Should there be a sin tax on food?
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
This was something my wife and I were discussing the other night. As we are working on eating healthier, our grocery bills are going up because we have to buy all this stuff new at the same time, and they sure don't make it cheap. Some of the stuff we're buying we have to ration out just for the adults. As an example, my kids kept eating all my Boca breakfast links, so we got them a pack of pork breakfast links and I was marveling at the fact that for 99 cents, you can get 16 unhealthy as hell pork links where as for $2.50 (on sale) you only get 10 Soy links. My wife stated that it's likely because demand was low for soy links.
Is it really though? What if the prices were switched? Would more people buy soy products and other healthy foods if they were more affordable than the alternative? That was one of the big things that stopped us the other times we tried going healthier. We just couldn't afford it.
It leads me to wonder that since the government wants to make money on everything that's bad for you (alcohol, tobacco, etc.), why not tax unhealthy food? Would it do anything to curb obesity or would people just pay it, knowing it's bad for them?
I know that it will never happen, because making junk food is a massive business and they'll scream foul, but I keep thinking that if the government wants to make any traction against the obesity problem in this country, they're going to have to stop telling people what to eat and hit them where it really hurts in the wallet. What does everyone else think?