Junk Food Tax
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With 4 votes and 28 points ahead, the winner is ...
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This debate is about if a Junk Food Tax should be implemented in the current United States of America. To prove this, Pro must prove that it is beneficial, and overall positive to society, and Con has to disprove or refute the benefits, and add points on why it is bad, or harmful to society.
1. No trolling, forfeiting, or insulting (in a serious degree). If this rule is broken, it warrants an automatic loss.
2. I waive first round you waive last.
- One-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults age 20 and older suffer from obesity.
- US spends $147 billion/yr in added medical expenses
- Obesity costs US in many additional uncharged disservices.
- Public accommodation costs- less space per capita on planes, trains, subways, park benches, etc.
- Obesity contributes to global warming:
"States with higher rates of obesity are associated with higher CO2 and CH4 emissions (p < 0.05) and marginally associated with higher N2O emissions (p < 0.10), net of other factors. Reverting to the obesity rates of the year 2000 across the entire United States could decrease greenhouse gas emissions by about two percent, representing more than 136 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent." 
- The net gain for private industry far outweighs the negligible advantages to society in supporting an obese population.
- Junk food can prove addictive and junk food addicts are likely more suceptible to obesity:
"In a recent preclinical study we found that, prior to any diet manipulation, those rats that show the strongest motivational responses to a food cue subsequently gained the most weight when given free access to a fatty, sugary, ‘junk-food’ diet. Obesity-prone rats are also more sensitive to the locomotor-activating effects of cocaine, indicating enhanced responsivity of mesolimbic systems, and have greater excitability of medium spiny neurons in the NAc core prior to the development of obesity . Taken together, our data suggest that pre-existing enhancements in NAc responsivity may render obesity-susceptible individuals more sensitive to the motivational properties of food cues. In addition, consumption of fatty, sugary foods alters NAc function in ways that also vary by susceptibility to obesity. For example, consumption of junk food enhances NAc glutamatergic transmission and produces an upregulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) in obesity-susceptible rats . Interestingly, increases in CP-AMPARs were found prior to obesity onset, suggesting that they may drive enhanced motivational responses that promote weight gain. 
- Neither over-producers nor the over-consumers are charged for the increase societal costs.
- If society can accurately calculate social costs, private gains and social costs could be roughly equalized.
- Although producers and consumers alike misperceive the tax as a cost increase, overall societal costs are effectively reduced.
- Compared to prohibition, Pigovian taxes like a junk food tax offer a desirable check of societal harms without the increased harms of full prohibition.
- US taxes on tobacco and alcohol have effectively decreased societal costs without the harm (albeit with much complaint) to civil liberties provoked by prohibition.
- Other examples of successful Pigovian implementations include:
Ireland: Plastic Bag TaxIn 2002, Ireland began taxing the use of plastic bags. Within a few weeks, plastic bag usage fell 94 percent. One year later, everyone had bought reusable cloth bags. The revenue goes to the environment ministry for enforcement and clean-up.London: Congestion ChargeIn 2003, the city of London launched a Congestion Charge for driving in central London during work days. Three years later, congestion inside the zone had fallen by a quarter. After 10 years, congestion was still down by 10.2 percent. As a result, journey times did not increase. The city uses the funds for its transport system.British Columbia: Carbon TaxIn 2008, British Columbia introduced a carbon tax that now covers about 70 percent of the province's greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2007 and 2014, emissions fell 5.5 percent despite an 8.1-percent increase in population, and real gross domestic product rose 12.4 percent during that period.