Friday, July 13, 2007

Politics: Where do they get off?

Some pointdexter at Oxford University in Formerly Great Britain has revived a proposal on expanding the UK's 17.5% Value-Added Tax, not normally applied to things you stuff in your cake-hole, to include foods that contain politically incorrect amounts of fat, salt, or sugar.

Let's ignore for the moment the fact that you could roam the scepter'd isle from Wick to Land's End and not scare up enough honest-to-Falwell beer guts to fill the first row of seats in the bleachers at Darlington; our man has determined that there is a problem, and Something Should Be Done about it. That Something, of course, should take the form of social engineering via taxation. Backed up by .pdf's full of charts and no-doubt-snappy PowerPoint presentations, our do-gooding crusaders claim that as many as 3,200 lives could be saved annually by this scheme.

Call me a misanthrope, but I'd have a hard time making a list of 32 lives that need saving, let alone 3,200. And I'd have an even harder time thinking of 32 that would be worth saving if the cost meant expanding the confiscatory powers of the government. "Well, Aunt Bessie, they say you'd have another three years if I agree to the tax on the Pringles... Sorry 'bout that." This is what taxation has come to in the declining years of the Western Welfare State. There's not even a pretense of it having anything to do with revenue anymore; it's all about control.

The most important question here, though, is where do they get off thinking that it's any of their business what you put in your mouth? So it's not healthy; so what? If you want to pour yourself a nice, frosty mug of battery acid and down it in one gulp, how is that any business of mine, let alone some faceless drone in the government? "Don't put that in your mouth!" is something you tell your three year old, not a middle-aged father of four.

There's a flip side to this, of course. If you do subsist on a diet consisting solely of Schlitz and double bacon cheese greaseburgers and go into cardiac vapor lock at age 34, don't come crying to me; I didn't force them down your throat. But that's a subject for another post...

(Hat Tip to B&N.)

14 comments:

GreatBlueWhale said...

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy" John Marshal, 1819
Of course, for everything except firearms, the Left is content to use taxes as a control. If they were writing the Declaration of Independence today, it would read "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, within the narrow guidelines the Government thinks appropriate and specifically allows."

Tam said...

I was going to us that quote for my title, but I couldn't think of anything appropriate that rhymed with "destroy" and fit the theme.

"The power to tax ruins the power to enjoy? No, too cumbersome. Employ? Deploy? No, neither one fits... Damn."

Turin said...

Well, in the Formerly Great Brittan the Govt. pays for your health care. As a result they have an interest in keeping you healthy (or at least out of the hospital). So its in their best interests that you join the rabbit people, and only eat 'healthy' foods.

This also extends to no-smoking (period, full stop), mandatory seat belts, and helmets. I think Marko made this point a while back though.

T

BobR said...

" Well, in the Formerly Great Brittan the Govt. pays for your health care."

The _government_ does not _pay_ for ANYTHING. At best they might be considered a "middle man". In order to pay for something you must produce something of value to use as payment; the _government_ produces nothing -- everything it has was _taken_ from someone at gun point. Their interest in "keeping you healthy" would seem to be a) to keep you around to provide their misgotten booty and b) to provide cover for their continuing theft.

Anonymous said...

The result of the failure to educate the population on how to eat well and exercise.

Maybe if governments weren't so interested in keeping the price of healthy foods like produce and dairy and meats artificially high, the price would come down enough that poor folks could afford to eat something other than preprocessed crap food and a tax on junk food wouldn't be required.

B&N said...

I recall when George Sr. was in the White House, the yearly presidential exam turned up little in the way of serious health problems, but the doc told George to knock it off with the two bags of pork rinds with hot sauce. Seems that the man hasn't faired too badly from the effects of such.

Some people die young, and for no obvious reason. Some people defile themselves their entire life, and live to be 100. I have yet to see modern medicine explain why any of this is possible, other than genetic resistance or susceptability toward certain diseases.

In the end, eating what you want is going to end up costing you, and for no other reason than it's outlawed. If no one believes that, just go look up what you could buy OTC in any drugstore across this once great land circa 1900 to get what I mean.

Squeaky Wheel said...

Can I just be the first person to bring up the tired point that George Orwell was a freakin' prophet? :-P Seriously - surviellance, smoking ban, food ban (all taxed, of course) - they'll have mandatory exercise time next.

The government doesn't pay for healthcare, but because they distribute the taxes to pay for such, they think that gives them cause to tell you what you can and can't do with your body. Fewer taxes going toward heart stints and emergency care = more money to line their pockets. Oh, and let's just tax that "unhealthy" food as a "warning", shall we?

I mean, this is the country that has 20% of all video surviellance for only .2% of the population...of the entire world. That's pretty insane. Far be it from them to actually allow you to live your life according to your own set of values, and let nature take its course for the, ahem, less intelligent members of society. If you don't know what "moderation" means, you just might deserve to get sick. :-P

If this keeps up, The Darwin Awards won't have any more British submissions. And that would make me very sad.

B&N said...

Oh, Tam, thanks for the linky, BTW. I hope you enjoyed the dry heaves from reading that story as much as I did.

Mudflapgypsy said...

I have heard some stupid things in my time but added tax on fat and sugar?


Fried lard with sugar sprinkles anyone?

Great blog by the way.

T.Stahl said...

Similar plans of rising the VAT on unhealthy and fast food have been voiced by German politicians.

'bout time to go West.

staghounds said...

What England are YOU going to? There are PLENTY of beer guts, fry thighs, and burger asses in any Argos you care to enter.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's the point of saving 3,200 lives just so they can live in a prison camp.

rickn8or said...

Excercise in futility.

The gummint has exactly zero chance of stopping someone from eating / drinking / smoking / snorting / shooting / owning somethng they really want to eat / drink / smoke / snort / shoot / own.

Next thing, they'll be crying about the declining tobacco / fat food tax revenue.

Chuck@PodunkOutpost said...

At 10:17 AM, July 13, 2007, GreatBlueWhale said...


"The power to tax involves the power to destroy" John Marshal, 1819

Of course, for everything except firearms, the Left (emphasis mine) is content to use taxes as a control. If they were writing the Declaration of Independence today, it would read "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, within the narrow guidelines the Government thinks appropriate and specifically allows."

I cannot imagine the Left writing a Declaration of Independence...