Instigator / Con
14
1503
rating
26
debates
46.15%
won
Topic

Junk Food Tax

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
6
0
Sources points
4
4
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 6 points ahead, the winner is ...

Club
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More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Health
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Pro
8
1596
rating
42
debates
63.1%
won
Description
~ 107 / 5,000

A nice debate about the JF Tax, if it's practical, and should we implement it into the law system of today.

Round 1
Con
I waive...
Pro
You waive this round, fine.

As of right now, I propose a 20% tax on junk food.  There are multiple reasons for this.

1) It does not hurt the poor that much in comparison to the rich unless they stop eating it and switch to healthier food.  If it did, it would deter poor people from eating bad food, leading them to switch to healthier food.  Currently, there isn't a strong correlation between income level and fast food consumption(https://theconversation.com/do-poor-people-eat-more-junk-food-than-wealthier-americans-79154).  

2) It helps decrease the income tax by providing alternative sources of revenue for governments.  If we don't have a junk food tax, it leads to more income tax, which discourages income production.  Better to discourage something bad like junk food consumption then to discourage something good, like income.
Round 2
Con
Junk food, the despised product by most "healthy" Americans. Government officials are starting to blame this food for the cause of obesity in America. They are creating a junk food tax hoping to decrease the amount of obese citizens. But it just won’t work!
    Now this tax isn’t new. In 2011, Denmark introduced the world first tax relating to this matter, “The Fat Tax”. Less than 12 months after it was introduced, it was taken away. Danish people were going other countries to buy the cheap, good tasting junk food. If we implement this tax , some junk food driven people would go to other countries to buy it! )
    The tax has not faced the real problem, promotions and advertising. Health campaigns funded by the government were crushed by the junk food marketing. Frito lay itself spend 146 million dollars a year on marketing. The problem of obesity is too complex for just a junk food tax to eliminate it."The bottom line is that the tax isn't going to make anybody healthier, it's not going to make a dent in a problem as complex and serious as obesity, and we're certainly not going to solve the complexities of the health -care system with a tax on soda pop." Kevin W. Keane a worker at the American Beverage Association says. Also a report from the Tax Policy Center said that nutrition taxes are understudied, so it’s very risky to implement this tax.
A study from Cornell university, found that in Berkeley the cities obesity rates didn’t lower as much as people thought. So if you are thinking about a massive curb in obesity, it won’t happen. It’s bad for economy too. The potato chip industry is worth 26 billion dollars and the candy industry is worth 79 billion dollars, so how much do you think the junk food industry is worth? You are putting a industry worth billions at risk just for a tax that won’t work and people hate. A junk food tax in Hungary was released in 2011, it only lowered the consuming of junk food products by 3.4%, and the raised the consuming of healthy products by 1.1% also thus proving that it won’t curb obesity that much.
This proves 1, THE TAX DOESN'T WORK
The junk food tax is just making the obese poor. They will keep on buying the junk food for a more expensive price. Instead of having a cheaper alternative to healthy food, they’ll have 2 expensive options. Junk food activates the same centers in your brain that cocaine does, so it’s really easy to get addicted. “Food companies will spend millions of dollars to discover the most satisfying level of crunch in potato chips and their scientists will test for the perfect amount of fizzle in a soda,” “Don't get caught in their traps.” says Shayna Komar, a licensed registered dietitian.
The tax is just hurting the poor and helping the rich. Poor people who are used to buying the cheaper, shelf stable, and  convenient unhealthy option will have to pay more, making them even more poor. All the relief programs will be useless. The poor people will just have no choice in food resulting in starvation. The whole point of tax was to get people less sick, but in the end you would just make more people sick!

This proves 2, IT WILL MAKE THE POOR POORER.




Pro
Poor people who are used to buying the cheaper, shelf stable, and  convenient unhealthy option will have to pay more, making them even more poor.
It's a 20% tax; it won't hurt them that much.  8% of Americans spend less then $50 a week on food.  This will cost the poor people about $10 extra per week(https://news.gallup.com/poll/156416/americans-spend-151-week-food-high-income-180.aspx).  They can get the money for this by removing the time and a half regulation imposed by businesses and allowing their employees to work 12 hours a day without extra pay.  If farmers can work this hard doing hard work, waking at early hours, poor people can work this hard while waking up at a preferable time with easier work (https://www.agweb.com/article/farmers_clock_long_hours_naa_sara_schafer/)

 The poor people will just have no choice in food resulting in starvation.
If they switch to the healthy food which would be more affordable since they are working more hours under my additional plan of reducing the 8 hour a day regulation on businesses, they would be able to afford the cheaper food.

