Buy your Pepsi in Camden, New Jersey

I am a fan of neither Pepsi nor of Camden, but foiling the pols in Philly would be worth it:

Philadelphia rang in the new year with a controversial new beverage tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. The tax, which went into effect on Sunday, is the first one of its kind in a major city in the United States.

While the tax is technically 1.5 cents per ounce, which doesn’t sound too terrible, when buying a 10-pack of 20 oz bottles those numbers climb pretty quickly … a 10-pack of Propel flavored water that originally retailed for $5.99 had an additional three dollars tacked on to it in taxes.

The Cola Wars being what they are, I can usually find one of the two and a half major brands — I do love the zip of RC, but it’s lacking in majority — in a two-liter bottle for a buck. Tack on a cent and a half per ounce and that two-liter bottle is suddenly $2.01.

Where is all this money going to go? Ostensible community-health programs? Not a chance:

The money generated from the tax will help fund Mayor Jim Kenney’s Pre-K program.

Answer me this. Did any of your friends attend Pre-K? It didn’t even exist for some of us: as a resident (then) of Texas, I couldn’t start first grade until I was almost seven. This might not matter if the School District of Philadelphia were doing a good job. Fat chance of that:

The Philadelphia public schools do not educate any group of their students as well as national averages for each group. They fail to come anywhere near to providing the quality of education given to students in nearby districts. Although family income and parental education levels have some effect on student achievement, this simply defines the task of the schools. The extent of these failures in Philadelphia is too great to be attributed to anything other than the quality of the schools themselves.

All the more reason to get those kids as early as possible, so they can get used to their eventual fates: smuggling Dr Pepper from Delaware.



  1. John Salmon »

    4 January 2017 · 8:02 pm

    Turns out, of course, that much of the money from the tax isn’t going to education, not that it would improve the schools if it did. You needn’t be a conservative to think this is a dumb idea-Bernie Sanders was opposed as well: it’s a regressive tax.

  2. Jack Baruth »

    5 January 2017 · 9:04 am

    I’m absolutely going to get involved with soda bootlegging.

  3. fillyjonk »

    5 January 2017 · 4:42 pm

    I am always struck by the foolishness of saying “We want to discourage people from doing this behavior by attaching a sin-tax to it” when most governmental bodies are more addicted to tax money than the average 10-year-old is to soda. It’s cross-purposes.

    (MY “pre-k” was me sitting at the kitchen table, tracing letters out of a Richard Scarry Big Word Book, but then I was a lucky kid with a stay-at-home mom)

  4. McG »

    5 January 2017 · 5:53 pm

    My mother handled my pre-K by teaching me to read when I was 3. Mrs. McG’s mother — who actually was a schoolteacher — did the same.

  5. fillyjonk »

    5 January 2017 · 9:25 pm

    I am told that now some school districts actively discourage parents from teaching reading to their preschool kids (or, I suppose, allowing-to-learn: as I remember, I more or less learned to read on my own after being read to a lot)

    I disapprove of this; at the very least it sounds like the “tall poppies should be cut down” mentality.

  6. ms7168 »

    7 January 2017 · 9:13 am

    I used to order Tea if you told me you only served Pepsi but since I have gone to Diet drinks I have discovered to my own amazement Diet Pepsi tastes one heck of a lot better than Diet Coke. Plus, bless their hearts, Pepsi has gone to using Splenda. All the rest are still using Aspartame.

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