In my earlier post, Can Big Government Cure Obesity?,  I outlined a few ways that we could use the existing powers of government to help “cure” obesity.

Today, I am going to expand on one of those ideas a little bit.

To begin with, I think we can all agree that most of us are strongly motivated by pain and pleasure. We try to avoid pain and we try to get as much pleasure as possible.

One example of how government makes use of this human truth is with taxes.

  • No one wants to pay taxes.
  • But most of us want to avoid getting hauled off to jail even more.
  • Ergo, most of us pay our taxes.

This takes me to Idea #1Sin taxes on junk food.

At first glance, this seems like a no-brainer. We discourage consumption of junk food while simultaneously increasing tax revenues. It’s a real win-win.

  • Except for one little problem…..which foods are we going to tax?

And who is going to make that decision?

  • Politicians?
  • Scientists?

If so, which ones?

  • The low-fat gurus who have been designing our food pyramids for decades
  • The low-carb minority
  • Or those wacky Paleo Dieters

To be honest, I don’t trust this decision to any of our nutrition “experts”.

  • Big egos + big money usually = big problems for the taxpayer.

But, I do trust my mom.

And, I bet you trust your mom as well. In fact, I trust your mom more than I trust those experts. Heck, I even trust you more than I trust those experts. I bet that just about everybody reading this article already knows what kinds of food are good for them and which foods are really bad for them.

I bet that if I asked you  to make a list of 10 types of food that we should tax in an attempt to “cure” obesity, I bet we would see a lot of overlap and we would be able to come up with a consensus pretty quickly.

.

Alright, there we go. I knew you could do it – a Junk Food / Fat Tax list as chosen by the people and for the people.

Democracy in action. .Now we just have to pressure our politicians into doing what we tell them to do…and wait for all of that fat tax money to come rolling in. .

But, what are we going to do with that money?

Next up….A Soical Blueprint to Cure Obesity

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10 comments

  1. so the logic is if it is more expensive it will discourage buying? Will this tax go to healthcare to pay for the indulgers increased health costs?

  2. Interesting ideas, some of which I agree with, some of which I have to think about. You know — food for thought. Definitely agree with having a tax credit for those who are active and actually stay healthy through exercise and good food choices. I foresee a future that is polarized, not so much by the haves and have nots, but by the fit and unfit/ active and sedentary.

  3. While I like the idea of monetary influences on eating choices, the freedom of choice in me thinks this idea is repulsive. Why, instead, can’t we make the GOOD foods cheaper? The result is the same. Alternatively, have tax breaks for healthy eating.

    Everything in moderation — it seems unnecessarily punitive to make the guy who runs 10 miles a day to pay more for pizza because his slug of a neighbor can’t get off the couch.

  4. Good idea but the problem isnt the governments to correct. You can only help those who want to be helped & if someone isn’t willing to put down the pizza for veggies, the problem will never end. All of the necessary information is readily available to any and every one interested in making the change. My idea would be for celebrities to promote healthy living, after all, they’re the ones people seem to think are the alpha & omega of knowledge.

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