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  1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Sugar, Tobacco and Trans-Fat, OH MY!

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by JJ_Maxx, Nov 14, 2013.

    So I was reading this article today:

    Study: As cost of sugary drinks go up, sales go down

    It's commonplace these days to see employers, governments and schools doing what they can to force people to be 'healthier'. I have seen this in my state, New York, especially. The state has imposed astronomical taxes on cigarettes, making them around $8-$10 per pack.

    In the article above, they spoke with Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and apparently one of the nation's "top experts on beverage consumption" and he said:

    "...I prefer Americans drink water or unsweetened or lightly sweetened coffee or tea."

    In my opinion, this is a slippery slope. When governments begin legislating personal choices, we lose more freedom to make the choices we want.

    We went down this road with prohibition, and it ended badly.

    Governments are of the belief that they can force choices on people in subtle ways, rather than overtly banning things that could lead to a revolt. It has been happening slowly and only a select few are making any noise about it.

    I guess the question is should we have a choice to buy sugary drinks or smoke cigarettes, or eat a double-bacon cheeseburger or should the government step in and remove our poor choices?
     
  2. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    If the government wants to influence the choices of what one consumes, they should hold back subsidized health care and and other government funds. Sin Taxes should be illegal in my opinion and consumers should be able to buy what they want without punitive monetary influences
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't believe GMOs are more expensive to fabricate than organic foods are to grow. If they taxed cheap GMO foodstuffs and use those levies to bring down the cost of organic I'd be all for it but I suspect it's just another tax on the less well off who can't afford real food.
     
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  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The government needs to raise money somehow. I'd prefer them to raise it through taxes on things that we don't need, yet purchase anyway. If it's that important to have a beer or a Coke, then pay a few cents in tax. In some ways, it gives one greater control over how much they pay in taxes. I am for a sugary soda tax, and I am someone who LOVES LOVES LOVES Coke. I have to have a Coca Cola at every meal.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Nanny state, anyone?
     
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  6. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Sin Tax not only punishes the consumer, but the manufacturer as well. How are you going to decide what we do or do not need? Are you going to limit that to food or anything that might be considered a luxury? I propose a bra tax. Technically they are not needed and women might wear less bras if we tax them high enough.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Legalize weed, tax the bajinkies out of that, ease the taxing on the other stuff. Problem solved, industry created, jobs created, new markets created. Win, win, win. ;)
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Big Ag gets way too many subsidies as it is. They want no taxes, stop the corn subsidy for the HCFS.

    As far as bras, some women do need them. I don't think they'd raise all that much in taxes, though, and in states where clothing is taxed, they already are.

    And yes, I'd be all for legalizing and taxing marijuana.
     
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  9. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    If that was the mentality, it would be different but the goal is not money, but forcing people to eat/drink healthier.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's both.
    And I don't think it's such a bad idea to encourage people to be healthier.
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely tax muffin tops!

    Ah but where does it stop? Equal rights for E? ;)
     
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  12. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    If that's the case why not give those extra taxes to organic food suppliers to reduce their costs and lower prices at the check-out?
     
  13. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Of course and that is exactly how they slowly remove our freedoms. Who would vote against good health? But as soon as they start banning soda, beer, cigarettes, cheeseburgers and force every American to join mandatory government-run health facilities, people question that motive.
     
  14. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    You forgot convicting people without proof, without a hearing, without a defence... And by the way, I agree with you and @Steerpike 's quote above
     
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  15. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    There's no equivication between wanting to break the law and wanting to eat a cheesburger.
     
  16. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    who said anything about wanting the break the law? We're talking freedoms and civil liberties being taken. If they ban cheeseburgers, as per your example, people will crave to break the law. We won't go into the speeding issue again though, it's the nanny state @Steerpike mentioned
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I think every American knows that America's War on Drugs has been its failingest war evah! And I think this actually relates to JJ's original topic. There is only so much control you can physically exert over The People without going into a police state. Never mind what the government tries to do, let's talk about what it can do. Clearly it can't keep a splif out of the hands of people who want one no matter how many millions of tax dollars get thrown at that splif. Why bother? Sell that shit and reduce the deficit. And if the gov can't keep a blunt out of the hands of a 19 year old why venture into some new War on the Waistline. I can just see it: Black Market Big Macs. I'm a fit person. I have been so all my life despite the fact that Puerto Rican culinary offerings look tailor made to clog arteries and induce infarction. That is an individual's responsibility. I don't see why I should have to pay extra because someone else has set themselves a 3 month goal to Type 2 Diabetes.
     
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  18. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I don't smoke, never have, never will. I don't think smoking should be overly taxed or illegal. The difference is that people should be able to do whatever the hell they want as long as it only affects themselves. This is individual liberty.

    However, it's not the same as saying I want the freedom to drive drunk because that freedom places others in danger, curtailing their freedom to a safe road.

    It's the police that make sure that the liberties we have are kept.
     
  19. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Wreybies I'll vote for ya man... soon as I finish my mars bar and crisps and cornflakes with water. Shit I'm so hungry - hey pass the peanuts... What, who's voting for what? pffffft.
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some of this is veering off into CrazyTown -- taxing certain foods and beverages is in no way equivalent to forced medical procedures, forced healthcare, criminal convictions, or incarceration.
     
  21. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Sure they are. Again, if raising the prices on unhealthy foods is shown to make your population healthier, then why not raise it more and make people even more healthy? Why not remove all unhealthy food as an option and make people even MORE healthy!

    If your goal is to forcibly make people healthy, whether they want to or not, where do you stop?
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    A pack of smokes are the equivalent to $15 in Ireland, still too cheap! Big Macs should be $20 (and I love a Big Mac) but instead a Mcdouble cheeseburger is a dollar and any size soda also a dollar when an organic cabbage is FIVE FRIGGING DOLLARS - no wonder too many kids eat in McDonald's 7 nights a week...
     
  23. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Compared to McDonalds, who cares about organic? A head of cabbage at Wal-mart will run you $2.00, but throw it in a pot with a few carrots and some spices and you could feed a family for less than a value meal. The problem is laziness and ignorance.
     
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  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't generally favor making the cost of such things prohibitive. There are certain inherent costs to living in a free society, among those that members of the society may not always do the most healthy things. Even though those costs can end up being spread over society, the value of individual freedom to make such decisions outweighs the associated societal costs.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed in full. These kinds of sin taxes help no one. I'm for feeding poor people, but this doesn't put more food on poor people's plates. (No one said that, I'm just saying.) This affects those who have enough money to make a choice and if you have enough money to make a choice then you're either forced out of your choice economically by the government or the government is taking your money. For me, this is economics, not so much politics. I agree completely with you JJ, even if for different reasons. I'm an interpreter, but I come from a family of accountants. ;)
     
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