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Free Minds & Free Markets

Philly Mayor Blames ‘Price Gouging’ for Outrage Generated by City’s New Soda Tax

Businesses are passing along the cost of the tax to consumers, because that's how taxes work. Someone get Jim Kenney an economics textbook.

PAT BENIC/UPI/NewscomPAT BENIC/UPI/NewscomAfter driving up the cost of soda and other sugary drinks with a new tax, the mayor of Philadelphia is now trying to blame businesses for charging higher prices (and for the outrage those prices have generated).

Mayor Jim Kenney, who proposed the soda tax and championed its passage through city council last year, told reporters on Tuesday it's not the new 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax that's making it more expensive to buy a can of Coke in Philly. No, according to the mayor, those higher prices are caused by city businesses price gouging their customers in order to stir up opposition to the tax.

"They're gouging their own customers," Kenney said, KYW News reports.

To understand Kenney's reasoning, you have to know that the new tax technically is applied at the wholesale level. That is, the city is charging a tax on the transaction that takes place when a business, like a sandwich shop or grocery store, purchases soda (or the syrup used to make soda in a fountain) from a distributor. In the mayor's mind, it seems, distributors and retailers are supposed to eat the cost of the tax and continue selling their products at the same price as before the tax went into effect.

In the real world, those sandwich shops and grocery stores, of course, are adjusting the retail price of sugary drinks to make up for the added cost imposed by the tax. Some of them have posted signs to inform customers why drink prices have skyrocketed.

Kenney doesn't like that. He called those efforts "wrong" and "misleading" and suggested that it could be an extension of the expensive fight put up by soda companies, retailers, and even the city's Teamsters Union in a failing effort to prevent the tax from passing in the first place.

"This is what they do," Kenney told KYW News. "And they'll continue to lose because their legal case is not sound and their public case is not sound."

Kenney can fight the grocery stores and soda distributors opposed to the tax—though it was probably wrong for him to assume they would just go along with things after it passed against their wishes—but he can't fight the laws of economics.

Newswork's Katie Colaneri visited Carbonator Rental Services in Philadelphia to break down the math.

The distributors sells five-gallon boxes of syrup that can be used in soda fountains, and each box costs a retailer about $60. Thanks to the city's new tax, though, retailers have to pay $57.60 in taxes for each of those boxes of syrup.

"We're not talking about a couple of bucks on a $60 item," Andy Pincus, who owns Carbonator Rental Services, told Newsworks. "We're talking about $57.60 on a $60 item. It's too big not to pass on."

Pincus says he can't absorb the tax because he makes less than $20 in gross profit—the difference between how much he paid for the box of syrup and how much he sells it for—on each box. Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gas for delivery trucks, and cover all the other costs of doing business. So, he increased the price he charges to retailers buying syrup from his business. Those retailers, who are operating under similarly small margins, are doing the same thing and increasing prices charged to consumers.

It's another story to file under the old adage, proven true again and again, that businesses don't pay taxes, people do.

In Philadelphia, Kenney either never learned that basic rule of economics, or else he's pretending he didn't.

For more reasons why soda taxes are regressive and short-sighted, in Philadelphia and anywhere else, go here.

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  • John C. Randolph||

    "Dear Customers:

    The price of soda includes taxes of _____. Also, the mayor is a lying scumbag.

    Sincerely,

    The Management"

    -jcr

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Over under on if he gets re-elected?

  • SimonD||

    He's a democrat in Philly; the chance is 99% (as long as he's not term-limited)

  • Careless||

    What, he can't get primaried?

  • JoLo||

    This tax levy, was going to go into effect, whether or not it was fair, or not.
    Philadelphia has pretty-much exhausted all the "sin taxes" at their disposal, so they needed to elevate something that they were able to vilify sufficiently, in order to justify an attack against those citizens who would be effected the most, the lower income African American community...
    Jim Kenny was the perfect foil with which, to ram this tax down their throats...No black politician, with an ounce of credibility, would step-up, to run for Mayor in the last election, knowing how this tax increase would play-out on the street .. Enter the sad sack himself...When he loses the next election, and he certainly will lose, we'll see the next Mayor distance himself, by promising to lower this tax, and at it's present level, there will be room enough to accomplish this ...When we all heard Mr Trump speak about how democrats took advantage of the poor, you are seeing this in real time !

