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Why not try some delicious Chewlies milk?
December 31, 2008 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Richard F. Daines, NY Dept. of Health Commissioner wants you to understand why a soda tax should be approved there. It's the new youtube video soda vs milk, and if you dream of seeing a guy standing in his kitchen sliding trays and cans across countertops like he just stepped out of 1978, you're in for a treat.
posted by cashman (43 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
This soda thing sounds dangerous, good thing I drink pop.
posted by boubelium at 8:22 AM on December 31, 2008 [8 favorites]


Ok, so we tax middle-class people in order to give price-supports to dairy farmers, driving up the price of milk, and now we're going to regressively tax poor people (to punish them for being fat) for buying the soda that's so much cheaper than milk and probably contains less lead than the city water they get through hundred-year-old pipes.
posted by orthogonality at 8:27 AM on December 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Something about the way that guy just keeps pulling stuff out from behind the counter is very, very hilarious to me.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:28 AM on December 31, 2008


Why can't the NYC Health Department afford better video quality than this?

...the city water they get through hundred-year-old pipes.

The New York City water system is NOT just a series of tubes!

...buying the soda that's so much cheaper than milk...

I assume that a lot of New York must also be lactose intolerant. Many (most?) non-Europeans are.

That said, I doubt there's that much lead in the tap water. Then again, I just googled for backup and met with stories like "lead poisoning on the decline" and "as much as 12 percent of buildings have problems". So....yeah. Maybe just fix those buildings, outlaw the sale of bottled water and then unsubsidize high-fructose corn syrup and it'll all work out.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


That said, I doubt there's that much lead in the tap water.

Still lots of lead pipes in old buildings, though- we just recently discovered the parsonage at our church gets all their water through a lead pipe.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


cashman: if you dream of seeing a guy standing in his kitchen sliding trays and cans across countertops like he just stepped out of 1978, you're in for a treat

You, sir, are a mindreader.

That was hilarious. I want that guy to talk about anything, as long as he keeps sliding, pulling, throwing, pushing, slamming down random objects. At the end, when he threw away the fat-globule, pulled the money out of his pants and then slammed down the shoes on top of the money and the bike helmet on top of the shoes, I wanted to stand up and applause, but I was too busy keeping myself from falling out of my chair laughing.
posted by Kattullus at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ha ha! Not so fun now, is it, non-smokers?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:39 AM on December 31, 2008 [15 favorites]


Horrible quality video (and what's with the white milk bottles on a white background on the graph?), but has a charm that kept me watching to the end. The fat globule seemingly pulled out of his pants was genius.
posted by figment of my conation at 8:47 AM on December 31, 2008


The real irony is that all of his examples use "sugar-sweetened beverages." Yet you'd be hard-pressed to find a sweetened beverage that actually contains anything besides high fructose corn syrup, which is propped up by federal farm subsidies. So does this mean if you cut consumption of sweetened beverages by taxing them, you have to pay more in subsidies to the farmers?
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


As usual, the Youtube comments are hilarious.
posted by Manhasset at 8:53 AM on December 31, 2008


Oh, man, you weren't lying Manhasset. This one is a thing of beauty:
Americans have become the laughing stock of the world. Fat, loud and ignorant. These three characteristics are found at every level of your society. I should probably add 'borderline Fascists'.

Land of the Baloon People!
I think I'll start walking around shouting, at random times, "Land of the Baloooooooooooooooon People!"
posted by Kattullus at 9:04 AM on December 31, 2008


Yes, YT comments said it better than I ever could.

i drink more pop than anyone and im not fat. it's called MOTABALISM!!!!
posted by mek at 9:06 AM on December 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


What the hell is with all the NY-centricity today? Does nothing happen in the rest of the world?

My apologies, I forgot The Big Apple 1st Rule of Heavenly Bodies: the universe revolves around NY.
posted by schleppo at 9:15 AM on December 31, 2008


the universe revolves around NY

It's because NY is so fat.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:18 AM on December 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think I'll start walking around shouting, at random times, "Land of the Baloooooooooooooooon People!"

