Thursday, November 09, 2006

Snack foods

Fritos. Lays. Oreos. Marshmallows. Honey buns. Hostess Twinkies and cupcakes. YooHoos. Ding Dongs. Glazed donuts. Nachos. Snicker bars. All those good old snacks!

The food police would have us not eat any of them. And, they want to pass laws to make it more expensive to do so. They'll force you into a healthy eating system if it kills you! Californians in their infinite wisdom said no to a law that would raise taxes on cigarettes for the fourth or fifth time in the recent election. We, a majority of people who don't like breathing cigarette smoke, who have banned smoking in public places and even a few communities completely, said no to more taxes.

The food police want to put higher taxes on snack foods. We need to say no to this also. In 2004 households with incomes of less than $10,000 a year paid 11.9% of their income on snack foods. Compared to people earning over $70,000 who only paid 1% of their incomes you can see why the tax is wrong. Those who can least afford it will pay a much higher tax incrementally. That is what is wrong with the extra taxes we pay across the board. Everyone always says tax the rich, but how? TAxing the rich has a trickle down effect to the poor, so additional taxation is no the cure all it would seem to be.

There needs to be a better way of dealing with the food police and their efforts to change the way society eats. I wish they would study and begin to understand what motivates people to eat the way they choose to eat. There is a reason for every person alive I am sure. Some eat to live. Some live to eat and there is a huge group in the middle choosing the food they eat for emotional reasons.

Please understand, I am not saying snack foods are good or bad. What I am trying to say, is that taxing individuals to punish or modify bad behavior reasoning is a short cut to solving a larger problem. Too many times people think that the only way to change behavior is to make it "hurt". If we tack .50 on every purchase, they'll stop purchasing snacks so often. Baloney! It just makes their budget more difficult to handle when you speak of lower income families. Is it not their right to enjoy a few treats on occasion? Should eveything be gruel because their budgets are so limited?

This takes me to the place I was in college. I wanted to major in finance, and home economics. There was not a blended major like that. Either you are the home manager or the financial manager. My advisor told me good luck, and that I would never be satisfied through pursuit of that major in college. I chose finance. I learned what I needed and became a stock broker, I didn't get a degree. Being a broker lasted about ten years. I was successful, I was at the top of my game, and I walked away from it to work in a gourmet food store. I was much happier. Earning quite a bit less, but much happier. Still there needed to be a way to teach individuals how they can do both, manage their homes so their finances would be used at their optimum. We rarely teach the masses how money works. It is a great tool for some and then others struggle continuously to just put meager meals on the table. There has to be a better way.

The food police are not helping at all. The run about like Chicken Little shouting all about how we're killing ourselves. Well, from the moment of birth, we are all consigned to die. What we need to tell people is how they can "live". And live better than they ever thought they could. Forget all the hype. How about some basic information, and a little creativity. That would probably help more than anything. It is another reason I love the net. All that good information available to anyone who has access.

My sidebar has a list of really good people talking about really good things. Why not click ona few and find out something you don't know. And, hey, why not share a bit too!