite the obesity program budget, but they’d have to be explicit about it, and there would be some — *some!* — pressure to not just double it.

    And of course, every law passed had to include expectations and intended consequences, and citizen lawsuits could test whether those were met.

    1. Many states dedicate lotto income to education so general fund expenditures can be switched to other things.

      And guess what happened to all that 1997 Tobacco Settlement “windfall”-money?

      (cue sound of cash register and flushing toilet)

      Everyone saw it happening, and they only bothered to maybe suggest it was a real problem 15 years later

      In fact, as the latter link shows, the main complaint isnt even that the funds never went where they were intended, it was that – even worse – they used the funds in wildly inefficient ways *even for the sake of just stealing it*. They blew billions on stupid financing tricks!

      And yet these same people will insist smugly that *you’re* crazy for being skeptical about “Carbon Taxes”

      1. I live in PA, and at least some of the money went into the medical assistance senior waiver program. This is a program that is not necessarily a bad thing, in that case managers get the state to pay for needed items that are not normally covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The company I work for did a good business in seat lift chairs for a few years. Then all of a sudden they were ordering baby powder, baby wipes, bath wash, and Neosporin. We had one guy who got 24 enemas a month. As a tax payer I was unhappy, but as someone who needed a job I was okay with it. Last year, the gravy train came to an end. The case managers were told that MA would only pay for wipes( I still don’t understand why- use a washcloth and a basin of water) and barrier cream. People were majorly pissed. The number of case managers was also cut after the changes.
        It was all justified because, hey, its for senior citizens! How can you be against that? And also because it was “free” money. We will never learn.

  13. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/polit…..85582.html

    So much for the talking point that “Obama is like the first President ever to reduce the deficit”.

    1. Aw shucks, for a while there I was so convinced that the budget deficit was the most important metric, not the national debt ticker.

  14. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20…..audiences/

    Another special snowflake just can’t take it. The money quote is

    “I really think he (Trump) gave people carte blanche to act and behave hateful,”

    Hey dumb ass, people have carte blanche to say whatever they want. It is or once was a free country.

    1. It really is sad. People were all goodness and light before Trump came along and fucked it all up.

    2. Well, progressives certainly gave themselves carte blanche to act and behave hatefully. Of course, their lack of self-awareness tells them that their hatred of everyone not exactly like them is a virtue.

    3. What is also interesting, is the lack of any historical awareness of some of the real assholes who have had positions of power in our government. LBJ was as amoral as they come. JFK was at least as bad as Trump regarding womanizing. Do I need to even mention Ted Kennedy? How about Robert Byrd?
      Hell pretty much all the presidents between John Quincy Adams and Abe Lincoln were as corrupt and power hungry as the day is long.

      1. Lord Acton surely rolls in his grave when he hears today’s statists.

      2. That’s why accidents like Coolidge are so remarkable.

      3. I’m not so sure this is a lack of historical awareness so much as it is lying. They’re full of shit and I think it’s on purpose. If they were a bunch of ignorant cretins who couldn’t think their way of a paper bag they wouldn’t be winning the political argument like they’re doing now.

        1. They aren’t winning because they have a good argument. They are winning because they are appealing to the worst parts of human nature, to people that have feeble character. You will always have takers if you appeal to greed, envy, resentment and a sense of entitlement.

          You are correct. It is calculated and deliberate.

      4. It’s not a lack, it’s a deliberate ignorance. Government and political legitimacy is based on maintaining a sense of moral supremacy, that those who hold a monopoly on legitimate force are moral enough to use it correctly. If you recognize that, historically and realistically in a modern context, government has overwhelmingly more often been corrupt and immoral than moral, you are unable to justify it as a solution to all problems.

        History is rewritten to fit government and politicians into virtuous roles. So LBJ becomes the end of black oppression, not the deaths of Vietnamese children. JFK is the lost hero of ‘Camelot’ who would have solved it all, not the degenerate pervert drug addict who started both Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. Hell, Tony has defended Robert Byrd here as having ‘reformed his views’. The guy who screams at how monstrous we all are actively defends a former KKK member who just happened to try to block black people from being on the Supreme Court.

