Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

June 13, 2012

At the NYT, Bittman evokes Mrs. Lovejoy in his support of the Bloomberg Soda Tax. I tend to stay away from policy on this blog, but Bloomberg’s soda ban perfectly crystalizes the absurdities of our food system. We pay farmers to overproduce the raw materials for our sweets, then we tax consumers to discourage them from eating it. The way I see it, when a state or city passes a Happy Meal toy ban or a soda tax, it is a repudiation of national agricultural policy. As I’ve noted before, smaller governments have no power to turn off the production spigot, so their only remaining option is to limit consumption. If you live in a “progressive” place that approaches the obesity epidemic this way, you are getting taxed twice. The longer we perpetuate the inconsistency, the more money we all waste. I’d like to see heavies like Bittman point their finger at policy makers instead of consumers, who are only doing what the government has enabled them to do.