Jonathan Zimmerman: Soda Tax Foes Reek of TobaccoRoundup: Historians' Take
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and lives in Narberth. He is the author of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" (Yale University Press). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taxes won't reduce consumption. They violate Americans' "right to choose." And they put a disproportionate burden on racial minorities.
Those were the claims deployed by the beverage industry to defeat proposed soda taxes in Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011. They also surfaced during the past election season in California, where two cities rejected taxes on sugary soft drinks.
But the forefather of these arguments is the cigarette industry, which used almost exactly the same rhetoric for a half-century to resist taxation and regulation. The cigarette companies were wrong then - just as the soda apologists are wrong now.
Consider Philadelphia's recent good news on smoking, which has plummeted 15 percent since 2008. Smoking rates declined across the country as well. The main reason is - you guessed it - higher taxes on cigarettes....
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history
- LDS Church has gone from 0 to 4 historians specializing in women’s history