The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Sugary Drink Tax

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/24/2017 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,020 times Debate No: 102758
Debate Rounds (4)
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I am against sugary drink taxes. This means that you are going to be pro and will support
sugary drink taxes. You can include anything that can help you, so you are NOT limited to only just health issues.

Here's how this debate will go.

Round 1: Acceptance. Don't start your case, just say you accept and then we can start making our arguments in round 2.
Round 2: Make arguments.
Round 3: Rebuttals on main arguments. Do not make any new arguments unless absolutely necessary to make your rebuttal.
Round 4: You can respond to your opponent's rebuttals, but sometimes, it can backfire on you! Additionally, you should also state why you are the winner over the other.

Good luck!

NOTE: I may not respond until 2-3 days after each round is over.


I accept this debate and will be arguing for a tax on sugary drinks, or to maintain the current tax in cities that already have sugary drink taxes.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I start my argument, I thank you for taking in on this debate. This has been my first debate so far in 7 months, so here goes nothing.

Sugary Drink Taxes Are Just A Way for Tax Collectors & Cities to Get Money, & the Tax Hurts Citizens

Currently, there are many cities that have sugary drink taxes, and here's the list:
- Albany, California
- Berkley, California
- Oakland, California
- San Francisco, California
- Boulder, Colorado
- Chicago, Illinois & it's neighboring suburbs (planned July 2017)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Seattle, Washington

Although there are cities in other continents that have sugary drink taxes, that would be a very long list, so I have just listed the American cities & suburbs that already have and/or are planning to have a sugary drink tax.

Right now, there's an easy explanation for these sugary drink taxes that have been appearing. One of the reasons is that it's an extremely efficient way for taxpayers to gain extra money from the citizens themselves. Already, tax collectors make billions of dollars each year (and when I mean billions of dollars, I mean billions of dollars). However, tax collectors have used all the old techniques in the rulebook of taxation and are currently looking for ways to tax the citizens, so they've decided to make the sugary drink taxes that have been abounding upon many cities all over the world. This would negatively affect the consumer mainly because the consumer would have to pay more money for sugary drinks, which would make Americans poorer, which can lead to economic downpour. This sugary drink tax, as a result, will just dwindle the economy and will hurt consumers and will benefit tax collectors and the cities themselves, and this isn't even mentioning all the other major taxes that citizens have to pay. With the sugary drink tax, a citizen might have to pay double the price of a sugary drink!

The Sugary Drink Tax Won't Help Reduce Obesity

Currently, sugary drinks are one out of many reasons that are the cause of the increase in obesity in many countries. It seems that sugary drink taxes can solve this problem right? Wrong! In many cases, even with sugary drink taxes, people that crave sugary drinks that aren't willing to change their habits will still buy them, mainly because there's nothing that can replicate those sugary drinks that are obsessed with. Additionally, healthier alternatives to sugary drinks are falling in price, which gives citizens a chance to reduce obesity at their own discretion.

The Sugary Drink Tax Is Removing Jobs & Hurts Businesses

Here's all the evidence for this point:

So far, the sugary drink tax has also negatively affected consumers in another way, availability of jobs. Currently, articles from The Blaze, Business Insider, & Biz Journals have reported that two big soda companies Coca-Cola & Pepsi Company, & many grocery stores are reporting losses as a result of the sugary drink tax. This negatively affects the consumer because fewer jobs will be available, and there could be a less availability of food if these sugary drink taxes continue to exist! Additionally, the sugary drink tax doesn't encourage more businesses in the food department (except for health food products), mainly because of what has happened so far, which is mainly a loss of jobs, profit, & interest in the economy.

This is all I have to say about for this round. Once again, this is my first debate in 7 months, so don't expect any pizzass in the next couple rounds. Currently, this is the end of my argument, and I will be silently waiting for my opponent to post his/her argument.



I see I can't make rebuttals until Round 3. Then here are my arguments:

Reduction of Obesity
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, in ages 2+, people get 52% of their added sugars through sugary drinks. So it stands to reason that a reduction in the consumption of these beverages will reduce obesity. And again according to the Obesity Action Coalition, a 10% increase in the price of a sugary drink will reduce its consumption by 10-12%. So a SDT will reduce obesity [1].

More evidence comes from a study done by the University of Harvard, where they show a 1% tax on each ounce of a sugary beverage reduces consumption of said beverage by 20% [2]. So it stands to reason that these taxes will reduce consumption of sugary drinks, thus reducing obesity.

And why is obesity so bad? Well, according to the CDC, obesity costs the nation nearly 150 billion in health care costs yearly. It also costs us nearly 6 billion in lost productivity each year [3]. My conclusion? SDTs will reduce obesity, which will then have a positive impact on the economy, as productivity increases and Americans have more spending money, further boosting the economy.

Increased Revenue
Philadelphia needed cash. Why? They wanted to pay for universal preschool in the city. So they passed a small, 1.5 cent tax on each ounce of a sugary drink. And the revenue generated from this tax was massive. Philly is set to make 90 million dollars from the tax. Yes, 90 million. I did some basic math, and found that each person generated 57 dollars in taxes from this tax. If we were to apply this bill nationwide, the revenue would be over 20 billion dollars. Think of all the amazing things the government could fund with this tax. I just read this recently: Oklahoma, in facing a gigantic deficit due to the state's foolish management of funds and tax policy, has had to cut the school funding, meaning the kids only go to school for 4 days in a week. This tax would stop that. [4]

Also, in Berkeley, California, a city you mentioned, implemented a 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages. The tax was an enormous success, with consumption of sugary beverages plummeting. Even better, grocery stores, corner stores, and the like didn't lose revenue from the tax. Why? Consumers just switched to buying healthier beverages like milk, water, and natural fruit drinks. [5]

So that's my argument. I know it is short, but I only really had two points.


Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by AOCPS 3 years ago
To clarify anything information so that my opponent will not be misled, I am talking about drinks that have high amounts of sugar that are above the daily limit for an average person. This means that anything over 20 grams of sugar is considered unhealthy.
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