The Insignificance of Gavin Newsom’s Soda Ban

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Ironically, Coca-Cola was invented as a direct response to Prohibition.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    So, you don’t think he should be called a nanny, busy body, do gooder goofball? I can’t believe we’re taking up so much space with Dr. Pepper controversy. I wonder if Rome was arguing about shit like this before it fell?Report

  3. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    I adamantly and angrily oppose bans on vice items like clove cigarettes, but I think it’s eminently reasonable to raise revenue by taxing items that promote obesity and, in turn, raise the amount we spend on publicly subsidized healthcare.

    Don’t you see that the latter leads directly to justifications for the former?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      @Jason Kuznicki, ah, but not with the *RIGHT* people in charge.Report

    • @Jason Kuznicki,

      I think there’s a not insignificant distinction between a tax and a ban, though I sympathize somewhat with those who despise both.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      @Jason Kuznicki,

      Don’t you see that the latter leads directly to justifications for the former?

      I think what Matthew means to say is, “No.”Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

        @Michael Drew,

        If that’s the case, then he’s not considering the history of tobacco in this country, or that of marijuana, or even of alcohol. Taxes on vice items do tend to be fairly good predictors of subsequent bans. (Porn is a good example of the flip side, in that I’m unaware of any taxes on pornography, and it remains mostly legal.)Report

        • @Jason Kuznicki,

          Sorry, Jason, I just don’t think soda will be banned outright. Nor do I think the examples you cite make very good analogies. I’d rather argue over something else, but I don’t think skepticism about this particular slippery slope is historically naive in any way.Report

    • @Jason Kuznicki, Plus the argument from raiding the public coffers has been discredited many times by the fact that we give people who live longer more social security. It costs far less for the American taxpayers if I die from lung cancer in my sixties than if I live healthily into my old age.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

        @Christopher Carr,

        A very good point. But even if the choice were slightly higher taxes and a bigger menu of personal choices — or slightly lower taxes and a smaller menu of choices — I’d still have to go with the slightly higher taxes.

        To my mind, a small tax increase is one of the least obnoxious restrictions on my liberty, because it still leaves me free to decide what I’m going to do to pay the tax — work more, spend less, save less — it’s up to me. A ban on certain activities is far more obnoxious, and a direct, positive command is worst of all, generally speaking. (Yes, I’m sure people will immediately point out exceptions. But I don’t think there are any in the issue area we are discussing.)Report

      • @Christopher Carr,

        Good point, Christopher. I knew this but (to the the detriment of my argument) forgot.Report

  4. Avatar Bob says:

    “Like fireworks. Or pornographic videos. Or jeggings. Again, I don’t see any libertarian objection here whatsoever.”

    But wouldn’t libertarians object to all the prohibitions you list? Wouldn’t a libertarian say the folks in SF, or Anywhere USA , lack the power to restrict sales of fireworks, porn or jeggings?Report

    • @Bob,

      On public property? If they do, I think that’s silly.Report

      • Avatar Sam M says:

        @Matthew Schmitz,

        This raises an interesting point about smoking bans. I am against them across the board. But it seems to me that they are MORE justifiable on streets and in parks than they would be in a bar or restaurant.

        Just curious: Would you support a TAX on clove cigarettes? Any tax? Five dollars a pack? Ten?

        Similarly, should we tax stuff like mountain climbing gear to offset the costs of the occasional but very costly rescue?Report

      • Avatar Bob says:

        @Matthew Schmitz, I agree with you 10o percent. I wrote much the same thing as you in a comment on another thread. But they, libertarians, *are* upset with Newsom. They seem to see threats to the republic everywhere. All takings are “objectionable.”Report

    • Avatar Louis B. says:

      Newsom has not banned soda. He is not taxing it. He’s acting well within his power as the elected representative of the citizens of San Francisco in saying that it will not be sold on city property. Report