  • timbo||

    How can a politician not understand market economics and for-profit business?

  • DOOMco||

    They don't come from economic or business background.
    Then they cover their ears and yell "LALALALALALA" whenever someone says anything contrary.

  • Rasilio||

    They don't want to

  • Diane Merriam||

    Many "economists" don't understand market economics and for-profit business either.

  • RogerNorthup||

    Why you gotta bring up Paul Krugman!? It's happy hour and that's just gonna kill my buzz.

  • Brubaker||

    He's a Democrat. Democrats believe tax dollars grow on trees.

  • Jerryskids||

    When the phone company started breaking out the taxes on the phone bills, the government squawked about that on the grounds that these weren't taxes, they were government-mandated fees, and the evil greedy bastards at the phone company were trying to mislead the customers on just why their phone bills kept going up.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gay for delivery trucks, and cover all the other costs of doing business.

    They really do things differently in Philly.

  • UnCivilServant||

    They operate under a different definition of autophilia.

  • ||

    Is that a result of the whole cake-baking thing? Now all deliveries need to be made by gay guys?

  • Zeb||

    No, that's not it at all.

    Because Trump was elected, trucks are now fueled by the blood of homosexuals murdered by roving bands of Trump supporters.

  • Rhywun||

    *opens phone book to cake delivery services...*

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Those trucks have two-stroke engines.

  • albo||

    Gives new meaning to the term "intake manifold"

  • ||

    What about the tailpipe, you masher!

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Direct injection is quite noisy.

  • Al Ex||

    with long, hard fuel injectors

  • AlmightyJB||

    Union rules are Union rules

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's just that Philly seems like an odd choice of places to run gay-powered trucks. I mean I know they have a lot of Eagles fans there, but is that really enough gay to keep a fleet of trucks on the road?

  • AlexInCT||

    Way more than enough dude...

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    New episode: The gang solves the gay crisis.

  • gimmeasammich||

    +1 inflatable tube man

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    My new years resolution of not reading comments continues apace.

  • Zeb||

    Including your own?

  • Swiss Servator||

    He is going to let his text to talk software do the reading for him!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Has has it programmed to read all of SugarFree's comments in Diane Rehm's voice.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Hot.

  • Al Ex||

    and the taxes on gay have been skyrocketing as well...I used to be able to fill up a tank of gay for the price of a pack of Andrew Christian boxer-briefs. Now it costs me at least a 30-minute massage with Carson Kressley.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    In the mayor's mind, it seems, distributors and retailers are supposed to eat the cost of the tax and continue selling their products at the same price as before the tax went into effect.

    That's a little weird, given that usually the stated purpose of these taxes is to drive down demand for sugary drinks "for the sake of public health" or some such shit. The pols usually deny, with great pretend shock, that these taxes have anything to do with scarfing up more revenue for the pols to pass around to their friends.

    Is the mayor actually honest enough to admit that it's just a money grab? That would be unusual.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Was about to say exactly the same thing. It's a "sin tax" (apparently the "sin" here is gluttony). The whole point of such taxes is supposed to change behavior. It looks like it succeeded, but the behavior it changed was people being pissed off by their government, which wasn't what Kenney had in mind.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    the behavior it changed was people being pissed off by their government

    If only that were the reaction more often.

  • albo||

    Oh, yeah. Some of it will be used for pre-K, aka subsidized day care, and some will go to council for various uses that I'm sure are totally in the public interest.

  • SimonD||

    That struck me as well. How do you expect to change behavior with a tax increase if the end user isn't paying the tax increase?

    I don't think the mayor is actually being honest though. I think he's being a typical lying bastard politician and is just making shit up to throw at the other side. The next thing will probably be that the soda distributors like getting golden showers from hookers at the Camden Motel 6.

  • Holger da Dane||

    That would actually count as a cleaning crew in Camden motels. Cleaning worker unions wouldn't let that stand, unless the hookers were dues paying members.

