They did experiments on various food taxes and subsidies at 7 supermarkets to encourage behavior changes. They found that upper and middle classes moved away from purchasing low nutritional value foods as a result, but not those with lower income. It’s not just pricing, there’re behavioral differences across quintiles.
I honestly cant see how a soda tax would do anything to discourage the purchase and consumption unless it made the product completely prohibitively expensive. Anything short of that will just further siphon money from poor people.
A touchy subject that people don’t like to talk about is that humans are not all born with the same mental capacities. That is not to say that all poor people are stupid and all wealthy people are intelligent but I think it does a great disservice to this type of discussion to not recognize that some people aren’t intelligent and aren’t capable and of making sound decisions.
We know there are circumstances and environments that make it more likely that people end up in poverty. However, there is a huge individual factor to this. Which is why people are able to move out of poverty.
One trait which can help determine the success is people who are able to prolong instant gratification for long term gain. This might be one reason why money and diet isn’t all the factor. People are willing to spend more for instant gratification. Soda, unhealthy foods, fast food, etc.
There’s education differences. My mother was the first in her family to go to college. We never got soda or drink mix. My cousins drank it most of the time. As small kids, we’ be jealous. But it made a difference in our health.
They weren’t all that poor either. Working class, and enterprising. But not educated.
not surprised. demand is rather inelastic for the lower quintiles. either the tax has to be massive (a few percent here and there will not suffice) which is hard to justify and companies will strongly oppose or behavior must change
Which produces the exact opposite result from the claim in the title of the post. This post results from classic simplistic thinking which ignores uncomfortable realities about human behavior.
This makes me think that these goods are actually Giffen goods or at least not the typical good where as the price goes up demand goes down.
They serve as calorie intake devices to our brains. So, even as price increases, poorer people have few cheap alternatives that they know how to utilize for their calorie needs.
Low nutritional value but very strong flavor, easy preparation and addictive ingredients… and also very little incentive to try healthier food that they don’t have the time or experience to cook and they think doesn’t have enough flavor anyway and didn’t get any cheaper either… And also being quite busy being stressed, living in bad housing, lower eduction level, needing 3 part time jobs, having a bunch of kids… I’m not that surprised. They’re too tired/numb to bother.