        1. Where have you been man, didn’t you get the memo that Nixon was responsible for Vietnam and none of the predecessors?

          1. You joke but when you’re a foreigner and start discussing even recent American history with your country’s citizens you very quickly notice a consistent pattern of mythology around a fair amount of figures. Kennedy’s the most common, but the weirdest one I’m seeing now is people recalling the apparently peaceful borderline utopia that was the Clinton 90s.

            1. The Clinton one is easy to make sense of. On the whole, American prosperity was up and there was a boom in technological advances. My formative years were largely during that time, and I remember very clearly not understanding how leftist punk lyrics could have a problem with the sitting President – how could that have possibly been?

              The important part is that credit for all of that needs to be attributable to a single figurehead and no other host of factors. Totally unimportant life-ruining wars abroad didn’t impact generic American standards of living, so that doesn’t matter – remember that a sitting President was singularly responsible for but was not responsible for reducing a budget deficit. And that accidental Chinese embassy missile attack in the Balkans was totally unavoidable. Those that reflect nostalgically upon the time period are also, by and large, those that whinge and complain that Americans are so insular and not worldly. Americans need to travel abroad more to be more worldly, but make sure they don’t behave ugly and uncouth, because that would be embarrassing.

              1. hose that reflect nostalgically upon the time period are also, by and large, those that whinge and complain that Americans are so insular and not worldly.

                The essential point I really wanted to make with this is the staggering irony of the mindset considering the circumstances.

              2. Wasn’t that because China was helping Serbia?

                1. The ostensible reason was accidental.

      5. JFK was at least as bad as Trump regarding womanizing. Do I need to even mention Ted Kennedy? How about Robert Byrd?

        The human race has since evolved past that.. Onward to the moon.

    4. Hey dumb ass, people have carte blanche to say whatever they want. It is or once was a free country.

      The worst part is, they weren’t even heckling him/them directly. Legend goes that Bill Murray, when performing for The Second City, took a drunk heckler out to the street roughed him up, broke his arm, and then finished the set. I’m sure Tina Fey did sets with people and material she loathed. I bet John Candy got tired of getting asked to play the part of ‘Fat Naive Midwesterner’ once or twice. I can’t imagine Chris Farley never got offended or did anything offensive.

      Mrs. Casual and I used to go see Second City before we had kids. It took a nose dive worse than SNL. The improv became or seemed somewhat formulaic, which, if you’ve got a Tina Fey or Steve Carell, can still be effectively pulled off as entertainment (just ask Drew Carey). But TSC took a decidedly theatrical, SJW-y turn about two decades ago. Not 100% off-the-deep-end SJW, but enough to take any edge off the comedy. There were still talented people and jokes you still laughed about the next morning or even a week later. But, increasingly, the majority of actors were simply performing awkwardly within the frame of the audiences’ awkward situations rather than actually displaying unique and/or unbelievable talent/hunger/drive.

  15. So soda tax bad, carbon tax good?

    First, I realize that Reason isn’t one point of view, but one would hope for clearer principles editorially. And, yes, free floating carbon is more broadcast than refined sugars down one gullet, but the reality is we live in a collectivist society that makes me responsible for what other people pour into themselves. Let’s be clear about what needs fixing and in what order.

    If I’m going to go all Robespierre on someone’s ass am I supposed to go after the mope mowing his lawn with a gas mower because water levels are going to rise four inches by 2065? Or go after the 350lb asshole with the 1,000 calorie big gulp in his hands when he already has leaking ulcers on his legs and is going to cost $400,000 in medicare funded dialysis five years from now?

    So, take the position that we need to tear down the collectivist state, and then I’m properly disinterested in either case. BUT, if we’re supposed to take this in increments and can’t do it all at once, the BY FAR clearer and more present danger to my pocket book is obesity. So put things in order – get rid of collective health; barring that Forcing me to be interested where I am not, and people are jonsing to use broadcast Force against peaceful and productive people, I am going to after the tub of lard with the 2,500 calories in his hands versus the guy trimming his grass.

    1. You weren’t supposed to notice that inconsistency. Just like in the same article you’re not supposed to notice that he claims that consumption taxes aren’t fair because they hit the “poor” “disproptionately” (how a proportional tax has been turned into something “regressive” is one of the great black magic tricks of the dismal science), but removing subsidies on the same products leading to an increase in prices is somehow magically different.