  • Episteme||

    +1 the old Admiral Wilson Boulevard

  • DrOtto||

    you say it like it's a bad thing.

  • Mindyourbusiness||

    Sandwich, there's also the possibility that the mayor is an economic illiterate. On the other hand, why couldn't he be both?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Yeah, it's possible that he learned economics from Tony.

  • ||

    Which is a mighty loose definition of 'learn'.

  • Chipwooder||

    It's like learning public speaking from George W. Bush.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    No, more like learning Ethics from Hillary Clinton. Say what ya want about Dubya an evil warmongering douchebag, but he put on that "dumb-as-a-stump redneck" way of speaking while POTUS and then went back to being well-spoken. Listen to him speaking during the election in 2000 and you will be struck how different he came off.

  • BYODB||

    Many seem to forget that W. went to Yale. Does this mean that liberals will suddenly acknowledge that Yale is a useless school where you can buy a degree? Yes, and no. Yes in the case of George W. Bush, but no if the person is a liberal. Go figure. I've actually had people pull this 180 in the same conversation before, completely unaware of the mental whiplash it should have produced.

  • Ragoftag||

    He also went to class, had a real GPA (higher than Gore's) and graduated with a real degree.

    Barry never attended classes, has no GPA and received an honorary degree.

    Leftists: Prove me wrong.

  • PapayaSF||

    Let's cut to the chase here. If government wants to use taxation to reduce obesity, it should just tax obesity. Everyone shows up at a government facility once a year, on the week of their birthday, and they are weighed. The more overweight they are, the more they pay. Perfectly fair.

  • ||

    Your tax bracket is determined by your BMI?

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Not BMI, body fat %.

  • Zeb||

    I think I might like this plan. Will they give you money if you are underweight?

  • robc||

    No, they get taxed to. You must be the exact right weight.

  • ||

    They will 'give' you lard and sugar. Where 'give' is not to infer any kind voluntary action on your part.

    i.e. Give it to you in a feeding tube.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Losing weight will be illegal, since it would obviously be an evil libertarian trick to deprive the State of revenue.

  • WTF||

    Yes, it will be the Earned Anorexia Tax Credit.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Since I'm a fat fuck and I know other fat fucks, I'd bet this scheme would fall apart after the first hefty gun owner says "No" and proceeds to shoot up the tax office. We love our food and you can pry it from our cold, dead, greasy fingers!

  • BladdyK||

    This sounds stupid, but it is a good ab absurdum argument. If you want to tax a sin, then just imagine the sinner showing up at the local office and getting taxed for it. Taxing an obese person for being obese would be so asinine that it would never work. So the sin tax should never be used.

  • dchang0||

    This is the intended goal. They just can't overtly do it yet, so they advance towards their end-goal incrementally, moving the Overton window year after year.

    Gun rights advocates in Calif. have seen the way this works firsthand. First it was a ban on sales or import of new magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds, with the existing ones grandfathered in. Then it was a ban/confiscation of formerly grandfathered ones, then it will be like NY state's reduction of 10 rounds to a lower number (7 in the case of NYS), then it will be a reduction to 0 (no magazine-fed firearms at all).

    The intended goal is known to the authoritarians at all times--they just can't say it publicly.

  • esteve7||

    Please tell me how this fuck is any different then Maduro in Venezuela? It's always the fucking 'Capitalists' fault.

    You fucking increased the price of a good by 95%, but you actually fucking think consumers will pay the same price? Are you fucking serious?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Especially when the claimed "goal" was to reduce consumption of that good, neccessarily implying an increase in price.

    I think it was the city's inability to do math that bit them. They probably assumed it would be something like 12 cents per six pack instead of as much as the product.

  • albo||

    No, it's willful and intentional stupidity.

  • Chipwooder||

    Willful? I don't know, I'm perfectly open to the idea of a Dem politician truly and honestly being that stupid.

  • Zeb||

    1.5 c is a small number. So it must be a small tax.

    Wait, how big is an ounce?

  • esteve7||

    Prog friend goes "well it's only 1 cent per ounce" on the SF Tax.

    So I asked how much would that be on a 12-pack and they had no fucking idea.

  • BYODB||

    Uhh...12*12. Your friend must not have graduated from Junior High School.

