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why is the sugar tax bad?? watch

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    The whole culture needs to change. For example, sweets are all over a supermarket and at tills and even so-called healthier food has often got a lot of added crap, sugar and salt included. Why don't the government target manufacturers and food companies instead of adding a few pence to products? The tax won't make an iota of difference - it's all about money and very little to do with health concerns.
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    (Original post by RF_PineMarten)
    Sugar taxes, on the other hand, target a lot of regular everyday items that can be consumed in moderation without health impacts. So there is a difference to bear in mind.
    Alcohol can be consumed in moderation without health impacts.
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    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    Alcohol can be consumed in moderation without health impacts.
    It's actually meant to be beneficial when consumed in moderation.
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    Orwell writing about poor people and their poor diet. It is much easier to be healthy if your life is fulfilling in other ways. If your life is made miserable you turn to vices like poor but tasty food for that momentary escape.
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    The miner’s family spend only ten pence a week on green vegetables and ten pence half-penny on milk (remember that one of them is a child less than three years old), and nothing on fruit; but they spend one and nine on sugar (about eight pounds of sugar, that is) and a shilling on tea. The half-crown spent on meat might represent a small joint and the materials for a stew; probably as often as not it would represent four or five tins of bully beef. The basis of their diet, therefore, is white bread and margarine, corned beef, sugared tea, and potatoes – an appalling diet. Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even, like the writer of the letter to the New Statesman, saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw? Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing. The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits; an unemployed man doesn’t. […] When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don’t want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit ‘tasty’. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you. Let’s have three pen north of chips Run out and buy us a twopenny ice-cream! Put the kettle on and we’ll have a nice cup of tea. That is how your mind works when you are at the P.A.C level. White bread-and-marg and sugared tea don’t nourish you to any extent but they are nicer (at least most people think so) than brown bread-and-dripping and cold water. Unemployment is an endless misery that has got to be constantly palliated, and especially with tea, the English-man’s opium. A cup of tea or even an aspirin is much better as a temporary stimulant than a crust of brown bread.
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    (Original post by difeo)
    - There's plenty of evidence, a simple google of 'sin tax' shows you that
    - How does it not fully solving the problem mean it's actually bad?
    - Good, poor people are the ones that most need help with their health
    - Seems like a repeat of previous points
    - Googling "sin tax" doesn't give me evidence; I want to see evidence that a Sugar Tax - or something similar - actually works in reducing fizzy drink consumption or tackles obesity. As far as I'm aware, the Mexico case hasn't done anything for sugar - they put a 10% tax on fizzy drinks, and after decreasing during the first 12 months, consumption has risen to near pre-tax levels. It hasn't solved anything, just increased prices.
    - It's not a case of not "fully solving" the problem, rather, it only focuses on one-fifth of the problem. This - coined with the first point (that it won't even tackle the 20% of sugar consumption) - means that it would be a bad move to implement the tax. At best ineffective, at worst, bad.
    - If they need help with their teeth then give them help, don't tax them out of the equation. Try and solve the problem in a different way. The philosophy behind the move is questionable - if you're middle class then it's fine, but if you're poor then we're going to try and increase prices so as to discourage you from consuming this.
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Do you feel similarly about taxes on cigarettes or alcohol?
    Yes, and I'm very much against minimum unit pricing etc. I also feel the restrictions on cigarette sales have gone too far.


    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    Do you think we should do away with sectioning then?
    I think mental illness is a separate matter. I'm talking about protecting people's autonomy. If you're seriously mentally ill, your ability to exercise autonomy is deeply impaired from the start.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Yes, and I'm very much against minimum unit pricing etc. I also feel the restrictions on cigarette sales have gone too far.
    Well at least you're consistent. I can respect that.

    I'm not for the sugar tax but for other reasons.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I think mental illness is a separate matter. I'm talking about protecting people's autonomy. If you're seriously mentally ill, your ability to exercise autonomy is deeply impaired from the start.
    We section people for being underweight. If you're obese why would you choose to continue to put on weight unless you're mentally ill or your autonomy is deeply impaired some other way?
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Well at least you're consistent. I can respect that.

    I'm not for the sugar tax but for other reasons.
    What reasons?
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    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    We section people for being underweight. If you're obese why would you choose to continue to put on weight unless you're mentally ill or your autonomy is deeply impaired some other way?
    Do you mean for anorexia? I'm not entirely clear on the rules here.

