The Fat Tax
Debate Rounds (3)
Let us get down to it. The fat tax has been proposed to make fatty foods more expensive to discourage obesity. I think this is a very bad idea because the primary buyer of fatty foods are the less fortunate, with the more well endowed often being able to afford more healthy solutions. The healthier food is normally more expensive because of marketing and what not, and implementing a fat tax would only make it harder to eat and not really encourage healthy eating habits.
My opponent has argued that this tax will disproportionately affect the poor. He claims that the poor eat more fattening food because it is cheaper. This claim is un sourced at this time, but I will accept it as true for this round. In response to this I will first point out that that the average American only spends 6% of their income on food . Secondly I will point out that most "poor" Americans are able to afford cable TV, air conditioning, and other non-necessities . Clearly, food is not a large burden on such a person. Would it really be so horrible if Americans paid, say, 8% of their income on food, as people in the UK do ? One should also note that eating better can actually better ones long term financial situation. The total yearly economic cost of American obesity has been estimated at $270 billion dollars . If obesity is afflicting the poor the most then do not the poor stand to gain the most, both health wise and monetarily, if obesity is fought? Finally, it should be noted that we have welfare programs to support the poorest Americans and that the benefits the poor receive from these programs should rise with the cost of living. Given this, a small rise in the cost of living in an area that takes up a single digit percentage of disposable income would not hurt the poor. But even if it did impose a small cost would it not be worth the years of life that would be saved be decreasing obesity? It seems that it would.
My second line of argument concerns revenue. This tax will affect some poor people but it will also affect many middle class and rich people. This tax discourages a negative behavior and so is an ideal form of taxation. Contrasted will taxes that discourage investment, home ownership, or wage earning, it has clear advantages. The added revenue from this tax, however small, could be used to help payoff the deficit or lower other taxes. Both will encourage positive economic activity. Thus there is an indirect benefit from the positive economic activity that this tax will generate.
To summarize: the fat tax will not substantially hurt the poor, it will benefit them financially and health wise, and the tax will generate unforeseen economic benefits from the increase in government revenue.
MirrorIrorriM forfeited this round.
MirrorIrorriM forfeited this round.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Reasoning 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Spawktalk is the only person who presented any arguments, so he wins by default.
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