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   World's first fat tax scrapped in Denmark after proven ineffective. In other news, NYC Mayor Bloomberg still beating his dead horse

11 Nov 2012 04:44 PM   |   5200 clicks   |   Washington Post
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Krymson Tyde     
Fat tax? Is this another Chris Christie story?

11 Nov 2012 04:24 PM
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cretinbob     
In other news, NYC Mayor Bloomberg still beating his dead horse farking that chicken.


ftfy

11 Nov 2012 04:27 PM
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FunkOut    [TotalFark]  
Denmark, the land of beer, bacon, butter, and a multitude of cookies and pastries? My Danish grandmother seemed to live on baked goods and chocolate. Which, you know, explained the diabetes.

11 Nov 2012 04:48 PM
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Seth'n'Spectrum     
FTFA: ""Look at America, how bad things have got there - what happens if we don't do anything? Yes, that should be a wake-up call," Cameron said."

City upon a hill, indeed.

11 Nov 2012 04:51 PM
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RedVentrue     
As rediculous as a carbon tax.

11 Nov 2012 04:55 PM
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machoprogrammer     
Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?

11 Nov 2012 04:59 PM
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GranoblasticMan     

machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


This.

Whoever wrote this tax is a moron.

11 Nov 2012 05:06 PM
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Pincy    [TotalFark]  
Just tax people who weigh over a certain amount. Give them an incentive to lose weight. Problem solved.

11 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
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apachevoyeur     
Taxing fatties is stupid because it taxes the high metabolism folks too.

The correct approach is to shame fatties with posters and PSAs.

Stupid fatties.

/fat

11 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
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FunkOut    [TotalFark]  

machoprogrammer:
Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


Which is unfair to skinny people who like to eat cake and pie.

11 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
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chrylis     

GranoblasticMan: Whoever wrote this tax is a moronhas been listening to the USDA.


11 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
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AbsentFriends     
It's a damn shame we can't tax stupid. Immediate budget surplus.

11 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
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Bit'O'Gristle     
Votes to institute a Florida stupid tax. The proceeds to be shared by the rest of the union. Be stupid, you pay a higher tax rate through the rest of that fiscal year.

11 Nov 2012 05:09 PM
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Dinjiin     
My dislike for sin food taxes is that it is indiscriminate. The dude who sits on his fat ass all day is taxed the same as the dude who runs 30 minutes on his treadmill every other day. And as the article noted, as with all taxes, they can be avoided by purchasing the item in another jurisdiction.

It might be a better idea to let people eat what they want, but then use tiered costs for health insurance to discourage unhealthy lifestyles. If people object to such a system, let them go w/o insurance, but remind them that when they show up to a medical facility and cannot pay for it out of pocket, they will be refused service, even if it is for a life threatening issue.

Maybe a few dead bodies on the sidewalk outside the ER will be the sort of shock motivation that people need to take better care of themselves. It might also remind a few libertarians what free market healthcare really looks like, and that it isn't always pretty.

11 Nov 2012 05:10 PM
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apachevoyeur     

machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


This is spot on. Tax sugar and tax the fark out of HFCS. And legalize pot. Fiscal crisis solved.

11 Nov 2012 05:11 PM
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Buffet     
Tax the Fark outa those fat bastards. They make me wanna puke!

11 Nov 2012 05:12 PM
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apachevoyeur     
I hate fat people. Always have. Probably always will. I used to pick on the fat kid in school. He eventually killed himself. Stupid fatty.

11 Nov 2012 05:15 PM
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smeag0l     
How about taxing people that are actually fat.

11 Nov 2012 05:22 PM
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crabsno termites     

AbsentFriends: It's a damn shame we can't tax stupid. Immediate budget surplus.


Congress exempted, of course.

11 Nov 2012 05:25 PM
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vodka     
Ther ya go lilbrudders, you're flat tax schemes our proven to be shat.

