The Soda Tax

I’m all for the soda tax. Those that say it disproportionately hurts the poor are either dumb or on coke’s dime.

First of all, that statement relies on the assumption that poor people all drink lots of soda. Which is basically true, but that doesn’t make it not stereotyping, for all you out there that are convinced you are incapable of racist, classist, or homophobic, or culturally insensitive thoughts. You’re wrong. Everyone’s a part time bigot or an idiot!

Second of all, the rest:

Soda is bad for you! Like how Cigarettes are bad for you. Its ! ! B A D F O R Y O U ! ! But we allow children to purchase drink it!


Yesterday I pulled into a gas station in the midst of this freak heat wave and while I filled up I asked my wife to go inside and get me a “Unsweetened Ice tea, Seltzer, or bottled water” She came back with a bottled water. No plain tea, no seltzer. No mineral water. Why? Why does a place with nearly 100 drink choices have none with low or no sugar except for water?


And when it comes to bottled water, I always feel like I’m getting slighted as it generally costs more than Soda. I want to make healthier choices but damnit I like soda and its cheaper than water and that comes out of the tap at home! Why is water more expensive than soda?


Because soda companies have powerful lobbies just like tobacco companies do! The only difference is they have so far been succesful in maintaining peace with public perception, despite the fact that diabetes affects about 10% of the us population while cancers involving the lungs affect about 5%.

But if water was $1 and Soda was $3, you can bet I would make the right choice on a hot day, and buy the water (assuming I had failed to just carry a refillable water bottle like any sane person who doesn’t have unlimited cash should do, but very few actually do)

So, might the financial burden of a low income fully committed habitual soda consumer be more strained than that of a well to do soda drinker? Yes. But let’s get real for a second, we shouldn’t be hawking unhealthy products at the tax bracket with the highest rates of diabetes. The best soda policy for the underclass would be prohibition.

Ok, short of that, anything that might curb the soda intake of the city would be a boon for public health, if not for the booming healthcare industry.

Poor people also drink a lot of alcoholic beverages, which are heavily taxed, yet I seldom hear cries to abolish such levies in the name of the workingman’s struggle.

As far as public pre-k goes (and why the hell are people calling it “universal” like “universal” healthcare, we don’t call it “universal” school we call it PUBLIC school. And public school is shit, and in Philadelphia they are particularly shit so why would I want to send my four year old there? Another year of school is not gonna do anything for the civic problems in this city. Chief among them are shitty parents.

I see children begging on the street all the time. This is the USA. If your children are outside of your supervision and begging on the street you are a remarkable failure of a parent, to an extent that is not nearly negligent but wickedly criminal.

Use the money from the soda tax to build a giant Orphanarium, and a new labor camp prison for all of the city’s drug addicted WIC collectors, ATV-on-public street riders, litterers, and people who run up the shoulder to get two cars ahead in gridlock.

Or just knock a few bucks off my property tax, and maybe twice weekly garbage pickup?

There are a lot of things the city could do with soda tax money, I don’t think pre-K is gonna solve any problems. The city’s problems are so deeply engrained through generations of poverty that they have become cultural, and its going to be a war to change it.

I love soda. I love Coke. I love Doc Pepper. But the products they make are a trojan horse to public health, and Philadelphia’s new Mayor is taking a bold step towards curtailing one small social injustice. Taxing soda won’t make it unattainable for anybody, but perhaps for some, they will be encouraged to imbibe in moderation, or make healthier, more cost effective beverage choices.





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