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The ‘unintended consequences’ of Philadelphia’s soda tax

In 2017, Philadelphia levied a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on “sweetened” drinks. The city wanted to raise additional money to fund a universal pre-K program and reduce obesity. What they got was entirely predictable to anyone with a basic understanding of economics. Unfortunately, city fathers must have fallen asleep in economics class when the teacher explained the cause and effect of raising taxes on anything.

To economic ignoramuses, it’s a very seductive idea. Sweetened drinks are wildly popular but lead to obesity, according to some studies. Political leaders in the city began to salivate at the thought of all that cash pouring into their coffers from citizens who can’t live without their Coca-Cola. Besides, even if they drink less soda, that’s a good thing. They will switch to healthier alternatives like water. They will lose weight. And pre-kindergarten kids will get an early start on education.

And if you believe all that, I’ve got a bridge over the Chicago River I’d like to sell you.

National Review:

The health benefits turned out to be nil. “The tax was ineffective at reducing consumption of unhealthy products,” reports a new study […]

Read the full story from American Thinker

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