11 Nov 2012 05:29 PM
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BitwiseShift     
Let Them Eat Taxes Marie Antoinette 

Look! A Donut! Homer Simpson

11 Nov 2012 05:30 PM
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lohphat    [TotalFark]  
www.tampabay.com

Go be Danish somewhere else.

11 Nov 2012 05:31 PM
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kg2095     

machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


The medical and dietary establishment is still holding on to the mantra about high fat intake being the cause of obesity and diabetes.

So a lot of people still believe that to be the case - especially when their doctors tell them that. And their doctors believe it because the FDA and AHA have been telling them that for the past 30 years or so.

11 Nov 2012 05:34 PM
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kg2095     

kg2095: machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?

The medical and dietary establishment is still holding on to the mantra about high fat intake being the cause of obesity and diabetes.

So a lot of people still believe that to be the case - especially when their doctors tell them that. And their doctors believe it because the FDA and AHA have been telling them that for the past 30 years or so.


USDA. Not FDA.

11 Nov 2012 05:35 PM
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Gulper Eel    [TotalFark]  
Wait, a program fails and they...they actually end the program?

11 Nov 2012 05:39 PM
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Gawdzila     

Dinjiin: It might be a better idea to let people eat what they want, but then use tiered costs for health insurance to discourage unhealthy lifestyles. If people object to such a system, let them go w/o insurance


This would never happen, thankfully. No one goes without insurance there, and I think that's a good thing. If you deny people health care you get the same problem here -- you just get diabetics going to the emergency room when their condition gets deadly and then costing everyone a bunch of money in emergency care. Easier and cheaper to get them insulin, and less callously barbaric than letting them drop dead in front of a hospital while forcing the doctors to twiddle their thumbs.


Dinjiin: Maybe a few dead bodies on the sidewalk outside the ER will be the sort of shock motivation that people need to take better care of themselves.


That strikes me as a fairly naive and disturbingly insensate thought.


machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


I'd really prefer to find a good way to incentivize healthy behavior rather than tax junk food, it appears to have all sorts of unintended consequences. Besides, food is not always easily categorized in that way.

11 Nov 2012 05:40 PM
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Vegan Meat Popsicle     

kg2095: The medical and dietary establishment is still holding on to the mantra about high fat intake being the cause of obesity and diabetes.


Oh. Look. A pointlessly pedantic argument about the strictly technical factors underlying weight gain that completely ignores the reality of how Americans and Europeans actually eat is what dictates their weight problems.

You keep telling yourself it's not because of what you eat, fatty. Let us all know how that works for you.

11 Nov 2012 05:41 PM
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ThrobblefootSpectre     

Dinjiin: It might be a better idea to let people eat what they want, but then use tiered costs for health insurance to discourage unhealthy lifestyle


Agreed. Just let health insurers charge obese people double. They have already done that to smokers for half a century.

I still wouldn't mind a fast food "burger and fries" tax though. If you can put a a $5 a pack tax on ciggs (which most states do), you can put a $2 per burger tax on crap food. Put it toward medicaid or some such.

11 Nov 2012 05:41 PM
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Jon iz teh kewl     
thesportingsnarf.com

11 Nov 2012 05:41 PM
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way south     

Gulper Eel: Wait, a program fails and they...they actually end the program?


This is the opposite of political logic... It's too radical to contemplate.

All Bloomberg is looking at is the tax money.
If he wanted people to be less fat, he'd so something about the crime situation so they could go outside without being raped or killed.

/end the drug war, allow CCW, go after corruption, etc...
/any of those is more productive than trying to form dietary police.

11 Nov 2012 05:42 PM
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opiumpoopy     

machoprogrammer: Fat tax on goods with saturated fats? Saturated fats don't make you fat... Sugar is a hell of a lot worse than saturated fats, but you can't tax that, either, since it is also found in fruit.

Why not just tax candy, donuts, cake and pies?


You try to get lawyers to agree on definitions for those.

There was a VERY long UK court case about "is it a biscuit or a cake"...

