The new Junk Kings

Some politicians clamor for welfare recipients to be barred from using food stamps for soda and candy, while others try to have taxes imposed on sugary drinks, to the great consternation of beverage distribution giants, who call the taxes an infringement on our “rights”.

Fair enough, in its perverse way – everyone ought to know how to make their own poison (sorry – cakes and cookies). But then — since thousands of hectares in the USA are merely corn and beets destined to become syrup for that candy or soda — rural enterprises so involved shouldn’t get any government farm benefits.

But, you cry, part of your place supplies your family’s actual food! Okay, you can deduct that food-producing portion only, whatever it is: an acre, a quarter acre, a thousand square feet. No sugar beets (and yes I know beet greens are very nutritious, but who grows beets for greens?), no sugar cane, no corn-syrup crops.
If the government has to pay for corn on the losing end, namely the health costs associated with too much sweetened junk food, too many sodas, too much too much – why should it have to subsidize the people and companies making the problem?

The sweeteners in diet sodas are believed to be be associated with obesity. Being overweight and especially being obese puts tremendous strain on one’s joints and heart. People want help for their health problems, and Medicare for all is a noble pursuit. But then why should the government support the weapons of our self-destruction? Why shouldn’t we help society instead, by taxing bad behavior?

Chicago recently caved, buying into Big Sugar’s siren lure and claims that the tax would prevent consumers from making their own choices about foodstuffs. This isn’t food we’re talking about taxing (I believe raw foodstuffs shouldn’t be taxed at all) — neither is the sweetened-beverage industry paying, by and large, fair market value for the water they need to make this $#!T.

Sugar is known addictive substance, just like alcohol, just like tobacco with its repugnant additives. Sugared drinks and candy have no fiber and no nutritional value; even 100% orange juice isn’t as good for us as an actual orange with a glass of water. Sugar was discovered to be harming human health decades ago, when the industry took its playbook straight from Big Tobacco, and was successfully able to steer attention away from itself by blaming fat, see:

Tobacco is bad for us, alcohol in excess is bad for us, sugar is bad for us. Sugar of all sorts has been oversold to us in the same way cigarettes were, and all sugar/corn syrup products (and the never-degrade plastics they usually come in) ought to be taxed to the hilt too. Because fair’s fair!


About majaramirez

former assistant instructor in tai chi chu'an; current TreeKeeper (#467); former Master Gardener; member of American Bird Conservancy, Audubon, Fraternal Order of Police, and Mensa; recently retired career cop; wife and mom.
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