Would you like to Supertax that?

I don’t know if you all were aware but apparently physical health is a problem in our country. Obesity is an issue. Heart attacks are an issue. Diabietes is an issue. Cancer is an issue. A percentage of these issues derive from the same source: fast food. It’s not a big secret that fast food is bad for you. Fast food has extraordinarily high calorie content, saturated fat content, and sodium content. Sure, a few more calories, a little bit of saturated fat and food heavy in sodium is ok once in a while but when different types of fried potatoes make up a large percentage of your daily diet you’re bound to run into some health issues.  A sad reality is that our poorest communities are subjected to these health issues because of how cheap a 20 piece of nuggets at McDonalds is ($4.99). Far too often is the most unhealthy food also the cheapest; Far too often our poorest citizens are also  the most obese. To effectively and efficiently become a healthier population, we need to disincentivize this unhealthy behavior. What if we placed a tax on fast food the same way we placed a tax on cigarettes? This could potentially counter the social cost that we incur as a result of an unhealthy poorer class. Benefits from this proposed tax include long term economic benefits incurred from healthier more productive workers, reduced counts of health issues such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and extra tax money for the government to use at their discretion.


5 thoughts on “Would you like to Supertax that?

  1. Love this idea and have a huge issue with the cheapest foods being the least expensive. I am disgusted and saddened seeing so many obese people pick up cupcakes and cookies from the food bank supplies when volunteering there.

  2. I have always thought of approaching this problem from a different way – a fat or smoking tax one’s healthcare. If you choose to eat/be unhealthy your healthcare costs should be more and you should also have to pay more into medicare…but if you are so unhealthy that you die sooner, i guess you are saving the country money that way.

  3. I like this idea a lot. This was an issue that I dealt with as a child. I was considered obese, all stemming from my love for fast food. I am actually writing my white paper on this very issue and I will consider using this idea for it (I’ll make sure to credit you Frank). But seriously, eating at these places is a choice. When people complain about the price of eating, you can get salads and better options at places like this, so eating their bad stuff is your choice.

  4. I’m not sure how we define fast food… but I like the idea of changing behavior through incentives as opposed to more public moralizing.

    Also, ending subsidies to cheap calories in the form of corn for feed for animals or milk production for cheap cheese would be simpler. End the subsidies for cheap calories and let the retail price reflect that. or hell, subsidize vegetable growers.


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