11 Nov 2012 05:45 PM
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super_grass     
As opposed to making people pay more for food, why don't the government make people pay less subsidies that give us so much shiatty food in the first place?

11 Nov 2012 05:46 PM
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Gawdzila     

Gulper Eel: Wait, a program fails and they...they actually end the program?


It's (unfortunately) shocking when people change their ideas based on -- *gasp* -- evidence.
How I wish for administration this nimble. Here, if such a measure passed it would stay on the books for ages simply because each side would try to politicize the issue instead of just crossing it off the "ideas to make people healthier" list and moving on.

11 Nov 2012 05:46 PM
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Spanky_McFarksalot     
3.bp.blogspot.com

"OHHHHH, HELL NO!!!!"

11 Nov 2012 05:47 PM
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beta_plus     
If you don't want your kids to be fat, you need to cook nutritious, high protein and leafy green vegetable, low carb meals for them. If you are lazy and outsource one of your most basic parental responsibilities to processed food and restaurants, expect fat kids.

11 Nov 2012 05:47 PM
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Lt_Ryan     
The problem of why it was expensive to administer was because it depended on the amount of saturated fat in a product. Most places only have a few levels of sales tax for food, it is either taxed or tax-free. If the tax changed with the amount of saturated fat you'd have to get that for every product and then account for that at the check out. It would probably take a software update for just about every point of sale system in use anywhere that sold food. Chain stores could leverage a database for health information but what about family owned bakeries that are going to have to get their products tested. They should have just made it a simple % and applied it if the food met certain criteria.

11 Nov 2012 05:48 PM
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ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
The country's fat tax added 16 kroner ($2.7) per kilogram of saturated fats in a product, and was levied on everything containing saturated fats, including raw ingredients like butter and milk to prepared foods like pizzas.

If I'm buying saturated fatty butter to make food to sell, is the tax collected once or twice?

11 Nov 2012 05:52 PM
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wildcardjack     

Gulper Eel: Wait, a program fails and they...they actually end the program?


Forget it, Gulper Eel. It's Denmark.

way south: If he wanted people to be less fat, he'd so something about the crime situation so they could go outside without being raped or killed.


They've done damned good about cranking down on the crime rate, verging on police state.
Two things I want to know: Are the people in NYC anywhere near the national average?
Would he be willing to add or remove taxis to the extent that people would be more likely to walk distances they'd normally take a taxi for? It looks like adding more taxis would worsen driving in the city.

11 Nov 2012 05:53 PM
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Gawdzila     

Vegan Meat Popsicle: kg2095: The medical and dietary establishment is still holding on to the mantra about high fat intake being the cause of obesity and diabetes.

Oh. Look. A pointlessly pedantic argument about the strictly technical factors underlying weight gain that completely ignores the reality of how Americans and Europeans actually eat is what dictates their weight problems.

You keep telling yourself it's not because of what you eat, fatty.


What other factors are there besides "technical" ones? What part of how do Americans and Europeans "actually eat", in your estimation, dictates their weight problems and why do you think so?

And he didn't say it wasn't because of what people ate. He simply suggested that the old 50's food pyramid concept of low fat healthy eating isn't correct, and there is a lot of evidence to support that view.

11 Nov 2012 05:54 PM
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KrispyKritter    [TotalFark]  
read "The Great Sugar Shaft" to learn of USA government hijinx re: sugar

http://www.fff.org/freedom/0498d.asp

11 Nov 2012 05:55 PM
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ladyfortuna     
I like how this article NEVER ONCE differentiates between NYC and New York State when discussing those 'special' taxes. Guess what, the other fifty-odd thousand square miles of the state don't have that.

I know, I know, Washington Post. As far as they're concerned, the rest of us don't exist unless there's gas to be drilled for, wind towers to erect, or taxes to raise on cow farts. *grumblegrumble*

11 Nov 2012 05:55 PM
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BlippityBleep     
We tax alcohol and tobacco to absurd extremes, time to bring the fatties on board with taxes on vice. Land if the freeeeee!!!