IT WILL MAKE THE POOR POORER.
It would make the poor richer due to another plan that would get put in place.

Dropped points that are worthy of an extension:

-The poor consume junk food at rates comparable to the rich.
-It reduces the income tax.
Round 3
Con
It's a 20% tax; it won't hurt them that much.  8% of Americans spend less then $50 a week on food.  This will cost the poor people about $10 extra per week
Ok let's just say they spend $50 a week. Since there's 52 weeks in a year, they have to pay A WHOPPING $520 more. I know that doesn't sound much, but to poor people that's probably more than they can afford. 
They can get the money for this by removing the time and a half regulation imposed by businesses and allowing their employees to work 12 hours a day without extra pay.  If farmers can work this hard doing hard work, waking at early hours, poor people can work this hard while waking up at a preferable time with easier work
You're literally just saying that if poor people work more they can afford it. It in fact is NOT EASIER TO DO MORE WORK, it's harder. Why should they work more for a tax that DOESN'T WORK! The government will be starving poor people while trying to help rich obese people get back in shape. Where have our top priorities gone?

Note:
Please respond to my first point, it'd be great to have feedback before the group debate so I can mentally prepare myself for losing (badly) to one of the best debaters in DART.


Pro
Ok let's just say they spend $50 a week.
A 20% tax would make them pay $60 a week.  Not a huge increase.

It in fact is NOT EASIER TO DO MORE WORK, it's harder.
Working 12 hours a day as a McDonald cashier is easier then working 12 hours a day as a farmer yet farmers can do their job just fine.  If farmers can do their jobs under the harsh conditions that they do it in, poor people can do their jobs in better conditions.

Why should they work more for a tax that DOESN'T WORK!
They should work more to get more money, but that's off topic.  They don't consume fatty foods much more then rich people that I cited in R1, so the tax doesn't hurt the poor disproportionally.  

The government will be starving poor people while trying to help rich obese people get back in shape. Where have our top priorities gone?
The government won't be starving poor people since the poor can afford the tax, especially if they are working 12 hour days like farmers.  They would be making an extra $29 a day from it so they can easily afford an extra $10 per week extra cost in food.

Please respond to my first point
I might have missed it.  No one's perfect.  To address your point,

Now this tax isn’t new. In 2011, Denmark introduced the world first tax relating to this matter, “The Fat Tax”. Less than 12 months after it was introduced, it was taken away. Danish people were going other countries to buy the cheap, good tasting junk food. If we implement this tax , some junk food driven people would go to other countries to buy it! )
If the US installs this as a nationwide tax, then under the status quo, Americans just can't leave the country to buy junk food.  People also wouldn't spend $40 on gas and hours of their time just to move to a place where they could avoid a 20 cent tax on junk food.  Something Denmark has that the US doesn't have is open borders with other countries.  In the US, you can't just move to another country.  People leave a country for reasons other then saving 20 cents a day on junk food.  Almost no one if anyone would leave the country for this sole reason.