      No doubt the same reasoning gets you to the notion of tax “expenditures” while ignoring the largest expenditure of them all: graduated income tax rates.

      All of this is irrelevant though as long as I can toke up in the bathroom of my choice.

  16. I stopped drinking soda (except for a Mexican coke every other month or so) years ago. I didn’t need a fucking tax to tell me that decision was in my best interest.

    I go out for lunch every day and my observations tell me that more people are consciously making that decision on their own, as well. Water is becoming the preference because people are becoming better informed and better able to share/acquire information to support that decision – not because of a stupid tax.

    1. Well, like smoking, the govt better sink its teeth into this thing before the industry goes and changes on its own?! WHO WILL TAKE CREDIT FOR IT THEN???

      Like climate change – there are many in the US that are pissed as hell they didnt get Kyoto signed so they could take credit for the emissions reductions which Fracking created

      1. The same thing is going to/already happened with the Frank Lautenburg Control of Nasty Chemicals Act. What could go wrong?

    2. Ah, Mexican Coke, the champagne of soft drinks. You’re right about people making healthier decisions on their own, I’ve seen it myself but I’m not sure that’s really representative of what’s going on out there with the population at large.

      1. I’ve seen it myself but I’m not sure that’s really representative of what’s going on out there with the population at large.

        It is.

        Slumping demand for diet sodas sold by PepsiCo and Coca Cola propelled a decline for the broader industry, as overall sales of carbonated soft drinks dropped for the 11th consecutive year in the U.S.

        Total volume declined 1.2% in 2015, an acceleration from 2014’s 0.9% drop…

        1. The soda tax will likely be used to bail out the soda industry.

        2. Pepsi saw it coming, they bought naked juice.

          1. and vitamin water, and HonesTeas, and._________ [insert a half dozen other smaller acquisitions]

            the decline in carb soft drinks has been happening for 20 years

            1. Peyton . even though Billy `s report is cool… on monday I got a gorgeous Maserati after I been earnin $8985 thiss month and even more than ten k lass month . it’s certainly the easiest work Ive ever had . I started this 9-months ago and practically straight away started bringin home at least $78 per-hr . look at this now

              ……………. http://www.jobhub44.com

      2. HEB sells a cola (and other sodas) made with real sugar.

        Nectar of the gods.

    3. Hillary Clinton doesn’t drink water. She drinks the blood of aborted fetuses.

      And look how healthy she is!

  17. http://www.dailystar.co.uk/new…..uke-threat

    We’re whistling past the graveyard. This shit should be on every major news outlet.

    1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..sions.html

      Very scary and it’s accelerating at a very quick pace.

    2. No it shouldn’t.

      That’s not a government website but is a private website with it’s own agenda.

      Don’t try and tell people they should freak out over a private website looking for clickbait.

      1. Sounds a lot like this website.

  18. The WHO is wrong about soda taxes because the WHO is a bunch of buttinskies who should be larded and slid down a chute into an oubliette.

  19. Matthew . I can see what your saying… Bobby `s storry is surprising, last saturday I got a brand new Land Rover Defender since I been making $4556 this past 5 weeks and more than ten-grand this past-month . this is definitely my favourite-job I have ever had . I began this 4 months ago and immediately made more than $71 per-hr . More Info
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  20. http://tinyurl.com/gm4opfh

    Report on this one Reason

  21. Let’s cut to the chase and get to the heart of the matter. What the politicians are after is total control of the serfs. So, for the USA, the task is dirt simple; make the selective service gender neutral, draft everybody (including illegals), and run them into fitness through basic training that consists solely of exercise and controlled diets. You have to stay in basic training until you fit whatever the current batch of politicians say is “healthy”, then you choose between medic or police advanced training. After you complete advanced training you are released into the active reserves for 10 years. After the first generation, the USA will have a general population that consists solely of first responders, and the terrorists will go away. If you refuse to become healthy during basic training, you must cast 10 years of advanced absentee ballots for the current regime, and then are shot to save money, and to reach the goal of everyone being fit and happy.
    Or, just a crazy thought, you could go away and leave us alone.

