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A Mark Perry Venn Diagram Likely In the Making

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The World Health Organization recently endorsed a global hike in the tax on sugary drinks [2].  The stated goal, of course, is to improve people’s health by raising their costs of consuming high-calorie drinks.  (Ignore here the officiousness of bureaucrats who arrogantly fancy themselves to be entitled to recommend the forcible extraction of money from people who act in ways that those bureaucrats have divined are ‘bad’ for those people.  [I’m not one to propose taxes, but if – as is often asserted – we ‘must’ have taxes, I propose that stiff taxes be levied on all proposals to butt into the private affairs of others, and that stiff X 10 taxes be levied on all actual acts of butting into the private affairs of others.])

Credit the WHO staff at least for correctly understanding basic economics: artificially raising the cost to buyers of acquiring drinks of kind X and Y will reduce (at least in above-ground markets) the number of drinks of kind X and Y that are purchased.

Yet I wonder how many are the pundits, professors, politicians, and preachers who will favorably and self-righteously wave the WHO’s recent proposal as they support hiking taxes on sugary drinks because they predict that such taxes will reduce the quantity of such drinks demanded and who also self-righteously support hiking minimum wages because they predict that such minimum-wage hikes will not reduce the quantity of low-skilled labor demanded.

I’ll bet that the number of such inconsistent people is large.

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