It should come as no surprise that the top opponent in this gruesome fight is.... yes, that's right: Rick Berman's Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF)!!!! The CCF's PR campaign focuses on the central question: "When did the Big Apple become Big Brother?" As i have said before, in my view, any time Rick Berman is involved there is a sleazy residue. Even though I see both sides of the argument and don't come down firmly on one side, Berman's involvement makes me want to support a soda tax. CCF of course assaults the soda tax as another example of "Nanny Culture;" taxes should not be used, CCF contends, to socially engineer change. CCF suggests that there should be no soda tax but rather exercise/fitness should be promoted. So let's tax all people who don't exercise! wait... oops nanny culture rears its ugly head. what about making health insurance relative to the individual's BMI? Wait, even airlines can't manage to get the public to accept extra charges for morbidly obese passengers who, yes, cost more due to extra fuel consumed and may render the seat next to them uninhabitable.
To be fair, it's not just CCF that is in opposition. The public, perhaps nearly evenly divided, is being quite vocal. One article on the tax has stirred up a reaction that is a good example of the public's very strong views and people's desire to express them. So far, this New York Times Sunday Magazine story has 53 replies. It was originally posted on September 23, 2009, under the title "Following Up on a Sugary Tax That’s Hard to Swallow," by Randy Cohen.
As an aside, one of the 53 replies is indeed from our beloved Audrae Erickson, patron saint of HFCS. And to my great amusement, one of the 53 replies is also TO the charming Ms Erickson. My thanks go out to "healthy in michigan because I avoid HFCS." I applaud you.
September 30, 2009 8:44 pm Link