[ExI] Don't be a locavore fundamentalist

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 27 21:52:58 UTC 2009

On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Economic Rationale
> Economists agree that government intervention in a market is warranted
> when there are "market failures" that result in less-than-optimal
> production and consumption. Several market failures exist with respect
> to sugar-sweetened beverages. First, because many persons do not fully
> appreciate the links between consumption of these beverages and health
> consequences, they make consumption decisions with imperfect
> information. These decisions are likely to be further distorted by the
> extensive marketing campaigns that advertise the benefits of
> consumption. A second failure results from time-inconsistent
> preferences (i.e., decisions that provide short-term gratification but
> long-term harm). This problem is exacerbated in the case of children
> and adolescents, who place a higher value on present satisfaction
> while more heavily discounting future consequences. Finally, financial
> "externalities" exist in the market for sugar-sweetened beverages in
> that consumers do not bear the full costs of their consumption
> decisions. Because of the contribution of the consumption of
> sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity, as well as the health
> consequences that are independent of weight, the consumption of
> sugar-sweetened beverages generates excess health care costs. Medical
> costs for overweight and obesity alone are estimated to be $147
> billion — or 9.1% of U.S. health care expenditures — with half these
> costs paid for publicly through the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Care to throw the government subsidy, Corn Refiners of America and
sugar tariffs into the HFCS equation?

I wrote a paper for school which summarizes, and cites sources:

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