    If the point that you are trying to make is that the line between mental illness and simple irrationality/stupidity is blurred, I agree, but I don't think that an argument about where the line falls in certain extreme cases will be particularly informative here.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Do you mean for anorexia? I'm not entirely clear on the rules here.

    If the point that you are trying to make is that the line between mental illness and simple irrationality/stupidity is blurred, I agree, but I don't think that an argument about where the line falls in certain extreme cases will be particularly informative here.
    Why not? Unless you can define it i'm not sure you can claim to be consistent.
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    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    Why not? Unless you can define it i'm not sure you can claim to be consistent.
    I think it is enough that the law affects plenty of people who are not even arguably mentally ill.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I think it is enough that the law affects plenty of people who are not even arguably mentally ill.
    I was referring to this

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Their health is none of everyone else's concern.
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    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    I was referring to this
    It's not really fair to pull such short snippets of my argument out of context. I was speaking at that point about lifestyle choices. I limited that to those of adults, and I'd quite happily limit it to those who are not mentally ill. Either way, I don't think the argument goes to the core of the issue, for the reason I just gave.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    It's not really fair to pull such short snippets of my argument out of context.
    Wasn't my intention to be unfair.

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I was speaking at that point about lifestyle choices. I limited that to those of adults, and I'd quite happily limit it to those who are not mentally ill.
    So we've gone full circle. If you're obese why would you choose to continue to put on weight unless you're mentally ill or your autonomy has been impaired in some other way?

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Either way, I don't think the argument goes to the core of the issue, for the reason I just gave.
    That's just a bit boring, the sugar tax is ridiculous.
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    (Original post by RF_PineMarten)
    I know this wasn't aimed at me, but cigarettes and alcohol are both luxury products. With cigarettes, the health impact is far worse, and it's not really possible to "smoke in moderation" given that nicotine is addictive.
    Bull.
    It is very much possible to smoke in moderation, hence, social smokers.
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    (Original post by knapdarloch)
    Wasn't my intention to be unfair.



    So we've gone full circle. If you're obese why would you choose to continue to put on weight unless you're mentally ill or your autonomy has been impaired in some other way?



    That's just a bit boring, the sugar tax is ridiculous.
    But, again, the sugar tax applies to everyone, not just people who fall into the bracket of people who are eating in such a manner that they can plausibly be described as mentally ill.

    I think there are many reasons why obese people continue to eat. A sense of abandon deriving from low self-esteem would be one. A general lack of willpower may also feature. I would be very slow to categorise any such trait as a 'mental illness' justifying forcible outside intervention.
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    (Original post by RF_PineMarten)
    I know this wasn't aimed at me, but cigarettes and alcohol are both luxury products. With cigarettes, the health impact is far worse, and it's not really possible to "smoke in moderation" given that nicotine is addictive.

    Sugar taxes, on the other hand, target a lot of regular everyday items that can be consumed in moderation without health impacts. So there is a difference to bear in mind.
    The tax is on drinks only, so also only affects luxury products. No one needs Coke.
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    (Original post by difeo)
    No one needs Coke.
    Charlie Sheen does.

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    (Original post by difeo)
    Wrong.
    "Most studies found that raising cigarette prices through increased taxes is a highly effective measure for reducing smoking among youth, young adults, and persons of low socioeconomic status."


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228562/

    Imagine thinking the price elasticity of demand for sugary drinks is 0
    Cigarettes are very very culturally different to soft drinks. The tax on cigarettes is really incomparable. Tax as a percentage of sale price of a pack of 20 cigarettes is around 80% (source). This works because it prices people out of the market. The poorest, e.g. <19 yos simply cannot afford to smoke. Yet per your source there is a lack of evidence that heavy smokers are affected. However, while cigarettes are well studied, I don't think it is a useful comparison as they are very different to soft drinks, they are stigmatised in society to far greater extent and are known to be addictive.

    Nobody said the elasticity is 0 for SSBs. Double the price and sure, people will be unable to afford them. However, I'd prefer to see the way people think changed, rather than them simply not buying them because they are financially unable.

    It seems, to me, that if people are financially unable to buy coke or pepsi they'll opt for cheaper alternatives rather than go without. I very occasionally drink soft drinks, but I very much doubt I would be put off by a 20p increase.

    They way I could see it working is that it creates a stigma around soft drinks. By the government recognising that they are so unhealthy that they require taxation in the same way cigarettes does seem feasible that it could cause a significant cultural shift.
 
 
 
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