  • Zeb||

    It's amazing ho wmany people just decide they aren't good at math and completely give up even trying.

  • ||

    +1 sucking at sodoku

  • DOOMco||

    .01x (12 probably) x 12 is super hard math.

  • Jerryskids||

    A one percent increase in the sales tax is next to nothing. Which is why my county cheerfully went along with increasing the local sales tax from 2 cents to 3 cents. "It's just a measly 1% tax increase!" No, idiot, it's a 50% increase. You might want to find out what the county intends to do with this new shitload of money, 'cause it is indeed a shitload.

  • dchang0||

    It'll be interesting to see what the county does about the sudden drop in retail sales business. Adding the county's sales tax increase to the state sales tax rate, it's probably around 9 to 10 cents on the dollar total in your area.

    Someone wrote this about the Calif.+LA County sales tax rate: "It's like having to pay an (Hollywood actor's) agent (10%) for doing nothing."

  • IceTrey||

    No, they are taxing the wholesaler on how many ounces the SYRUP can make. A 5 gallon box of syrup makes over 3,500 ounces of soda! It's basically a 10 dollar a gallon tax on the syrup. That's the cost getting passed.

  • National Tontine||

    Is this per ounce of syrup or finished (at fountain)? I assume it's on what the finished product would be as there would be disparity between fountain and drinks on the shelf.

  • ||

    They probably assumed it would be something like 12 cents per six pack instead of as much as the product.

    And assumed that the $1.50 or whatever is solely because of the sugary beverage rather than, as is the case, the price of the packaging and the cost of distribution.

    The real failure here was that living wages laws weren't passed for soda delivery drivers.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Pretty much. Corporations are all unlimited fonts of money. The only reason they won't pay their workers $30 an hour or eat the costs of this tax are because they hate poor people.

  • Zeb||

    In this case, he seems to think that that is literally true and wholesalers can just take a massive loss on everything they sell.

  • Some Engineer||

    The only reason they won't pay their workers $30 an hour or eat the costs of this tax are because they hate poor people.

    False. They love poor people and want to keep them poor. If they hated poor people they would just pay $30/hr and make them middle classier.

  • Zeb||

    Psh. They should just eat that $37 loss and make it up with volume.

  • DrOtto||

    I think you just fixed Obamacare.

  • albo||

    Philadelphia hasn't had a good mayor in, well, forever. They and council install cronies and waste money and mismanage the city, then they go to the state legislature for a new sales tax or cigarette tax or some other thing because they don't have any money left. And, unfortunately, the GOP legislature is happy to give to them because it's just more rope for the city's government of incompetents to hang themselves with.

  • Rhywun||

    I say hasten the collapse, so we can start over sooner.

  • dchang0||

    In principle I agree with you, but in practice, the authoritarians use economic/market/business collapse as an excuse for the state to take over everything while simultaneously demonizing their political enemies. See Maduro in Venezuela.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Totally untrue. Wilson Goode was highly involved with urban renewal...

  • Trolleric the Goth||

    the mayorship in philly really doesn't have that much power; it's really the city council that runs things.

    Nutter was better than Street and this new guy, at least

  • Loss of Reason||

    Frank Rizzo wasn't too bad. Of course, I was like 12 when in was mayor so ..

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Let's remember that the commonwealth's governor claimed that state liquor stores monopolies are there to keep prices down. The Keystone State doesn't elect economic geniuses.

  • albo||

    And Gov. Wolf is a millionaire business man. You'd think he'd have a basic grasp. He probably put his economic acumen into a blind trust after he was elected.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    He probably figured "We can't do away with that monopoly, because the unions involved have a firm grip on my balls" wasn't going to fly.

  • See Double You||

    I disagree that these politicians are economic ignoramuses. Quite the opposite, in fact. They know what the consequences of their legislation will be; they also know how to profit from those consequences due to the economic ignorance of the ultimate culprit, the general public.

  • Rhywun||

    This. Always choose 'evil' before 'stupid'.

  • Billy Bones||

    I can forgive not being an economic genius, but there is no reason to not be at least economic literate.

