My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: mayor proposes a soda tax

(Philadelphia’s mayor wants to impose a three cent PER OUNCE! tax on sodas.)

Re: Mayor Kenney: Soda tax would fund $400 million in projects

Dear Sir:
Philadelphia Mayor Kenney joins the too-long list of economically ignorant politicians. One begins to wonder whether ignorance of basic economics is a prerequisite for running for elected office. Gee, I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I agree with the Teamsters; i.e., the three cent per ounce tax on sodas will destroy jobs. Has the mayor really not considered that money spent on a soda tax will NOT be spent elsewhere? Let’s suppose that the people spend the same total dollars, including the new tax, to buy sodas as in the past. The revenue to the soda-providing industry will go down, because the tax comes off the top, and the number of units of sodas sold will be less.  Got that? So, the soda bottlers will produce fewer bottles of soda. Materials and manpower used by the soda bottlers will go down, both in gross revenue and number of units. Soda delivery workers, the Teamsters, will deliver fewer bottles, resulting in layoffs. The retail stores will sell fewer units, resulting in lower net revenue–the price of the soda less the tax–and earn lower profits. Everyone involved in any way with the soda retail selling industry, such as the store owners and their employees, will be negatively affected. In short, Mayor Kenney’s soda tax will impoverish the people of Philadelphia in addition to depriving them of their right to consume a legal product, which apparently is the goal of the social engineers. How about this…the people of Philadelphia refuse to buy a soda anywhere in the city. Tax revenue from soda sales would be zero. The social engineers who are oh so concerned about the health of Philadelphians would have to seek another outlet for their busybody inclinations.

Patrick Barron

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