Fat Tax...

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Blue_Ice, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Blue_Ice


    I've been discussing lack of preventing health initiatives and how the health industry is basically encouraging people to be diagnosed ("sick" for healthcare industry purposes) so there are more medicines sold and medical services provided.

    Heart related diseases are affected by eating habits with tons of research showing how people with higher consumption of sugars/fats are more prone to suffer such diseases and/or get them much earlier in age (average) compared to two three decades ago.

    Many argue that food choice is/should be personal and population should be free to eat whatever they want regardless of the consequences; such argument basically disregards the financial burden on healthcare system as people need treatment for heart related disease much younger and tie up resources (increasing insurance premiums across the board) that could be better spend in other diseases for which there is no cure/prevention known yet.

    Fat Tax sounds like a good compromise, it still leaves the option available for people to chose to keep consuming sugars/fats. Due to higher food prices it will encourage people to look for alternatives diminishing the consumption of such foods and improving their health as a byproduct.

    In the long run it would be similar to cigarrettes: they're still available, some people still smoke and cigarrettes carry a high tax. We don't hear about lung related diseases due to smoking as much these days (real improvement in health for everyone), and not many people feel their "right of free choice" severed by the policy.

    Food industry could find alternative products made from the same raw materials (sugar, oils) so the issue of unemployment generated by the tax (increased consumer price) would have a smaller impact. Ethanol could be an example. There's 10% ethanol in the gas we use today, current gas engines could use at least twice as much ethanol in the solution and still work fine.

    So, what say you? FAT TAX: yay? nay? why?
  2. sprstpd


    It is a great idea until you realize that the "fat funds" would just get funelled into fighting the war in Afghanistan or handing out stimulus checks.
  3. jprad


    How are you going to tell the difference between the self-inflicted fat person and someone who's a genetically predisposed fattie?

    DNA tests?


    What's next, a procreation license given to those with "good" genes and/or brain function?

    Does a person who leads an unhealthly lifestyle and checks out in his 50's cost society more than a fit psychopath who's locked away at 30 for life without parole and lives 'till he's 90?

    Haven't politicians and bankers cost our society a hell of a lot more than a bunch of lardbutts?
  4. rosy2


  5. and then we can ban fat foods from restaurants and bars like cigarettes, because they just look so good no one will be able to resist them if they are around them.
  6. Blue_Ice


    I do not advocate any type of discrimination; and the way i interpret the concept would not discriminate in any way as it would be applied to sugar/fats without regard of the profile of the consumer. It basically leaves the option open, if people still want the daily dose of supersize large fries it'll be available.

    The overall result would be a decrease in the consumption of such foods and the consequent decrease of the percentage of the population suffering such diseases for causes related to eating habits. Those that have genetically coded the diseases would have more funds and resources readily available to them as the prevention would decrease the number of cases to treat/medication to provide.
  7. Blue_Ice


    I have a particular/personal interest in education, and certain social habits in society have developed as a result of our "education" system(some are good, some not so). One of them being eating.

    I saw the interview of the tiger funds guy; and was surprised that a guy in hedge fund industry would show interest in such initiative.

    The interview was the catalyst for creating this post. I just assumed that a fair amount of people in this forum would have watch it and then i wanted to hear thoughts about it
  8. That is such a lame excuse when fat people say they are fat because its in their genes. Sure some might have a slower metabolism, but generally its never more than 25% slower at most than a normal persons metabolism. Suppose a normal person burns 2,000 calories per day. A predisposed fat person only burns 1,600 calories per day, so they get fatter if they eat the same food.

    Solution? Eat 400 calories less per day, or walk/run 4 miles per day. The exercise will actually raise your metabolism too.

    At the end of the day a person who is 50 pounds overweight is that much overweight because they dont exercise or they eat way more than they burn. Fat does not just pop out of thin air...you have to have excess calories to get fat.
  9. fat people are not the only thing putting pressure on the healthcare system, so are people with bone fractures. We should therefore tax all people who go on ski trips and break a leg and tax the hell out of them!

    Basically sports with risk of bone fracture should become something only for rich people.

    If you play American football and get hospitalized you should be billed $100k.
  10. burn8


    Responding to Alter, George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux agreed that interest-group liberalism has indeed been leavened by idea-driven liberalism. Which is the problem.

    "These ideas," Boudreaux says, "are almost exclusively about how other people should live their lives. These are ideas about how one group of people (the politically successful) should engineer everyone else's contracts, social relations, diets, habits, and even moral sentiments." Liberalism's ideas are "about replacing an unimaginably large multitude of diverse and competing ideas . . . with a relatively paltry set of 'Big Ideas' that are politically selected, centrally imposed, and enforced by government, not by the natural give, take and compromise of the everyday interactions of millions of people."

    #10     Nov 4, 2010