  • DOOMco||

    Theres a Friedman quote on that IIRC

  • Sevo||

    Lemme guess:
    The closest this slimebag ever got to running a business was watching his more intelligent neighbor run a lemonade stand when they were kids.

  • SimonD||

    The mayor had probably formed a gang with two of the other neighbor kids to beat up the lemonade stand owner and take the money he made.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "You didn't build that!"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Also, I think it's incumbent on me, as a fellow Pennsylvanian, to point out that Filthadelphia is the third worst place in the universe and that everyone in it and around it and affiliated with it deserves what they get.

  • albo||

    Well, there is Reading.

  • RG||

    And Chester.

  • dantheserene||

    No love for Scranton?

  • ||

    And all of New Jersey.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    It's amazing how much better Old Jersey looks than New Jersey...

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    All I want is the universe to give me one Eagles Super Bowl win. Is that so wrong? :(

  • ||

    Eagles' fans are fucking merciless.

  • Call Me Conrad||

    We take our teams deficiencies *very* personally.

  • albo||

    We have all the violence of a Raiders fan combined with the naivete of a Browns fan and the fatness of a Bears fan

  • ||

    And the loyalty of a Jets fan?

  • Swiss Servator||

    fatness of a Bears Packers fan

    http://www.browardpalmbeach.co.....st-6471214

  • Loss of Reason||

    That made me laugh more than it should because it's so true.

    Beginning of season
    Wertz is 3-0! Superbowl!!!

    End of season
    Whelp we suck but at least we aren't the 76ers

  • ||

    They'll win it this year, now that Andy Reid finally has a team.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    I hate the fucking Eagles, man...

  • SQWRLZ: Deplorable Woodchipper||

    Wanna get bored? Move from Phluffia to Indy.

  • R C Dean||

    The Dems just can't stop saying that its very wrong for people to find out the truth about what they've been doing. First the DNC, now this mayor.

    Its getting boring. I look forward to some variety, some Repubs getting publicly outraged because people found out the truth about what they've been doing.

  • Zeb||

    If the news media and the idiot left would just stop saying completely stupid shit up for 2 minutes, you'd probably get your wish.

  • ||

    Does anyone actually believe the ignorant shit he spews?

    That's right, blame it all on the retailers an onerous tax causes. What a gig you have you piece of shit.

    The arrogance is breath taking. It's irrational for a business to 'price itself out of the market' for no apparent reason.

    These are the words of a charlatan.

    These people need to be tarred and fucken feathered for the damage they cause.

  • ||

    It's the, "If you don't have enough money to pay your employees well, then you shouldn't be in business," argument.

  • See Double You||

    Good lord. I thought that was the point of the soda tax: decrease consumer demand. Now the politiscum wants it both ways.

  • AlmightyJB||

    He just doesn't want to take the blame for being an asshole

  • DOOMco||

    This. The ruse is up.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    So that's where the gay trucks come in...

  • Drake||

    I used to work for an electric utility. Of course politicians look at those companies as gold deposits to be mined and kept raising taxes on our services. And of course our customers didn't appreciate the constant price hikes.

    So, we started sending customers' bills with a breakdown on how much they paid for electricity and how much they paid in various taxes. The next legislative session, they passed a law forbidding us from breaking out the taxes on the bill.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Did you include a big bold text describing the law that forbade you from breaking out the taxes?

  • BYODB||

    What is the first rule of Tax Club?!

  • ||

    Does not matter who you are, you're gonna get fucked?

  • Born Again Username||

    No, that's the third rule of Tax Club!

  • Longtobefree||

    "We are forbidden by law from telling you that $47.00 of this bill represents taxes"
    What a great idea!!!

  • See Double You||

    The next legislative session, they passed a law forbidding us from breaking out the taxes on the bill.

    Didn't the federal government do something similar re airline fares?

    Seems like a due process violation to me. What rational basis could the government have in hiding the tax it levies on taxpayers?

  • Spartacus||

    I wonder if that would survive a first-amendment-based challenge.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    No, but a public utility I'm sure could be replaced with a competitor from a neighboring state/city pretty quickly if they fit the good fight.

  • albo||

    My Fios internet/tv/phone bill is a masterpiece of tax and surcharge listings. There's like a dozen.

