Philadelphia Finds Out The Hard Way That Lifestyle Taxes Don’t Work

It is the ultimate goal of the nanny state to get citizens to do what is good for them whether they want to do what the state overlords think is best or not. This has become life all over the world, and one of the ways to get people to do what the state thinks is good for them is by raising taxes on any one product or service.

Take sugary drinks for example. For years now, the medical establishment has been warning the American public about the dangers of consuming too much of the stuff. Over time, humans just cannot consume them and be at optimal health. That being the case, some locations have taken to try to curb consumption by taxing the product. The city of Philadelphia did that, and the results were not what the powers that be in that ‘burg wanted to see.

As outlined by Hotair on Saturday, the “soda tax” has actually led to Philadelphia residents traveling outside the city to buy their soda (and likely other goods), decreased the city’s revenue, and led to layoffs in the local beverage industry and cut hours for employees at small markets. It did not, however, lead to an increase in healthier beverage purchases in the city.

Oops. There’s American mobility and choice at work. And then there was the impact on the workforce in an industry where profit margins are fairly narrow.

And last month, the local outlet reported that the owner of Acme Markets, who has 16 stores in Philadelphia, had to cut employees’ hours because of the tax: “The beverage tax fell on about 4,000 items. In Acme city stores, soda sales dropped as much as 80 percent. Sales of other items covered by the tax, such as juices, creamers and energy drinks, were down 30 percent, and the number of customers declined by 5 percent. Philly stores cut an average of 150 to 200 employee hours per week, resulting in lighter paychecks for employees.”…

So was there at least an uptick in healthier beverage purchases because of the tax? Nope. “Philadelphia did not see an increase in sales of untaxed beverages such as bottled water,” CNN reported.

CNN did not discuss the revenue hit Philadelphia took, but Hotair did: “The tax on soda increased by 17%, but the sales fell by 51%. So, let’s look at this assuming one million ounces of soda was sold annually before the tax went into effect. If sales had remained the same, the city would have realized $62,400.00 in revenue instead of $54,300.00. But with the volume cut in half, they managed to slash their revenue to $31,200.00.”

In the end, then, the tax hike on sugary drinks was a lose-lose for everybody. No, the product is not healthy, but in a society like this one, taxing such products does not actually change consumption. It just adjusts the location of it.

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