“The road to hell was paved with good intentions,” a wise man once said.
The City of Philadelphia learned that the hard way after a scandal brought forth jailtime for some elected officials, damaged reputations for many others, and killed jobs in the process.
Of course, I’m talking about one of the most destructive, citywide tax proposals ever enacted in Western Civilization – the Philadelphia Soda Tax.
It was discovered that a local union boss and a city councilman teamed up to enact a tax on soda in order to settle a grudge with a strong Teamsters union.
The plot was simple: by raising the taxes on soda, fewer people could afford to buy it, which meant fewer deliveries for Teamsters.
The bill was packaged more altruistically by saying its intentions were to curb public obesity rates by coercing buyer habits, and that proceeds from the soda tax specifically would go towards local schools.
Things didn’t go as planned, however, once the tax became law. Local businesses like CVS even eliminated some jobs because of profit loss and the community was in an uproar.
With public trust on the chopping block, Philadephia Democrats are promoting the sitting councilmembers to ax the tax while they have the opportunity.
Ultimately the damage is done and the community that keeps Philadephia moving will have to pick up the pieces caused by bought-politicians and corrupt union leaders.
Additionally, this shows a powerful lesson that taxes can be used as a mechanism to ultimately harm an otherwise healthy economy.
Philadephia’s poverty rate is already a visible conundrum, but attempting to curb dietary habits and find more cash for schools means nothing if families are left poorer in the process.