about us       copyright 2010                    www. projectworldview.org             home 

Welcome to project Worldview's Worldview Watch
periodic commentary and analysis on news items from a worldview perspective

 previous issue                                          issue #11,  posted 7 / 24 / 2010                       archive of all  issues

Soda Taxes to Fight Obesity and Raise Revenue 

in the news "The average American drinks a gallon of soda a week, which delivers 1000 calories and no nutrition.  The average American is also overweight or obese.  Could changing one of those things help change the other?" asks Barbara Kiviat in a July 12, 2010 Time Magazine article entitled "Taxing Sodas for a Healthier Economy."  After recounting the recent history of legislation --proposed and enacted--involving cash strapped state governments taxing sugar-laden soft drinks, Kiviat concludes, "Soda taxes may not have passed en masse this year, but there's plenty of reason to think they'll bubble up again soon."

commentary and analysis (by Stephen P. Cook, founder and manager, project Worldview, www.projectworldview.org): There really isn't too much to say on this issue beyond identifying the worldview themes potentially valued by those on opposing sides (as I've done in the table below).  Of those, I'm not sure the global vision vs. narrow focused vision themes necessarily belong where I've put them.  Here's my thinking on their inclusion.   Those on the "AGAINST" side narrowly focus on fighting any new taxes and for upholding existing freedoms.  Those on the "FOR" side would counter that poor dietary habits such as soft drink consumption leads to increased health care costs for everyone--in particular those who live healthier lifestyles. If people are allowed soft drink indulgences without incurring extra cost, everyone is going to pay for it.  A soda tax would make only those who indulge pay--much fairer!  Those on the "AGAINST" side argue such taxes are unwarranted government meddling into what we eat and drink and an assault on our freedom to buy what we want; those "FOR" respond by saying freedom isn't being curtailed, all that is being asked is that those whose behavior will result in increased societal expenditures for health care services should be the ones to pay.  Crediting those on the "FOR" side with possessing "Global Vision" may be a bit of a stretch, but certainly their thinking suggests a "Pay As You Go" alternative to increasing government budget deficits.   

Pro Soda Taxes--Worldview Themes Influencing Those FOR Anti-Soda Taxes --Worldview Themes Influencing Those AGAINST 
#2B   I Know What's Best For You #3   Focused Vision
#4   Global Vision: The Big Picture #19   Economic Individualism
#28B  Healthy Orientation #26A   The Consumerist 
#39A   Tough Love  #28A   Hedonistic Orientation 
#45B   Pay As You Go Approach #50A   Libertarian

Your Comments -- email them to us, put Worldview Watch #11 in subject line click here