Friday, October 28, 2011

Fat Tax is Undue Social Control

Liberals are not known for social oppression, however, they do not remain so hands off when it comes to unhealthy foods. A fat tax is a good idea if it does, in fact, promise to fund fitness and education programs geared towards getting kids (and adults) to eat healthier. The issue is in the comparison; supporters assert that a sin tax on food would be similar to that of taxes levied on cigarettes and alcohol, however, regardless of the health value of food, all food is sustenance whereas tobacco and alcohol are not.

The proposed tax on caloric sweetened drinks is, debatably, valid as non-diet soda1, energy and sports drinks are a luxury to the human need for water, however, the L.A. Times writer suggests expanding the tax to fast food.

That is not to say obesity is not a problem; a fat tax, if implemented, should subsidize gym memberships and get healthier food in schools but taxing unhealthy food items, such as fast food, is undue social control. A person could make a burger at home or buy one at a fast food chain, the former is obviously healthier but both burgers are life-sustaining food. People have the right to choose what they consume and it should be without taxation to urge them another way. This is dissimilar to tobacco and alcohol because they are unnecessary to life; one can choose to go a full lifetime without one or both.

The issue of obesity is more a problem of calorie control rather than the issue of consuming unhealthy foods; a person can lose weight and still consume unhealthy fast food if they carefully watch their daily caloric intake. This is not to say such practice is a good idea but it is a choice people can make.

What is a problem is unhealthy and fast food marketing which instills, into children, a strong sense of desire and longing that makes proper parenting difficult when it seems so menial and even cruel an issue as what a child would prefer to eat but this is, of course, where the issues of obesity begin. Fat tax proponents argue they are already up against corporate social control; this is fair, however, taxation is a more physical control whereas corporate advertising still allows people to choose.

If healthy foods are uncompetitive in our low-priced, fast food world, then a fat tax could be seen as more valid as an attempt to even the playing field between healthy and unhealthy foods.

Additional Note:
1 The article makes no mention of non-caloric, or diet, drinks; it sounds as if they would be exempted from such a tax.
Additional Reading: (while I stand by my opinions, evidence and articles are stacked up against opponents, however, there are murmurings against such social control, amongst the tobacco/alcohol similarity assertions)
Taxes and Inelastic Goods
Denmark Introduces 'Fat Tax' on Foods High in Saturated Fat
'Fat tax is the best way to cut obesity:' Treat junk food like cigarettes, argues OECD
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Corporations Need to Learn the Love

Our nation's economic problems, the reason many of us are unemployed and occupying cities is due to the greed and lack of feeling from corporations. A non-physical entity can not be made to love but we are told, time1 and time again2, that corporations are people; there is no evidence of this. There is, however, plentiful documentation that could argue the lack of humanization within corporations who seem to run on money like human vending machines; put in a hundred dollars and get a foreclosed home or get thirty year company veterans laid off with little help finding other jobs.

There's no way to teach people to love; if they are, at this point, so far gone there is little hope but, unfortunately, that also leaves us with little hope as our democracy goes up for sale and politicians joke about voter suppression. Do not be naive, these are unfortunate times we are living; it is difficult to find anyone in politics still championing for the people, that is to say, humans like you and me.

The people of corporations do know love, however, the only love they know is of the dollar; that is their incentive regardless of the financial difficulties of the people right outside their window. Big banks are implementing fees for debit card usage (as well as massive layoffs) when they are posting financial profits; what reason, other than greed, could account for such fees in a time when the working American is most strapped for cash?

In order to increase executive salaries and bonuses, corporations decided to cut costs wherever they could; this was usually to low-level employees in benefits and layoffs. This is because labor costs in other countries are significantly lower than costs in the United States. Often left unmentioned is that management pay is also significantly less in other countries as well which would, also, be a way to cut significant costs; it's either the jobs and benefits of a few or of many.

All these cuts to and against the common man and corporate CEOs still want people to sing cultish-like praises for them.

Educate yourself and keep that knowledge with you; apathy and lethargy have always come at too high a cost, this is never more true than now.

This article reminds us of what's to come for the occupiers and, consequently, all of us. The OWS movement is, in essence, an anarchist movement (or at least a movement calling for the TOTAL reformation of politics and politicians) and, as such, it will face heavy opposition from all sides in an attempt to maintain this corrupt nostalgic way of life. Many are afraid of what will replace this system, what will be reformed but it's becoming increasingly hard for the majority to just continually push on being entertained by political theater. You should already know the ending to the play; the rich, undeterred, will inherent the Earth.

Additional Comments:
1 Romney fails to address that the money is NOT coming back to the people. It is coming to people, in the literal sense of the word, but it's staying in the executives' pockets. Jobs and higher wages are not 'trickling-down' because the wealthy stay wealthy because they know how to save their money (in addition to knowing how to reinvest and then save it some more). Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan ridiculousness is a return of classic trickle-down economics.

2 David French, writer of this article, suggests that a person can have faith in a company with cash reserves and that hoarding helps real people, again, in the literal sense of the word. It's true, hoarding benefits a few but it does so at the cost of many; if a kid in a classroom takes all the crayons then no one else can color but that child certainly does benefit from having all the crayons...but no one else does and the many can't be expected to just accept the one child's hoarding. And they aren't, the American public is speaking out against this hoarding. The idea of hoarding basically suggests that if a corporation can get money it is allowed to keep it, which, it is, however, we expect our companies to give back to this country in the way of jobs and fair contributions to government revenues that stimulate the consumer population. Due to globalization, many corporations lack any sense of connection or duty to give back which leaves our people, non-executive humans, penniless as rich executives invest in the inexpensive overseas; in places where extreme poverty and starvation foreshadow our own future.

Additional Reading:
How Can We Rouse Police and Other Protectors of the Corporatocracy -- "Guards" of the Status Quo -- to Join the OWS
Lakoff: How Occupy Wall Street's Moral Vision Can Beat the Disastrous Conservative Worldview
Activists in New York Target 'Governor 1 Percent:' Cumuo Under Fire for Refusing to Extend Millionaire's Tax
Corporate Greed Alert: Wal-Mart Cutting Healthcare Benefits for its Workers
We Have a First Amendment Right to Protest -- So Why All Theses Arrests Around Occupy Wall Street
GOP 'Jokes' About Killing Immigrants, Voter Suppression, Shootings
Tea Party to Businesses: "Stop Hiring!"
Officials from Texas Spark Revolt After Perry Appointees Doctor Environmental Report
The Shocking, Graphic Data That Shows Exactly What Motivates the Occupy Movement