Sunday, April 25, 2010

Show Some Commitment

When I heard that they were enacting an additional bit of legislation to ensure that they could suck the every last dollar out of British Columbians, it highlighted yet another hypocrisy that we can see from decision-makers across the spectrum. Whether it's the influence of special interest groups, a school board that doesn't want to remove snack machines of prepackaged and processed food because they're cash cows, or a government that is so worried you'll actually spend money on your own health that they can't tax, their true motives are consistently revealed.

So, I have some suggestions:

  • Tax fast and processed food. A lot. If I'm going to eat a Big Mac, take some extra money from me.
  • But then, use that money to off-set the cost of fresh meat and produce, so that it's not cheaper to go to Burger King than it is to cook up a healthy and fresh meal at home.
  • Gym memberships, sports-team registrations, athletic competitions - these should be tax-free. Or, at the very least, they should be tax-deductible. Sure, someone may not actually use the memberships, but do the losses on tax actually outweigh the potential gains by removing the obstacles that prevent people from exercising?
Regardless of whether or not these ideas could actually work, the important thing is that we actually start thinking of ways to make healthy living more accessible, more natural and more appealing to people - because as long as you can feed an entire family for $15 at McDonald's versus twice that for a nutritious and home cooked meal, healthy living is going to remain nothing more than an "ideal" for most.

"Act Now" indeed.


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