One retail giant has exposed the hypocrisy and idiocy of Seattle’s regressive “soda tax.”
That tax, which went into effect at the beginning of the year, has grocers like Costco feeling the pinch and they’re letting their customers know by telling them exactly how much the new tax is costing them.
Not only that, they’re telling them which of their stores are just outside the city to escape the tax.
— 🌺💐Sharon Kay 💐🌺 (@sness5561_ness) January 7, 2018
The tax was approved last June. It amounts to an extra 1.75 cents per ounce – or 21 cents per can of soda. When bought by the case, the number gets huge. For example, the price of a Gatorade Frost Variety Pack at Costco, which usually cost $15.99, jumped to $26.33.
Costco helpfully identified how much the tax cost customers and even told them where they can go to avoid the tax.
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) January 5, 2018
The tax is another attempt at leftist social engineering. This is more and more common in big cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, where not only is it a spectacular failure – hitting the poorest residents the hardest and even creating a black market for soda – but it’s met with absolute outrage from citizens.
The greatest analysis of the failure of the soda tax comes courtesy Scott Drenkard of the Tax Foundation, who pointed out that these social engineers can’t keep their story straight:
- “First they interview people at the Costco who are rightfully shocked at how high prices on soda and sports drinks are now (they are almost doubled).”
- “Then they interview a public health advocate who says ‘that’s right! We want these prices to change people’s behavior and slow sales!’”
- “Then they talk to the consumer, ‘think you’ll change your behavior, maybe even shop somewhere else?’ And she’s like, ‘ya the Tukwila store is close enough.’ Then they ask a city council member if this will hurt local biz, who says ‘there is no data’ suggesting that.”
- “Then the SAME public health advocate says that people won’t respond to price increases, shopping elsewhere because it isn’t ‘worth their while.’”
- “You can’t have it both ways people! The tax is either big enough to elicit behavior change, which would slow sales and hurt local biz and potentially reduce calories, or it isn’t. Get your stories straight!”
This is idiocy at the highest level. There’s zero evidence from anywhere that increasing taxes has any impact on obesity at all.
Soda consumption is down and it accounts for a relatively small percentage of all our calorie consumption.
In Mexico – with some of the highest sugar taxes in the country, consumption rates didn’t drop and neither did obesity rates.
But Seattle’s worse – it’s not a massive city, geographically, and it’s not hard to drive across the border to avoid a tax that effectively doubles the price of a product.
Besides, in other cities, people who wanted a low-cost beverage just switched to “Kool-Aid” or other drinks you add the sugar into.
Not only that, several retailers said the hit to their bottom line is costing jobs.
And it doesn’t bring in the revenue it promised – ever. Anywhere. Not by a long shot.
Another social engineering failure. What do you think? Is there any point where the government can step in to “encourage” healthy habits? How? Sound off below!