Which conservative politicians in New Zealand can you name as supportive of a sugar tax?
I wasn’t aware New Zealand was the only country that counted. The sugar tax was famously championed by Bloomberg, a Republican. Adopted in Mexico by a conservative president, in France under Sarkozy, in England under the Tories. But hey I guess I’m making a “dubious claim”.
but I hope we can manage to want different things sometimes while still acknowledging each other as “good and reasonable”
Not at the cost of pretending that there are no competing social interests at play. The sugar tax is popular among conservative politicians because it enables them to be seen as doing something while not actually doing anything of substance, and placing all the cost on consumers, regressively - as opposed to corporations or taxpayers, progressively. It's the thing we can do for the least political cost, instead of other things that would be of much greater benefit. So long as the topic is ideology, it seems worth pointing out.
Yeah Gio, stop ruining our consensus with your pesky disagreement! What do you think this is, a discussion forum?
Speaking of ideology, the liberal fiction that we're all good people and if only we were all reasonable we'd realise we all want the same things is one you disturb at your own peril.
Or you could give me examples of places where the sugar tax is being advocated for as part of a balanced package of measures, along with others aimed at reducing the chief cause of the problem - namely, poverty. I'd be all ears. Until then, your wishing doesn't make things so.
Instead what was suggested is that we shouldn't do the sugar tax thing because we weren't talking about the other parts of the problem.
I'm simply referring to the reality of the current political debates. In Britain, the tax was passed along with benefit cuts. No efforts were made to alleviate poverty or make other foods cheaper. In Mexico, proceeds from the tax were supposed to be spent to finally provide large swathes of the population with potable water, but didn't. In New Zealand, the sugar tax enjoys lots of poll support but far more effective measures such as extending the in tax working credit to beneficiaries are politically dead in the water, and the province of marginal advocacy groups.
Oh and by the way I'm not all about taking away ignorant (poor) people's freedoms. I actually believe that allowing them to become habituated to high sugar foods is far more of a loss of their freedom than any tax might ever be.
Oh dear god do you think you could be any more patronising?
I guess that "health problem" is descriptive where "disease" has a definition.
I'm not buying this. If "problem" is the same as a disease but without a definition, it's just a sloppy way of saying disease. And I insist we should guard against sloppy use of over-charged language.
So it think it does make sense to also target the sources of excess calories, although I'm not sure whether a sugar tax is the best way to do that.
The issues is that current talk is not about also doing that but only doing that. Meanwhile, if people suggest something as elementary as taking GST off fresh fruit and vegetables, politicians from Labour's Michael Cullen rightwards jump up to defend the sacred simplicity of our tax system.
You see why people may be getting a bit sick of this?
I think professional acceptance of obesity as a health problem is very widespread.
What's the difference between a health problem and a disease?
You made what was a complex discussion about possible solutions into a discussion about name calling. Not terribly worthwhile.
I get that you don't care about those implications, that is coming through pretty clearly believe me. Some of us do.