  • Ted S.||

    That's not a massive 1A violation?

  • See Double You||

    Commercial speech is different, blah blah blah...

  • Homple||

    Same at a gas and electric utility that I once worked for.

  • SIV||

    Remember the Master Settlement Agreement was going to be paid by Big Tobacco.

  • ||

    And the price of a gallon of gas is nothing but profit for oil companies.

  • Free Society||

    Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gay for delivery trucks, and cover all the other costs of doing business.

    What do delivery trucks do with all that gay, exactly?

  • Animal||

    Deliver it, obviously.

  • Free Society||

    Okay, well then who's buying it? No one needs that much gay.

  • Rasilio||

    And who are you to determine how much gay someone else needs?

    Some people would probably be willing to take delivery of a full load of gay on a daily basis, others might just save it for a special occasion

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Nobody needs 23 kinds of gay when children in the world are unfabulous.

  • BYODB||

    Of course, the proper response from retailers would be 'Ok, we're pulling this good off our shelves entirely. No tax for you, and our signs will clearly post the reason why we don't carry it anymore.'


    There is essentially zero risk there for the retailers. It's not like someone else will spring into that market given that there is no way to make it profitable without the price being sky-high. The people will have the choice of nothing, or perhaps one or two retailers who charge your life savings for the product, but in either scenario the cities cash grab doesn't net them much of a benefit for screwing over the entire electorate.


    Of course, I don't fault the retailers for not doing that. Right now they're still making more or less the same profit they were before. As long as there is a demand, they will continue to sell their product at a rate that produces profit. As soon as it stops doing that, you won't find sugar in that area again except on the black market. Just ask a few poor people how well selling singles at a gas station worked out for them.

  • BYODB||

    Oh, and I should note that you can buy drinks online through Amazon and have it delivered to your door. I wonder if the sugar tax applies in that scenario.

  • ||

    It's Philly, so after the delivery drone drops off your soda, the Philly PD murder-drone will drop a fire-bomb on your roof.

  • esteve7||

    No them you will have a black market and people will be shot for selling loose cans of coke. Then people will blame the cops and not the politicians

  • Necron 99||

    Why not both?

  • IceTrey||

    The tax is on the syrup. So you want all restaurants to stop selling soda.

  • esteve7||

    Fucking slimeball. Yeah I want to raise taxes but I don't want consumers to know how much fucking tax they are paying, so they just see a big price increase and blame BUSINESSES.

    These fucking slimeballs should be driven out of town. They are completely worthless human beings, when they have to lie and blame others for their own actions.

    Everytime you get a bill from anything, it should breakdown the amount of tax you paid. How about they also add how much was due to regulatory compliance

  • See Double You||

    For democracy fetishists, voter ignorance appears to be a virtue. Notice how "get out the vote" campaigns demand that individuals vote. They do not demand that they actually learn anything about the laws, the complexity of the issues, or even the backgrounds of the candidates. Nope, one's civic duty is limited to voting, no matter for whom or for what.

  • Billy Bones||

    Wait...WHAT? If the retailers are not expected to pass on the tax to the consumers, how is the tax supposed to curtail consumption? Are they just trying to get restaurants and stores to stop selling it? And of course in a dumbass Democrat's mind, any price adjustment due to increased supply chain costs equates to "price-gouging".

  • esteve7||

    They don't want people to blame them for their actions. Don't you know, everything is business's fault

  • SimonD||

    Well, since the tax is so high that no business can make a profit, maybe it was supposed to be a sneaky way to ban sodas altogether. But the evil businessmen didn't do what they were supposed to do and raised prices instead of just not selling soda pop.

  • GILMORE™||

    After driving up the cost of soda and other sugary drinks with a new tax, the mayor of Philadelphia is now trying to blame businesses for charging higher prices

    And i have no doubt that this unbelievably stupid argument will become more popular in Democratic circles. The more ridiculous their attempts to have it both ways, the more vehement they'll insist its true. Its like their idea that raising the minimum wage 'creates demand' = once they've crossed the line into full-retard, they have to keep going and just stubbornly insist that "experts agree"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gay for delivery trucks

    You know who else was gay for delivery trucks?