  22. The writer needs to make his point. I skimmed through this article and it looked like just a bunch of drivel. I want to know why it is bad to have a tax but I don’t want to read every word. I want to know in the first paragraph and then if it interests me I’ll read the rest.

  23. I’m using it now and it’s awesome! I’ve signed up for my account and have been bringing in fat paychecks. For real, my first week I made $306 and the second week I doubled it and then it kind a snowballed to $120 a day! just follow the course.. they will help you out.

    —————>>>>> http://www.Ejobs90.Com

  24. Bella . I can see what your saying… Jesus `s blurb is good, on wednesday I bought a new Lotus Elan after making $9196 this last 4 weeks an would you believe 10/k lass month . this is really the nicest work I’ve ever done . I started this 5 months ago and almost straight away brought home minimum $73.. per hour . read
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  25. Couldn’t I just add sugar to carbonated soda, WHO?

  26. “and other foods and beverages high in sugar, salt and fat” as a means of combating obesity and other diet-related diseases

    Apparently, the WHO is still a couple of decades behind on their nutritional science.

  27. There seems to little doubt that sugar is not good for your health. However, this is about the same as the tobacco issue, the drug issue and now prescription drug issue. The government intends to tell us how to eat, drink, medicate, etc. I resent that and don’t think the government, basically other people, has the right to do so. Overtaxing any item in order to prevent the purchase, is unconstitutional. The purpose of government is being misconstrued to suit the opinions of certain interests. The legislature is hardly even qualified to make these decisions. Now that people are beginning to object, there are rumors of voting fraud. Not surprised. I just don’t understand why anyone could be so interested in what other people are doing as long as it isn’t interfering with them.

  28. Anna . I see what you mean… Virginia `s postlng is incredible, last tuesday I got a new Audi Quattro after having made $5000 this last 5 weeks and over 10k this past month . without a doubt it is the coolest work I have ever had . I started this seven months/ago and pretty much immediately started making minimum $85 per hour . view it
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  29. “There’s no doubt that obesity is a problem in the United States and elsewhere. It’s one I don’t claim to know how to solve. I’ve argued before that we should stop using taxpayer money to encourage the growth and production of sweeteners by eliminating farm subsidies and/or tariff protections for those who grow crops?particularly sugarcane, sugar beets, and corn?that are turned into those sweeteners. (While we’re at it, I’d also eliminate all other farm subsidies and food-related tariffs.)

    If that in turn makes sugar, soda, cookies, candy, energy drinks, and other sweetened foods and drinks more expensive, then consumers can choose to adjust their consumption habits accordingly, without having been taxed to support the production of those sweeteners in the first place.”

    Wouldn’t allowing the importation of lower priced foreign sugar reduce sugar prices?

  30. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  31. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  32. i hope that the new taxes are effective measures for reduce consumption of beverages high in sugar

  33. The reason we’re all doomed to soda taxes:

    In order to effectively argue against soda taxes from a moral or logical perspective, you have to believe that government should have no role in promoting good outcomes or reducing bad outcomes, as it pertains to choices people make themselves.

    If you honestly believe that, you must also (for logical consistency) believe in supremely unpopular things like ending the mortgage tax deduction or doing away with all sin taxes, and it’s easy to bat down your argument by just accusing you of ill will towards mortgage-holders and lung cancer patients.

  34. RE: Why the World Health Organization is Wrong on Soda Taxes
    WHO’s proposal that countries enact steep fees globally is wrong and unjustified.

    WHO is right about taxing pop.
    Next up: Taxing mom.

  35. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate, but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it.
    just try it out on the following website
    ???????? http://www.great.jobs14.com

  36. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate, but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it.
    just try it out on the following website
    ???????? http://www.great.jobs14.com

  37. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    ……………… http://www.jobprofit9.com

  38. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  39. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  40. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  41. Super and Easiest 0nl!nee Home opportunity forall. Make 2512 Dollars per month.All you just Need an Internet Connection and aComputer To Make Some Extra cash.Visit this link………..

    =======tiny.tw/3qVg

  42. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  43. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  44. There are several key elements involved when it comes to eating healthy, which includes: moderation, variety, and balance.

  45. Soda can cause a decline in kidney function. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study, including 3,318 women, researchers found that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.