The beverage industry’s fixation on Berkeley is a testament to its growing nervousness that America is falling out of love with sodas and other sugary drinks. Per capita consumption of soda is down almost 30 percent since its peak in 1998, according to data market research firm IBIS World. And the fight in Berkeley underscores the lengths to which soda makers are willing to go to block soda tax measures. The industry has spent more than $100 million in the past five years to stop dozens of similar taxes in other cities and states across the United States.
Jazz Shaw considers the disproportionate class impact the law may have:
I do appreciate the fact that the coverage is at least honest enough to refer to it as a punitive tax, which is exactly what it is. But who is being punished with this action? The obvious answer is the poor, who are probably the most likely to be drinking Big Gulps in the first place. The wealthy professors and cocktail party crew don’t need to worry about a ten percent hike in costs, but the people who tend their lawns and gardens, clean their pools and empty their trash might.
The Dish thread on Bloomberg’s attempts at a soda tax is here.