Sweet

economics, health

Money grows on corn.

The Coca Cola company vowed that they would never change their original cola formula.  Yet, in 1984 they substituted high fructose corn syrup for sugar.   Sugar tastes better than corn syrup, so why the switch?  The government forced them to.

Not directly, of course.  The government simply forced up the price of sugar and pushed down the price of corn syrup.  Then companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi responded.  What’s the proof?  They still use sugar in every other country.

As an aside, let me point out that the government also prevents Coca Cola from putting cocaine in their beverages the way they used to.  People should be free to buy or sell cocaine laced soft drinks if they want to, but that is a matter for another post.

Anyway, it would have been bad enough if the government had simply passed a law forcing companies to use corn syrup instead of sugar.  Instead, they found an even more immoral way to bring about the same effect.  This plan had two parts.  The first part had the following steps:

  1. Take a bunch of money from innocent people.
  2. Keep some of the money.
  3. Give the rest to corn farmers.

The second part had these steps:

  1. Take a bunch of money from innocent people.
  2. Keep some of the money.
  3. Use the rest to suppress foreign sugar competition.

These plans might seem oddly self serving for a public benefit organization like the government.  And they are.

Government makes corn producers wealthier at the expense of everybody else.  It makes domestic sugar producers wealthier at the expense of everybody else.  Government makes itself wealthier at the expense of everyone else.  Theft is bad.  But if you understand this, then you also understand that the sugar related ripoffs are just one small heist in the grand scheme of government.

A more detrimental affect from all of this, at least as far as any individual is concerned, is the way manipulation in the food markets leads to negative health effects.  If you are not aware of the dangers of fructose consumption, watch this great University of California lecture.

In it, Dr. Lustig explains why there is a serious problem with people getting fatter and fatter over the last few decades.  The common answer is that people eat too much and do not get enough exercise, but that doesn’t explain what caused the recent increases in heart problems, obesity, etc.

What is not well know is that the ultimate cause of this health epidemic is the government.  The government told people to eat less fat.  The government also made sugar artificially cheap.  So, people changed their diets to include less fat and more sugar.  This leads to obesity and associated cardiovascular problems.

Some people think that high fructose corn syrup is the problem.  In reality, the problem is an excessive amount of fructose consumption caused by the government.  High fructose corn syrup is the proximate cause, but the ultimate cause is the government intervention that leads to excessive consumption of high fructose corn syrup.

Of course, this is just one way in which government uses violence to make our lives worse.  Still, for your health and the health of those that you care about, it is critical information.

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