  • GILMORE™||

    damn your nimble fingers and your equally-juvenile mind

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Oh good sir, I suspect my mind is far more juvenile than yours. And uh, we both got beaten by God... cast your eyes above...

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Sylvester Stallone?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Kurt Russell?

  • ||

    We're all gay for Kurt Russell.

  • Riven||

    Gross. I'm not even straight for Kurt Russell.

    He was finally cast in a role that let others see what I see in Deathproof.

  • GILMORE™||

    Out of that money, he has to pay all his employees, buy gay for delivery trucks...

    so, the rumours about truck drivers are true

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I'm sometimes gay for delivery truck drivers. Does that count?

  • Rhywun||

    So cigarette distributors should eat the six dollars or so tax per pack that I pay too right?

    LOLOLOLOLOL

  • Libertarian||

    WAY back in the day when I lived in Tampa, the liquor stores were threatening to advertise prices "plus tax." They never went through with it, unfortunately. Wouldn't surprise me at all if there were federal and/or state laws prohibiting such transparency.

  • esteve7||

    "They're gouging their own customers."

    More fucking liberal progression. It's gotten to a point where anything they accuse you of doing, they are probably doing themselves.

    The only one gouging anyone is fucking YOU gouging the people in your city. Business passing costs onto a consumer that you placed on them does not mean the business is gouging customers.

    God you are so fucking stupid. Or you are just plain evil and deliberately lying

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • __Warren__||

    How much is a gallon of gay these days? Asking for a fiend.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    A gay fiend?

  • Zeb||

    The gay itself isn't too much, but the tax on it is brutal.

  • KamaK||

    Don't condom the author for using a spell checker.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Kenney either never learned that basic rule of economics, or else he's pretending he didn't.

    It's also possible that he never learned arithmetic. Isn't "2+2=4" considered "white privilege" these days?

  • Zeb||

    2+2=whatever Big Brother says it is, citizen.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Okay, okay! No need to break out the rats.

  • Jerryskids||

    Pincus says he can't absorb the tax because he makes less than $20 in gross profit—the difference between how much he paid for the box of syrup and how much he sells it for—on each box.

    Pincus might need to check his premise there. He makes $20 in gross profit if he sells the box, not just when.

    Here's a basic economic question to ask: Farmer Brown sells 1000 apples per day for 25 cents each. The apples cost him 15 cents each to produce. How much profit does Farmer Brown make each day?

    Then follow it up with this question: If Farmer Brown raised his price to 30 cents per apple, how much profit would Farmer Brown make each day?

    The correct answer to that second question is: Probably nothing. If Farmer Brown was selling apples for 25 cents, that's probably because that's the going rate for apples and if he raises his price to 30 cents he ain't gonna sell a single damn apple because all his customers are going to go buy their apples from the guy who only charges 25 cents.

    Contrary to popular belief, businesses don't just make up prices and charge whatever they feel like - there are market forces that dictate prices. Sometimes those prices are lower than what the businessman can profitably sell at and he goes out of business.

  • ||

    Supply and Demand is a thing? Who knew? (Not the mayor.)

  • heart_of_flint||

    I thought driving up prices was the whole point.

  • Libertarian||

    Speaking of points, that's a damn good one, HoF.

    I fondly (aka cynically) remember Al Gore wanting a $1/gallon gasoline tax to discourage its use. But when market prices rose he was clamoring for the emergency oil reserve to be tapped in order to bring prices down. Good times, good times.

  • Nick W B||

    And the environmental left criticized Bush for opposing the use the strategic oil reserves "because he was in the pocket of oil companies"

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Obviously, the mayor and the council members are economic idiots. Otherwise they would not be in politics. (That's a natural consequence of Sowell's first rules of economics and politics.)

    The obvious solution to the punitive and regressive nature of the soda tax is for Philadelphia to provide a rebate of the taxes paid by lower-income people in the city. (One misguided regulation begets another.) That would be easy to implement: just charge purchases made with an EBT card at half the cash rate. Of course, this will reverse the ostensible health benefits of the tax.

