If the government REALLY wasn’t involved with our food sources…
Check out this very intelligent article from The Equalizer:
A quote from the article: “Every year, for example, $10 billion of our taxes are handed out in subsidies to American corn farmers, which has had the effect since the effect of keeping corn prices below the cost of growing it. Our taxes then provide an indirect subsidy to soft-drink manufacturers in saving them about $243 million a year on high-fructose corn syrup, the sweetener used in almost all our soft drinks, according to a Tufts University study.”
It’s something we don’t often think about: our government so heavily subsidizes so many of our industrial crops that a) the farmers can barely make ends meet, b) prices stay articificially really cheap on a few items (usually not items that are particularly healthy) and c) the other foodstuffs can’t hope to compete. It’s just…you know…wrong.
While I don’t necessarily think the soda tax is a bad idea, I’d rather see the subsidies go away…or equal subsidies emerge for things like organic produce or school lunch programs…
Then there’s this little tidbit from a New York Times op-ed by Nicolas Kristoff, as quoted in Jill Richardson’s soda tax post on La Vida Locavore:
No, it was the cigarette tax. Every 10 percent price increase on cigarettes reduced sales by about 3 percent over all, and 7 percent among teenagers, according to the 2005 book “Prescription for a Healthy Nation.” Just the 1983 increase in the federal tax on cigarettes saved 40,000 lives per year…”
Makes you think, huh?