@98: Haha. Well, I would argue that against the "victimlessness" of environmental pollution too. But I'm pretty openly an environmentalist. A bigotry advocate, on the other hand, insists quite strongly against the "victimlessness" of gay marriage. I think they're wrong. But neither of us should be pretending we don't ban behaviors that, in the more abstract, are "greater social harms." That's a delusion "nanny state" whiners are prone to have.
First off, some facts people are ignoring (or possibly ignorant of):
1. clinical studies show that the human body normally[1] adjusts calorie consumption that is eaten, but not what is drank - any calories from beverages will just be added to the total consumption without displacing any.
2. soda as a beverage-of-choice has a distinct advantage over milk - there's no zero-calorie version of milk available. (I speak from personal experience here... after switching from Coke to Coke Zero (I drink/drank about a gallon a day) - with a few minor changes to diet including the elimination of pastries and fried food - I lost ~130 pounds over the course of a year and a half. My brother drinks an equivalent amount of chocolate milk per day, and there's no equivalent zero-calorie option for him to change to.)
3. the price of soft drinks is arbitrary. Retail markup exceeds 300%, usually. The cost to produce a bottle is exceeded by the cost of marketing that bottle.
4. corn subsidies have more of an effect on the price of meat than they do on the price of a bottle of Coke.

[1]Other studies have shown that the right mix of sugar, salt, and fat can short-circuit the regulation process... and most fast foods/convenience foods tend to have that blend perfected.
@41: Perhaps priapus, like myself, is against both? I think "sin" taxes are generally a bad idea, though I wouldn't hesitate to say that our country's agricultural subsidies are much, much worse.
Meh, disregard the above. Was basically already covered.
@102: Let's consider your points, and respond:

1. I'm not sure I follow this. You seem to suggest here that soda calories will merely be added to the total consumption, which would imply that, as a result of their not displacing any, the total calories consumed would merely increase. This would lead to more calorie consumption, which for many Americans, is simply too high.

2. This is true. Those who drink low-calorie sodas will probably lose more weight (and perhaps be healthier) than if they were drinking milk. However, there is a no-calorie alternative to both milk and soda: water.

3. This is also true. But that logic merely suggest to me that there's no reason to believe soda prices would even increase as a result of the tax, would they? Either way, is this issue really relevant? The question is over whether or not a tax (a) effectively generates revenue to fund programs and (b) discourages soda consumption. The only reason I can see that soda's arbitrary pricing would be relevant to this question is if it meant that the price could stay the same by allowing the tax to come out of markup. But then we'd still have (a). Please clarify so that I may understand this.

4. Indeed. But again, I don't see how this is relevant. What does the artificially deflated cost of meat have to do with the artificially deflated cost of soda? I mean, they're both caused by corn subsidies. You're not arguing here that the corn subsidies do not deflate the cost of soda, just that deflate the cost of meat more. So what policy implication does this comparison have for the soda tax?
Glad I didn't offend anyone too much (except perhaps the Microsoftie @94).

Not a "Microsoftie", nor offended, just surprised that someone with intelligent things to say would make an unsubstantiated statement like you did in an otherwise insightful comment.

I guess the occasional flippant aside is the risk of exploring in-progress ideas by running my mouth/fingers in a public forum. ;-)

But, honestly... Microsoft is a bit of a mono-culture, and it's employment practices mostly fit the stock-skill-set-as-human-widget mold.

Do they not have a reputation for releasing buggy, flawed, counterintuitive products that seem to fill "needs" determined in an echo chambers rather than in reality? How long has it been since Microsoft birthed a true technological innovation (not copied, not borrowed, not acquired, not bullshit)? If it weren't for the self-perpetuating market share / residual payments from compulsory bundling and licensing, would they even be the revenue magnet that imbues them with an appearance of functionality and achievement?

All excellent points - I can see now why you made the comment in the larger scope of your discussion about Seattle culture.

I can't speak to MS culture, but I can speak to their products, being a software engineer myself. While not being a very "innovative" company, their core products have steadily improved, especially since 2000. I believe this is mainly due to competition from Apple (that finally got a real operating system with OS X) and from open source software. Back when I used Windows 3.1, 95 and 98, I would definitely have agreed that they couldn't get anything to "work" ... but since then Vista has been their only hiccup. I also use OpenBSD and Ubuntu Linux at home ... the latter not working as well as Windows 7, in my opinion, but getting close. OpenBSD is perfection in a server OS, but I digress.

Their financial success, as you point out, is mainly due to business being on the never-ending upgrade wagon.
Well, actually for losing weight you should know a few tips:
The first step: set a separation period between your meal and exercise:

At least forty-five minutes between eating and exercising will provide your body with the energy it needs to undergo the right workout. A light snack of 500 calories may be enough to punch the extra pounds from your body when you go to gym.

Getting some nutrition in the forms of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as consumed in the exercise process, will stimulate the metabolism and burn the extra calories. The most critical nutrient form is carbohydrates, for it gives us huge amounts of energy.

If you do this regularly, you will always have a good stimulation process that keeps your metabolism rate high, and every extra calorie that enters your body will burn.

The second step: water is the secret of all beautiful bodies:

The water content of your body has to be 80%. When you exercise for thirty minutes, you lose about two pounds of water. It is so essential that the body be able to compensate for the lost water. Adjusting to this will allow you to increase the workout time from thirty to sixty minutes, which will shorten the time period for the ten-pound loss. You will feel a notable difference through the effort you make, as your workout will go much more smoothly when you drink enough water. If for some reason you don't provide your body with the water it needs while you’re exercising, drink large amounts of water after you finish your workout. You’ll have more water in your body than you need, but it will give you the feeling of satiety, which will help you to wait patiently for the next meal.

The third step: set another separation period between the time you finished working out and the next meal:

If you so hungry after a workout that you cannot wait to eat, you are more likely to overindulge. Therefore, make it a daily routine to eat a meal, not immediately after your exercise, but within forty-five minutes. The most vital nutrient that your body needs in here is protein. Since your body will be in the midst of a rebuilding phase, protein is the best choice to support this.

If you follow those three simple steps for the next three weeks, you will be able to lose the ten pounds easily, almost as if you did it with little or no effort.

As for drinking less soda, it will make no difference at all.

Ivan, editor of lose 10 pounds Online Journal
Oh? How does it usually work around here "doesurmindglow"? You pinkos pat each other on the back?

And don't tell me what my interests are. I didn't make any "choice long ago" to tax for health reasons.

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