11 Nov 2012 05:56 PM
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Gawdzila     

opiumpoopy: There was a VERY long UK court case about "is it a biscuit or a cake"...


I assume you're talking about scones ;)

11 Nov 2012 05:56 PM
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WordsnCollision     
I read this as "World's first fart tax" and wasn't surprised it was proven ineffective. Maybe some day, ala Demolition Man.

11 Nov 2012 05:59 PM
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LiberalEastCoastElitist     

Dinjiin: It might be a better idea to let people eat what they want, but then use tiered costs for health insurance to discourage unhealthy lifestyles. If people object to such a system, let them go w/o insurance, but remind them that when they show up to a medical facility and cannot pay for it out of pocket, they will be refused service, even if it is for a life threatening issue.


This would result in a massive slow die off of poor people. The same inability to defer gratification that results in them not having jobs with health insurance causes them to have crap lifestyles. Even with medicare the poor have worse health outcomes because they have crappy compliance.

Doctors and nurses have had the pleasure of smelling a diabetic foot ulcer and yet they drink coke for breakfast and smoke at rates similar to the general population. Education doesn't work.

Tobacco taxation has been shown to have a negative linear relationship with smoking rates.

11 Nov 2012 05:59 PM
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cirby     
beta_plus:
If you don't want your kids to be fat, you need to cook nutritious, high protein and leafy green vegetable, low carb meals for them.

...except that a majority of those people have been making high carb, low protein foods for most of the last four decades because... wait for it... the government told them they should do that.

See: Food Pyramid. 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, or pasta per day. Carbs made up the entire base of the pyramid.

11 Nov 2012 05:59 PM
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Gawdzila     

Lt_Ryan: The problem of why it was expensive to administer was because it depended on the amount of saturated fat in a product. ... They should have just made it a simple % and applied it if the food met certain criteria.


While I agree with that assessment, even the simpler version is tricky. Food can be difficult to categorize.

A candy bar is fairly obvious, but even something as seemingly obvious as "cake" or "pastry" can be difficult. What if you fry regular unsweetened bread dough, is it still a doughnut? Is corn bread just bread, or cake, and does it depend on if it is made in a skillet with a small amount of sugar, or baked with a relatively large amount? If your pie only contains sugared fruit preserves it is probably a desert, but what if you put meat AND fruit inside the same dough and serve it as dinner (Moroccan food often uses fruit and meat together for instance)?

To avoid the confusion you could tax a couple of very obvious items, like candy bars and soda, but I suspect that wouldn't do much to discourage people from consuming them and would raise a fairly limited amount of funds to help with medical costs.

11 Nov 2012 06:06 PM
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way south     

super_grass: As opposed to making people pay more for food, why don't the government make people pay less subsidies that give us so much shiatty food in the first place?


Because cheap shiatty food is all that some people have.
Eating healthy home cooked meals requires time, which is money, and its something that many can ill afford.

11 Nov 2012 06:07 PM
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Ehcks     

cirby: beta_plus:
If you don't want your kids to be fat, you need to cook nutritious, high protein and leafy green vegetable, low carb meals for them.

...except that a majority of those people have been making high carb, low protein foods for most of the last four decades because... wait for it... the government told them they should do that.

See: Food Pyramid. 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, or pasta per day. Carbs made up the entire base of the pyramid.


Gluten is a protein. The problem isn't grains. The problem is sugars, salts, and fats..

11 Nov 2012 06:09 PM
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ladyfortuna     

BlippityBleep: We tax alcohol and tobacco to absurd extremes, time to bring the fatties on board with taxes on vice. Land if the freeeeee!!!


A friend of mine told me something interesting and which at least sounded reasonable, though I don't know if it's actually true. He said that if everyone suddenly quit smoking and/or drinking, a huge chunk of the tax base (collected taxes) would vanish and it would cause/almost cause an economic collapse. He said he read it in a study, though I never got around to looking it up myself.

11 Nov 2012 06:10 PM
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