In my head, I can hear that phrase with the same vocal intonations as I imagine Vonnegut telling people to "take a flying fuck at the moooooooooooooooon".
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:22 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Proof that all you need is a camera, a message, and a little showmanship. Bravo!
posted by buriednexttoyou at 9:36 AM on December 31, 2008


"Here. If you have a soda, and I have a glass of milk, and I have a straw—there it is, that's a straw, you see? My straw reaches across the room, and starts to drink your tax revenue..."

In the interest of making this a little less NY-centric, I'd love to hear about the crackpot, get-the-deficit-fixed-quick schemes of the other 49 states. Unless, you know, we're alone over here with our flying lipid props.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:40 AM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


What the hell is with all the NY-centricity today? Does nothing happen in the rest of the world?

You're right. Quite a bit happens in the rest of the world.

So why didn't you do a rest-of-the-world post today?
posted by jason's_planet at 9:57 AM on December 31, 2008


What the hell is with all the NY-centricity today? Does nothing happen in the rest of the world?


LA has a different problem with soda. Well, with coke, anyway.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:58 AM on December 31, 2008


I...I don't understand the persuasive power of the fat-foam, the sugar jar, the (Tab? Big K?) cans, and the milk glasses.

I...

I don't understand.
posted by ford and the prefects at 10:18 AM on December 31, 2008


Some taxes can be good for your health

No, not using certain products can be good for your health, and government taxes those products in order to discourage you from purchasing them.

BTW, nothing about diet sodas?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:19 AM on December 31, 2008


It's because NY is so phat.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


These new taxes will never work. I saw Fame and they were all drinking TaB.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:28 AM on December 31, 2008


Instead of the government taxing us, and using tax money to subsidize corn production, which effectively turns into subsidized soda....why doesn't the government just stop subsidizing corn.

It's like starting a war so they can tax us to stop it.
posted by parallax7d at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


parallax7d: It's like starting a war so they can tax us to stop it.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T GIVE THEM IDEAS
posted by Kattullus at 10:38 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the hell is with all the NY-centricity today? Does nothing happen in the rest of the world?

My apologies, I forgot The Big Apple 1st Rule of Heavenly Bodies: the universe revolves around NY.



This is NY State. So that guy's probably up in the sticks- Albany (a place where you can't buy a lapel mic, apparently).
posted by Zambrano at 11:06 AM on December 31, 2008


What the hell is with all the NY-centricity today? Does nothing happen in the rest of the world?

For the record... Maine tried to do something like this already. It was repealed about 6 months later.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:19 AM on December 31, 2008


When he pulled out the fat globule, and said 'Good luck hiding this on an adult, let alone a child!' I thought it was entirely appropriate that he hesitated to set it down because it was so big. I think that particular piece of clumsiness was quite purposeful. I actually found that bit quite terrifying - 21000 calories? Crap. Good thing I only ever drink diet (and I have the sensitive teeth to prove it).
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 11:26 AM on December 31, 2008


At Safeway last week, they had a sale on Pepsi products: buy two, get three free. If a tax were enacted, I might be down to just a 1:1 paid-to-free soda ratio. Chilling.
posted by camcgee at 11:37 AM on December 31, 2008


Milk, milk, lemonade,
Round the corner,
Tax is paid.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:04 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would be wonderful if corn subsidies could go back to their pre-70s levels and structure, but there's not enough political will behind that idea to get it past all the Midwestern congress members who would block it, at least in the short term.

In the meantime, this is something that New York can do. The main danger that I see is that, if corn subsidies ever do get fixed, the tax would probably stick around. But in that magical dream world we all have flying cars, so what does that matter to us?

I suppose this is a regressive tax, in that poor people spend a higher percentage of their income on soda than rich people, but then again the state has a real interest in changing that behavior.
posted by gurple at 12:12 PM on December 31, 2008


and now we're going to regressively tax poor people (to punish them for being fat) for buying the soda that's so much cheaper than milk

Wait a minute. Poor people buy soda as a less-expensive milk substitute? I have never tried to bake a cake using Pepsi instead of Milk. Nor have I put Mountain Dew on my cereal instead of Milk. I can't even imagine putting a little bit of Diet Coke in my scrambled eggs or adding Faygo Rock & Rye to my Mac & Cheese instead of Milk (although, actually, I find the idea strangely compelling). Can you make cheese from Vernors (I bet that would be good). Or yogurt from Ale-8-One?

