Sin Taxes shield the Sinner

Its often that I hear people berate products and services for the state they find themselves in. Obesity, for example is blamed on junk food. Never on the fact that people who gorge on it aren't responsible enough to stop. Its always something other than the person in question that's at fault. And so what's the solution society comes up with? Tax Fast food. Such taxes are what's known as Sin tax.

Taiwan's now leading the way in imposing sin taxes. Its planning the world's first tax on junk food in a bid to encourage the public to eat healthily and cut obesity rates. The Bureau of Health Promotion is drafting a bill to levy the special tax on food deemed unhealthy, such as sugary drinks, candy, cakes, fast food and alcohol. Revenue from the tax would finance groups promoting health awareness or subsidise the island's cash-strapped national health insurance programme.

In other words, tax the producer to protect the junkie. Note the product in question is perfectly legal. So how stupid can that be? To stop such foolish initiatives one must understand why products are always blamed, never people.

The fight against flab is a universal one. In fact the motivation to be 'slim' on the part of an individual requires us to understand what's set as goals by that individual. The hierarchy of goals dictate that people have, as apparent to them, a subordinate and a focal goal. The subordinate goal would be to exercise enough, so as to achieve the focal goal, which is to get to a slim figure. What may not be apparent is the superordinate goal, which is to find greater acceptance amongst peer circles, or to appear desirable, by being slim. What may happen is, the person in question may not be disciplined enough to dedicate time for exercise. This in turn will keep him in the flabby state without progress. That means a probable social ostracisation that he faces, continues. The subsequent result is a bout of depression that that will then translate into the employment of a defence mechanism. Called 'Projection'. This sees the individual redefine the depressing situation by projecting blame for his own failure and inabilities on to the most convenient scapegoat available. Fast Food.

Thus, the defence mechanism of projection practiced on a large scale turns into legislation. The Sin tax.

Sin taxes are a reflection of society's inability to accord blame where it should be. The pity is, such societies walk down a road that leads to irresponsible behaviour being practiced on a large scale. By its citizenry.

'Do the crime, don't do the time, 'cos your aren't responsible!'

Now that's what should be truly depressing.


Unknown said…
now this is a downright stupid cycle that most economies run on. company makes junk food. individual consumes it. individual then puts on weight or flab or falls sick. which forces him to pump money in the pharma/healthcare industry. makes me think.. Pharma/ healthcare giants should thank individuals for being ignorant and careless about their health. For, whats mayo and cheese for an individual, ultimately is their bread and butter.

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