If You Hate Sin Taxes, Blame the Subsidies That Made Us Unhealthy in the First Place

(Photo: flickr/pterjan)

(Photo: flickr/pterjan)

Before you get too upset over recent nanny-state measures targeting your food choices, try to see them in the broader context of our economic history, says Scott Reitz of Dallas Observer.

Reitz attacks arguments against sin taxes, like Julie Gunlock’s editorial in Los Angeles Times, for not addressing the root of the issue. While Gunlock argues for our freedom of choice in the midst trans-fat bans and soda-size rationing, Retiz finds two holes in her position: 1) She is against labels that would keep us informed in order to exercise our freedom of choice (rather than simply being told what to do by the government); and 2) she fails to see that the issue of obesity is closely tied to the lack of access to quality food options.

If we want to be angry at the government about sin taxes, he says, we should focus our ire on those that created the problems of diabetes and obesity, rather than those trying to clean up the mess. According to Reitz, it all boils down to subsidies: “[o]ur government admits there’s a growing obesity problem while they subsidize the ingredients that go into the products that make us fat.”

[via Dallas Observer]

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