Oh Nanny Bloomberg. Just look what you started.
Recall when former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to tax and/or regulate everything that wasn’t nailed down – limiting salt, taxing and limiting the size of those evil “sugary” beverages?
Well, in an effort to raise more money, cash-strapped cities across the nation are taking a cue from the mayor and instituting their own sweetened-beverage taxes. That’s the only drawback of progressivism. There just is never enough money to achieve greatness. You always need a little more – and a little more – and so on.
In June of 2016, following Nanny Bloomberg’s lead, and taking $1.6 million of his money to promote the boondoggle, the city of Philadelphia overwhelmingly passed its own “soda tax.”
“I want to congratulate Philadelphia’s city council and courageous mayor, Jim Kenney, for standing up to the beverage industry and doing what’s right for the people of their city,” Bloomberg stated.
Standing up to the beverage industry? What did they do? Sell legal products to lots of people who choose to drink them of their own free will? Wow – that is courageous.
“Obesity and poverty are both intractable national problems,” he said. “No policy takes more direct aim at both than Philadelphia’s tax on sugary drinks. I was glad to support it. …”
May I ask a question? How can one be simultaneously obese and impoverished? Just asking. Take a look around the globe. There are no truly impoverished, obese people.
Anyway – the new sweetened beverage tax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. How are things working out in the City of Brotherly Love just two months later? Well, not as great as one might think. Oh, things when along fine for a little while, but on March 1, reality quickly began to catch up.
Something weird and I’m sure completely unexpected happened. Soda delivery trucks, which used to leave the distributor fully loaded and come back empty, were now returning with partial loads still on the trucks.
Philly.com reports that Ed Langdon, a long time Pepsi Distribution employee said this was highly unusual. “The trucks are going out, and they’re coming back with the soda on it,” he said. “No one’s buying it. It’s just not happening.”
As a direct result of the nanny tax, there is a 40 percent drop in sales – and the Philadelphia Pepsi distributor Ed works for has sent out layoffs notices to between 80 and 100 employees. Now, you might say that 100 is not a big number. You might be wrong. That’s almost a quarter of the distributor’s entire workforce of 423.
Gee – tough break for those employees. And good luck trying to find another job like the one you were just forced out of – or any job, considering that Philadelphia’s real unemployment rate (U6) is above 10 percent.
But wait – the news isn’t all bad. “Minutes after news of layoffs broke, the city sent out a release announcing that its pre-K program has created 191 teaching positions and 60 support-staff jobs. The average pay for the positions, more than half of which are full time, is $14.72 an hour.”
Well, that is great. And I’ll bet those 100 unemployed private-sector workers feel much better that their imposed sacrifice has helped create 251 government jobs, to further drain the already strained tax base.
Next up Chicago, where the new Cook County soda tax goes into effect this July. The Chicago Tribune reports that the beverage industry is already bracing for the reality of similar (or worse) results to Philadelphia.
“The beverage industry has a larger market in Cook County. We project there will be a larger economic impact here in terms of layoffs and sales,” said Claudia Rodriguez, executive director of the Illinois Beverage Association.
Congratulations to Michael Bloomberg on what you started and are still campaigning for – the regulation of every aspect of peoples’ lives. So what if some in the private sector get hurt or have their lives needlessly turned upside down as a direct result of your initiatives.
But I guess no sacrifice is too great for the good of the grand collective. As long as it’s not you doing the sacrificing. Right, Mike?