Round 4
Con
A 20% tax would make them pay $60 a week.  Not a huge increase.
As I have pointed out yes it is. Let's say a poor person makes a little more than minimum wage, $8 (US). This person has a great work ethic (which not a lot of poor people do), and works 12 hours all 7days of the week. They make $672. Their annual salary is $34,500 dollars. Since they spend $60 a week on food and the tax then they spend $3120, that's about a 17% increase of money due to the tax. So yes, huge increase.
Working 12 hours a day as a McDonald cashier is easier then working 12 hours a day as a farmer yet farmers can do their job just fine.  If farmers can do their jobs under the harsh conditions that they do it in, poor people can do their jobs in better conditions.
Yeah, but farmers make more than people who work at McDonalds, and I don't understand how that refutes to "It in fact is NOT EASIER TO DO MORE WORK, it's harder." You're just saying that farmers work hard, why can't poor people?
They should work more to get more money, but that's off topic.  They don't consume fatty foods much more then rich people that I cited in R1, so the tax doesn't hurt the poor disproportionally.  
The correct statement should've been 
"They should work more to get more money for a tax THAT DOESN'T WORK!" And if rich people eat a lot of junk food, then poor people eat more, so they will be still effected. The problem is they're being affected not that they're being affected "disproportionally".
If the US installs this as a nationwide tax, then under the status quo, Americans just can't leave the country to buy junk food.  People also wouldn't spend $40 on gas and hours of their time just to move to a place where they could avoid a 20 cent tax on junk food.  Something Denmark has that the US doesn't have is open borders with other countries.  In the US, you can't just move to another country.  People leave a country for reasons other then saving 20 cents a day on junk food.  Almost no one if anyone would leave the country for this sole reason.
Sorry for being unclear, that wasn't my first point, my first point was the tax doesn't work. Thanks!!
I might have missed it.  No one's perfect.  To address your point
I agree



Pro
Yeah, but farmers make more than people who work at McDonalds
They have to save that money over the course of a year for seeds and equipment renting in some instances, plus they have to pay more rent for more land if they don't own the land, so it's not like they get the money free and clear.  They also need to know business skills in addition to agricultural stuff, and they work in harder conditions than the poor.  Poor people don't need to know much to get their job working.

You're just saying that farmers work hard, why can't poor people?
Because poor people ought to have to work for 100% of what they receive in the form of a salary.

The correct statement should've been 
"They should work more to get more money for a tax THAT DOESN'T WORK!" And if rich people eat a lot of junk food, then poor people eat more, so they will be still effected. The problem is they're being affected not that they're being affected "disproportionally".
The tax won't discourage junk food consumption but there are benefits to it.

You're just saying that farmers work hard, why can't poor people?
Basically.  If poor people are overworked from 12 hour a day work days, how come farmers can do it just fine?  Poor people ought to emulate farmers on their working habits.

Sorry for being unclear, that wasn't my first point, my first point was the tax doesn't work. Thanks!!
It might not work, but the tax does have other benefits such as:

-It doesn't hurt a poor person compared to a rich person, since the tax is comparable on both parties.
-It decreases the income tax.
Round 5
Con
It might not work, but the tax does have other benefits such as:

-It doesn't hurt a poor person compared to a rich person, since the tax is comparable on both parties.
-It decreases the income tax.
It decreases the income tax because there's a new tax, so they still pay the same amount of money.
It doesn't matter if it effects disproportionally
Basically.  If poor people are overworked from 12 hour a day work days, how come farmers can do it just fine?  Poor people ought to emulate farmers on their working habits.
But why should they work harder for a tax that doesn't work and has no benefits whatsoever(I refuted your benefits).
They have to save that money over the course of a year for seeds and equipment renting in some instances, plus they have to pay more rent for more land if they don't own the land, so it's not like they get the money free and clear.  They also need to know business skills in addition to agricultural stuff, and they work in harder conditions than the poor.  Poor people don't need to know much to get their job working.
Farmers do work hard, I agree, but poor people shouldn't have to work harder for a tax that doesn't work and is completely useless to society.
The tax won't discourage junk food consumption but there are benefits to it.
Well, thanks for the concession. But there are no other benefits, so the tax is useless.


Pro
It decreases the income tax because there's a new tax, so they still pay the same amount of money.
It doesn't matter if it effects disproportionally
If the income tax gets decreased, then people would have incentive to make more money, so even if they are paying the same amount on average, since they are making more money, it helps them out more.

But why should they work harder for a tax that doesn't work and has no benefits whatsoever
They should work harder to get more money and to be less dependent on welfare.

Farmers do work hard, I agree, but poor people shouldn't have to work harder for a tax that doesn't work and is completely useless to society.
The tax's use is decreasing the income tax.  So the tax isn't, "useless"

Well, thanks for the concession. But there are no other benefits, so the tax is useless.
It wasn't a concession.  Just because a tax doesn't discourage something doesn't mean there are other uses to it.  An example is the tax discourages the income tax, which gives more incentive to make money which benefits the economy.

Vote Pro.