The recent debate on revolutionizing the medical system in the United States has brought Pigouvian tax concepts — arguing for taxes to counteract the so-called “social costs” of individual purchases — back into vogue. A recent article in The Economist describes a series of papers advocating new taxes on junk food.
The case made by the authors of the cited studies is simple: people who eat junk food suffer from more severe health issues than their vegetable-eating counterparts. According to The Economist, annual medical costs of an obese person are $700 greater than those of a thin person. However, those additional costs are not entirely borne by the obese. FULL ARTICLE