Tax fat people or reward healthy ones? 42 replies

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Relander

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8th April 2005

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#1 11 years ago

At 2006 the Senior Counsel of the Finnish Innovation Fund (This is Sitra), former Prime Minister Esko Aho proposed that the society should tax more of those people who are over-weight in order to encourage them to take better care of their personal health. However the suggestion was shot down in the Finnish media and also by virtually all parliament parties. But what do you think about the idea of Esko Aho? Or do you think we should instead reward those who take care of their health or just let it be? Discuss.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#2 11 years ago

Usually it is better to reward instead of punishing, but in this case it will be difficult to find someone who is willing to pay for the rewards.

Maybe a combination? Use the taxes to reward the healthy, that way you'd double the incentive ;)

It should be considered though that a lot of overweight-people just have genetics or a metabolism that favours their condition, it's doesn't seem fair to punish them for that and I think it will be difficult to judge who is a lazy fastfood-fan and who has "heavy bones".




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#3 11 years ago

Weight is someone's own personal initiative, so I think you can already guess what my stance is. Especially since I disagree with the idea of universal healthcare I especially see no reason for a fat tax or skinny tax incentive. I think that it is something for the individual to worry about and not government.




Jill

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7th July 2006

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#4 11 years ago

Why stop there. If we wanna get so crazy....let us all do genetic fingerprints of our selves and see how many flaws we have of certain genes that might give us heart problems, health problems...etc...then tax us. How crazy can we get?




Vasili

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#5 11 years ago

Aye i dont want to get taxed! I'm just bigged boned!




id10t

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#6 11 years ago

In the UK there have been reports on serveral occasions that the overweight, smokers, alcoholics and drug abusers etc will be denied treatment unless they clean up there act :| But Jills right, it is rather stupid because health care should availible for ALL, we pay enough taxs for it :s




AlDaja

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#7 11 years ago

fat tax? who comes up with this crap.:sleep: Maybe this guy should be taxed for being a Dip.




GOD111

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#8 11 years ago
Jill;3692079Why stop there. If we wanna get so crazy....let us all do genetic fingerprints of our selves and see how many flaws we have of certain genes that might give us heart problems, health problems...etc...then tax us. How crazy can we get?

This does not happened often, but I agree with old Jill here. I'm against these kind of taxes, just as I'm against taxes on tobacco and alcohol aswell. As far as i have heard, you guys in Finland are pretty extreme on this whole fat issue. I heard somewhere that you forbid companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds to advertise. The same kind of ban that is on tobacco advertising in the European Union.

So with other words, I'm strongly opposed to these kind of bans. There are limits what the state can demand for their people just becasue there is a universal healthcare. Plus, as far as I've heard, you are already quite heavily taxes in Finland?




Relander

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#9 11 years ago
*SW3D3*I heard somewhere that you forbid companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds to advertise.

Not true. Coca-Cola, McDonalds etc. have no restrictions what so ever to advertise here. "Hear say news service" also tells you that we Finns are all quiet, shy & sullen, we have polar bears here and Santa Claus doesn't live in Finland.

Plus, as far as I've heard, you are already quite heavily taxes in Finland?

True, though the Centre - SDP government (centre-left) did cut taxes for some 2,2 billion euros during 2003-2007 and new the Centre - National Coalition Party (centre-right) is planning to cut taxes for some 1,5 - 2,0 billion euros in next four years (comparison: annual state budget is about 40 billion euros). But as far as I know we have little bit lighter taxation than in Sweden, just for comparison as Finland & Sweden are like brothers by their societies.

Personally I don't support taxing fat people neither as like MrFancypants pointed out, some people have genetics or a metabolism as major reason for their over-weight and it would mark fat people in negative way in the society. Motivating people is always better & more effective than punishing though using a stick in some instances is useful & even necessary (like in the case of unemployment benefit), thus I support encouraging people to take care of themselves. For example by specificly reducing taxes on vegetables, making gym & other exercise payments as tax deductable and supporting enterprises in organizing physical hobbies for their employees. This doesn't discriminate those who are fat but neither does it reward those who just happen to be skinny.

Generally speaking, I strongly believe on taxes as encouraging/discouraging people to choose certain path to follow, as directing force and it indeed works in this role. Alcohol and tobacco cause major health problems & the first one also increases violence, hooliganism, depression etc. (exluding those who actually know how to use alcohol & how to act under its influence), not to mention that I believe it being a gate to drugs. It's true that those who drink & smoke a lot pay taxes too but the effects from this reflect into their environment as well, more or less.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#10 11 years ago

I don't think it's a great idea, myself. Healthy living should be its own reward, and quite frankly if I want to get fat, it's my business. Educate, don't legislate!