the idea of placing a tax on junk food as a social engineering approach to reducing obesity.
1. Should we enact this? Why or why not?
2. Whether you agree with it or not, assume that junk foods are going to be taxed. What five foods would you tax if you were told to choose them?
3. How high should the tax be in order to have its intended effect?
4. What are the ethical implications of this approach? For instance: Would some groups be hurt or helped more than others? How would the economy be affected? Would this be the government reaching too far, or would it be comparable to other effective social engineering policies (such as seat belt use or smoking reduction) that have been enacted and that we now take for granted?
Where does this lie on the balance between our right to eat what we want and our right to not pay higher health care bills because other people eat poorly and thus raise everyone’s health costs?
(These questions are just examples, of course, so please feel free to consider other ethical implications.)