That might as well have been the headline of the Spiegel Online article. What else could Der Spiegel mean by the words “Health Be Damned: Denmark Hopes Cheaper Soda Will Boost Economy” except that Denmark’s government is endangering the lives of citizens merely to promote their prosperity and to respect their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Letting individuals again govern their own beverage intake, unimpeded! How is that not tantamount to shoving them over a cliff?
On the other hand, if you live in Denmark, enjoy soda, and dislike being harassed for doing so — thank goodness for tax competition.
Steep new taxes on drinks like beer and soda have been sending Danes across the border for these items. They have long shopped in Germany anyway, but the “sinful drink” taxes have inspired an increase in the international jaunts. Research by a Danish grocers’ association suggests that over the past year, members of some 57 percent of Danish households have zipped over to Germany to buy beverages onerously taxed at home. Denmark officials therefore plan to phase out the new taxes.
The government has already abandoned a notorious “fat tax” on foods with saturated fats. It seemed that Danes disliked the higher prices and unemployment caused by the tubby tax.
At least for now, then, Denmark officials have declared defeat on key fronts in the paternalistic war on soda, fats and liberty.
So, take heart, victims of America’s nanny state! The incursions are reversible.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.