Some lawmakers and public health activists increasingly believe that they can make better choices than you can. It's what the Las Vegas Review Journal calls the "nanny state" in a recent editorial - "It gives you advice you didn’t ask for and laws you don’t need, rewarding itself with increasing power and revenue, while leaving you with fewer freedoms and less cash in your pocket."
The nanny state proposes regressive taxes that end up hurting families and small businesses. In fact, San Francisco is facing these harsh realities as it considers a proposed penny-per-ounce tax. The Las Vegas Review Journal's editorial board notes "[o]pponents rightly point out that any tax on grocery items (such as soda) would, by default, lead to higher prices on other items, hurting small businesses and consumers already struggling to make ends meet in one of the country’s most expensive areas."
If these politicians and activists are truly interested in public health, they are going about it the wrong way. "Despite all the stated concerns about public health, there is little evidence that this tax will do anything to advance that goal," says the editorial board. Instead of pursuing taxes that have no impact on public health, we should work together to advance real and lasting solutions. This starts with educating people about the entire diet and how they can achieve and maintain a balanced lifestyle.