Thursday, March 4, 2010

This Week in the Nanny State,

A tax on the poor! Thankies, city of Philadelphia!

This is ridiculous.It's totally without merit. Whether the government fat cats will realise it or not, this soda tax is a tax on the poor. You know why? Because if they could afford to buy healthy food, they'd buy it! But as anyone who's browsed a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's knows, NO ONE except the middle class and upper middle class can afford those prices. Even at cheap discount stores like Aldi, 2 liters of soda is only 99 cents, while a comparable bottle of %100 fruit juice is $2.64. I could run down the prices on other things: White bread is $1.50 while whole wheat is $2.74, potato chips are 99 cents while bagged fresh fruit is $4.35 and fresh vegetables (celery, carrots) are $2.00. Honey is more expensive than sugar*, tea is more expensive than sugary drinks, etc, etc,etc.

If the city really must engage in price fixing, one would think that the logical thing to do would be to lower the prices of healthy drinks and foods or exempt them from the (recently increased) sales tax, since prices and tax are the main reasons that people in low-income neighborhoods choose unhealthy foods over healthy ones. But I forgot, I live in Philadelphia where the city follows no known trains of logic, other than government being the solution to every problem.
So now the poor are put in a quandry where neither juice nor soda are affordable.They can't afford to buy anything, thanks to the government.
But hey, at least the city will get paid through the taxes they're getting. Y'know, you need a good paycheck in exchange for ignoring corrupt office holders, running inefficient city programs and generally making a mess of everyone's lives but your own.

I'm reading comments on some of the Philly news websites, and boy, If I could quote them all and do running commentary, I'd get over 9,000 hits in a minute.I see several commenters already saying that if people are stupid enough to hurt themselves by drinking soda rather than healthy drinks, that the state has a right to step in and stop them.So there you go, the state ownership of your body is right there in print.

And of course, they're trying to do this to fix the skyricketing city deficit.Most normal people in a deficit would cut unneccsary spending and projects that only bleed money and do nothing.If people owed them money, they'd try to collect it.But don't forget, this is Philadelphia, where reasoning, logic and common sense don't apply!

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