Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Business

September 12, 2012

Slate: Don't ban Big Gulps

Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of 32-ounce sodas has hit up against some serious negative public opinion of late. First there was the Million Big Gulp March, in which a sprinkling of protestors showed up to protect the right to buy supersized beverages. More problematically for the mayor, a New York Times poll found that 60 percent of New Yorkers oppose the ban. The Times' quote from Queens resident Bob Barocas bluntly summed up the opposition to the ban: "This is like the nanny state going off the wall."

No one likes to be told what to do. And if the city is banning supersized soda, some fear that it won't be long before the government will be forcing broccoli down our gullets. Maybe it's time to revisit a gentler approach to nudging New Yorkers to eat and drink more healthily by taxing sugar, fat, and other foods that help make America the fattest nation on earth. Boosting prices on unhealthy food is also fraught with controversy, in large part because poor people eat a lot of the junk food that would be targeted with the new taxes. Much prior work has found that food and beverage purchases_including those by low-income shoppers_are surprisingly insensitive to changes in prices; consumers buy what they want to buy anyway. If this is the case, then fat and sugar taxes will further impoverish the poor without making them any skinnier.

But new evidence suggests that this concern may be overstated. A trio of marketing professors have shown that in places where a gallon of whole milk is 40 or 50 cents more expensive than skim, low-income shoppers are twice as likely to buy the lower-calorie milk. If consumers react similarly to price increases for sugary sodas and other unhealthy food options, simple economic incentives may help make low income Americans healthier, and without having to ban any Big Gulps.

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Business
  • Senators accuse GM of covering up defective switch

     Members of a Senate subcommittee accused General Motors of trying to cover up problems with an ignition switch that is now tied to 13 deaths, and pressed CEO Mary Barra to commit to punishing anyone involved.

    April 2, 2014

  • Bethesda 1 University of Okla. students paint murals, brighten up nonprofit

    The harsh, cold, metal door slipped away as green, then blue, turned into a lush, green field with a winding path and a group of University of Oklahoma undergraduate students painted murals Monday at Bethesda Inc., a local agency that specializes in sexual abuse treatment and prevention for children and adolescents.

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fly-tying Frenzy at Sam Noble Museum

    The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History will offer Fly-Tying Frenzy, an adult fly-tying workshop, from 8 to 11 a.m. for beginners and from 1 to 4 p.m. for intermediate and advanced participants April 5.

    March 12, 2014

  • JC_GE BUILDING.jpg Industry giants represented at Oak Tree

    Two corporate leaders discussed their company’s respective impact of business expansion on the local economy Thursday at the Edmond Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon.

    February 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cherokee Nation raising minimum rage

    The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest Native American tribes in the country, is raising its minimum wage by 50 cents, Chief Bill John Baker announced Monday.

    February 25, 2014

  • Moore City Council denies zoning change request

    Residents protesting a requested zoning change to allow apartments to be built in an area devastated by the May 20 tornado filled Moore City Hall on Tuesday night, then applauded when the Moore City Council denied the zoning change request unanimously.

    February 19, 2014

  • Marvel to spin new webs in Spider-Man’s history

    There’s more to the story about how Peter Parker became the amazing Spider-Man than previously was known.

    February 17, 2014

  • Public invited to screening

    University of Oklahoma art and art history students are hosting a film screening 7 tonight at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., in conjunction with the 100th annual School of Art and Art History Student Exhibition.

    February 13, 2014

  • Johnston_Grain_2_BH_W.jpg W.B. Johnston Grain is being sold to Louisiana company

    The oldest and largest privately owned grain company in the state, W.B. Johnston Grain, is being sold to a Louisiana company.
    Johnston entered into a letter of intent to sell its grain company and related business to CGB Enterprises, a grain and transport business based in Covington, La.

    February 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Super Bowl posts another ratings record

    NEW YORK — For the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl has set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers even though the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos wasn’t really competitive.

    February 4, 2014

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    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

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