Perhaps in these trying economic times, each of us can make ends meet by using soda instead of milk in all of our cooking. These imaginary poor people who use soda for all their Milk needs might just have the solution to all our problems!

But here comes the big bad government to, of all things, punish people for being fat. Beware the paternalistic urge of Big Government to punish fat people by making it more expensive for them to maintain the Fat Lifestyle -- all because of the puritanical "values" of a country that has the nerve to impose its health-ist beliefs on the populace! Outrageous, I say!!1!+!

See, I told you the U.S. would become a totalitarian socialist nation as soon as we elected a Democrat. What have we done!!?!?!???
posted by The World Famous at 12:18 PM on December 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


they're both just sugar water with no fiber.

And milk is disgusting. Unless someone pays me $50 a glass, I am not drinking milk. Also, as far as I know, my bones are fine and strong, so take that Dairy Council. Go eat some kale.
posted by giraffe at 12:29 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was skeptical, until he pulled out the blob of fat foam. Then I was sold!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:54 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling that the soda tax is a silly smokescreen: ZOMG FAT TAX won't do much in terms of revenue, but it makes a far better headline than "Patterson cuts education and health care, the young and the infirm cry."

And hey, as long as the government doesn't start taxing jaywalking, profanity, and unfortunate outfits, I should be fine.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:03 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's like a boring Carrot Top. I'm not sure if I should thank you for this post or not.
posted by chairface at 1:24 PM on December 31, 2008


Soda is cheaper than bottled water much of the time, which should give us pause.

But hey, because we can't do everything about the obsesity problem, we shouldn't do anything.
posted by Rumple at 1:28 PM on December 31, 2008


That wasn't fat, it's foam! Not that I've seen six pound globs of fat flying around with any kind of regularity to handily identify them... but still. Where'd he get the foam? Is he ripping apart his couch to fight obesity?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:56 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the interest of making this a little less NY-centric, I'd love to hear about the crackpot, get-the-deficit-fixed-quick schemes of the other 49 states. Unless, you know, we're alone over here with our flying lipid props.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:40 PM on December 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


Well, California expects to run out of money by March and so is planning to pay people with IOUs. That should go over real well.
posted by etaoin at 5:49 PM on December 31, 2008


I was totally enjoying this until he set that ratty pair of shoes on the kitchen counter. Agh!
posted by jamaro at 6:31 PM on December 31, 2008


SteveInMaine: "So does this mean if you cut consumption of sweetened beverages by taxing them, you have to pay more in subsidies to the farmers?"

Probably. But the way I see it, the various "soda taxes" being considered are essentially various states' attempts at un-subsidizing HFCS-laden foods.

The Federal government has pretty clearly sided with agribusiness interests on the HFCS issue, at the expense of consumers and the states, who end up bearing much of the costs that a diet rich in cheap sugar results in. These subsidies are a huge loss for all but the few states where the agribusiness corporations are located in or represent major employers. (Fewer states than you'd think; modern industrial "farming" doesn't actually employ that many people at the field level.)

Given this, it makes sense for states which don't benefit from the subsidies to attempt to nullify them via taxes. Theoretically, there ought to be a level of taxation that exactly cancels out the effect of Federal subsidies on corn production, and artificially lowers the price of HFCS and other corn products (e.g. ethanol). In practice, this may be very hard to find, but I'm not sure there's anything wrong in the attempt.

Obviously the best solution would be for the Federal government to stop subsidizing corn farming and refining at the expense of healthier crops (both on the consumption and production side), but that's ridiculously unlikely. State-by-state taxes, even frankly punitive ones, on corn-based foods, which use the generated tax revenues to offset the deleterious effects on our society of a heavily-processed, corn and sugar-based diet, are a step in the right direction, even if they are not the optimal solution.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:33 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can you make cheese from Vernors (I bet that would be good). Or yogurt from Ale-8-One?

Do you actually think poor people are making their own cheese and yogurt?
posted by Cyrano at 7:22 AM on January 1, 2009


Do you actually think poor people are making their own cheese and yogurt?

I thought I made my comment over-the-top enough that it would be clear that I was kidding. Oh well.
posted by The World Famous at 10:57 AM on January 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


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