Posts by James Butler

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  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to william blake,

    No, actually the same. A 10% tax on sugar is a 10% tax on sugar - no matter where it's collected, the price to the consumer is the same (actually, if you tax the manufacturer at 10% the consumer pays more because GST, but now I'm quibbling).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to william blake,

    tax the manufacturer and not the consumer

    These amount to the same thing.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Here's the thing: we also know that obesity-related illness correlates with poverty and membership of certain ethnic groups (which also correlate with poverty). Now I don't know if high consumption of sugar is also related to poverty. But: if it is, then taxing sugar is going to hit the people with the least money hardest, which is a bit crap. If it isn't, then taxing sugar won't address the root of the problem. And either way, it sounds to me like the real obvious solution is to end fucking poverty.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    To paraphrase:

    Is there a health problem associated with high sugar foods?
    All the data in the literature show a very high correlation between such foods and a number of serious health problems. I’m sure someone can find industry-funded “research” showing no such association, but I believe those studies as much as I believe the studies from the tobacco companies “proving” tobacco is harmless.

    Something must be done!

    The evidence is clear (mostly from cigarette taxation), increasing the price of a product via taxation or duty is a tremendously powerful tool for changing consumer behaviour.

    This is something...

    Should our representatives in government act to improve the health of the population and thus reduce healthcare costs?
    That of course is an ideological question. For me the answer WTF else should they be doing??????

    Therefore we must do it!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Sacha,

    If a substance is harmful, why not ban it rather than taxing it? Sugary drinks have zero nutritional benefit and many proven harms

    I can think of many things which have no nutritional benefit and proven harms when misused - jogging, loud music, summer days on the beach - what makes sugary drinks specially ban-worthy?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: ‘Kiwimeter’ is a methodological…, in reply to Peter Davis,

    a question along the lines of whether the respondent would be happy if their daughter/son married a person of another race (or maybe they specified black). On the face of it, that is racist.

    Perhaps. Seems to me that “How would you feel if your daughter/son married someone of another race” is a question which gauges racism, while “How would you feel if your daughter/son married someone who wasn’t a real American/Briton” is a racist question, and comes much closer to the insidious effect of “special treatment”.

    ETA not that I can say how a POC might feel when confronted with either form, but this would be my starting assumption.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Even if I thought the new flag was the bestest thing ever, I'd still vote for the current one to discomfit Key. Nothing else matters. I'd imagine maybe a third of the electorate think that way.

    Tactically I kinda half-hope you're right, but strategically I fucking pray you're wrong, because that's what a "breakdown of the political process" looks like /:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mt Eden: Not a closing but an…,

    My only reservation is that already having a mobility card is a fairly high bar for people who might be mobile on the flat but can’t manage the climb and perhaps a way could be found to accommodate them without letting that concession be abused.

    Could one get a pedicab/rickshaw through the bollards? Would need good brakes, low gears, and mighty thighs...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    "Peak", as in both "Red" and "Cray".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Message, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oh yes. Just noting that they had an appreciable candidate until quite recently.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 845 posts Report Reply

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