    Had Hillary been elected, we'd see the same sort of thing with a carbon tax, only nationwide and orders of magnitude larger in dollars and complexity.

  • Holger da Dane||

    Since this tax applies to the distribution link and soda fountains are just giant sodastream machines, could Philadelphia restaurants whip up their own artisanal soda syrup, and sell untaxed fountain soda?

  • RabbitHead||

    The distributor usually owns the fountain. Run a box of Mountain Dew through the Coke fountain and the crew will be there tomorrow to uninstall it.

    They give it you to lock you in.

  • Holger da Dane||

    A quick search on ebay shows you can buy a used soda fountain for a few hundred bucks.

  • Nick W B||

    Wait, isn't the point of a soda tax to raise prices? To stop people from drinking as much?

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    What a fucking asshole.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Kenney is a pig-ignorant do-gooder feel-gooder retard. It is known.

  • Dave-M||

    I wonder what it would take for the US to hopefully and finally move toward the systems of government and taxation that countries like Finland use. They all pay higher taxes which go toward funding things like universal health care, education, maternity/paternity leave, etc. They have the highest workplace satisfaction because companies aren't trying to screw employees and customers left and right. I wish the US could get in that mind-set, but unfortunately it's still a "me first" capitalist culture, where nobody wants to help their neighbor because "why should I pay for it?!" and businesses will take advantage of you as much as they want to earn a better bottom line.

  • Fairbanks||

    Well, the first thing it would take is for the US to rid itself of a large, dysfunctional underclass, so we could be like Finland.

  • dchang0||

    Yes, and progressives in the US conveniently leave out that in Finland, the teachers are extremely well-trained and vetted for their careers.

    In other words, they must prove MERIT to keep their jobs in education, not just be the employee with the most seniority that the teachers' union protects from firing for even gross incompetence.

    Finland is also a high-trust environment due in no small part to racial homogeneity (although this is changing with the massive influx of illegal immigrants who come from cultures/states that have little regard for the rule of law).

    "Me first" isn't the result of capitalism. It's the result of culture and human behavior. To prove this, just look at ancient cultures where "me first" ruled long before capitalism or centralized gov't were ever invented.

  • Longtobefree||

    Here comes the buzzkill; cite your source.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Finland sucks. Hopefully their broken system will never make it to the US. But you're free to move there if you like.

  • Loss of Reason||

    " They have the highest workplace satisfaction because companies aren't trying to screw employees and customers left and right."

    Yes, that's all companies are trying to do is screw employees and customers left and right. Finland companies are saints and don't care about things like productive, selling a product or profit. US companies are evil!

    You do realize companies do a lot of goodwill work. You also heard these new things called charities. I mean if you are a democrat you might not have heard of them because the government should do everything but there are a lot of people who do help out there.

    On the other side, there are a lot of people that want to live off the working people and want handouts.

  • Abe Froman||

    Yeah, right. And we're supposed to actually believe this bilge-water!?

  • ||

    12 pack of soda $1.89
    Democrat taxes $2.16

    Your total is $4.05

  • Longtobefree||

    On the plus side, beer is now cheaper than soda.
    "No honey, I really don't like it all that much, but it's cheaper than soda"

    Just another reason to ban all taxes except retail sales taxes; leaves the politicians no where to hide.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I'm confused. I thought the justification for soda taxes was that prices were supposed to go up in order to discourage soda consumption.

  • Abe Froman||

    Mayor Jim Kenney: What an ignoramus! What a dimwit!
    Or as Bugs Bunny said: "What an imbessel! What a maroon!"

  • Longtobefree||

    OK, no problem here. Philadelphia is a river city. so dress up as politicians, and start dumping soda into the river.
    Repeat after me - - "When in the course of human events . . . . "

  • Hattori Hanzo||

    Philadelphia is lucky to have Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It creates incentive for people to visit and spend money. With it's leadership it should be just like Detroit.

  • joker123||

    I am pleased to be able to read your thoughts and ideas. For me this is a new knowledge that I never could before my place. Well, hopefully the next time I can go to learn from you.

  • DKT||

    Just raise minimum wage - that will create the jobs and then they can buy more soda. The answer is obvious.

    ;-)

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