[FRIAM] Santa Fe's Sugar Tax

Marcus Daniels marcus at snoutfarm.com
Wed Apr 26 14:51:10 EDT 2017

I’m all for requiring health insurance, but how about we require intensive exercise too?   Use red blood cell counts or other indicators to prove it was done.   Again, an android or iPhone with some suitable sensors could track results.   Pose it as tax break instead of a penalty.   Then people can get their high.  I know I want mine.  With the productivity boost, we could just pay for those kiddies with our income taxes.

From: Friam [mailto:friam-bounces at redfish.com] On Behalf Of Tom Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:32 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam at redfish.com>
Cc: Sherry Kelsey <kelsey at edc.pitt.edu>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Santa Fe's Sugar Tax

I'm wondering this morning, if the nation seems to have accepted the fact that the federal government can regulate vehicle mileage,  require seat belt installation, testing of drugs for public consumption, etc., how come it can't regulate sugar (and sodium?) in food and drink?  Could it be the sugar lobby is stronger than car manufactures and Big Pharma?


Tom Johnson
Institute for Analytic Journalism   --     Santa Fe, NM USA
505.577.6482(c)                                    505.473.9646(h)
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On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 12:02 PM, George Duncan <gtduncan at gmail.com<mailto:gtduncan at gmail.com>> wrote:
Much as I agree with Tom's analysis and wish for a better process for public policy decision making (hey that was my career at Carnegie Mellon!), the issue here for our own voting is whether we better off if this initiative passes. I vote yes. Indeed I have already voted yes.

Also I cannot believe that a win for no will convince people towards quality decision making...but rather that major corporate money must win in the public arena.

On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 11:42 AM glen ☣ <gepropella at gmail.com<mailto:gepropella at gmail.com>> wrote:

We have a lot of data on whether sin taxes do or don't work.  And that data is colored/interpreted by everyone who sees it, like all data.

And that brings me to my problem with Tom's argument.  We can focus on this part:

  "Voting on the measure is also a vote for or against good social science research, good public policy and administration, and full transparency of the people’s data."

We've been over and over in several threads (that I'm sure seemed hijacked by the more linear amongst us) about _induction_ and the validity or soundness of the predicates it leads to.  Way back when I worked at a healthcare informatics company, "evidence-based" was all the rage.  Then a (small) group of debunkers finally realized and advocated a move from the concept of "evidence-based" to "science-based" (https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/about-science-based-medicine/).  Add to that that many of my colleagues in the social sciences tout evidence-based or science-based policy.

I have some very deep reservations against such, with the same _flavor_ as my objection to the idea that government should/can be run like a business.  (Part of the rhetoric in favor of Trump.)  Government is not, inherently, a scientific enterprise.  It's an _engineering_ enterprise.  And engineers don't really care about reality as it is.  They care about reality as they intend it to be.  Sure, good engineers take the intitial conditions into account.  But whether the initial conditions have us on earth or mars doesn't matter that much.  What matters is that we want to _go_ to Proxima Centauri.

So, while I agree with the letter of the sentence above, I may disagree with the implication.

FWIW, were I still in Santa Fe, I'd vote "yes".

On 04/26/2017 09:57 AM, Gillian Densmore wrote:
> I agree anecdotally residents of NM need help with education and health.
> I am skeptical a tax on basically fake food,s and treats is a helpful way
> to do that though.
> Postive programs and tools  might help more than yet another tax possibly
> can.

☣ glen

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