Aqua Fortis


Some Commercials just annoy the crap out of me.   There is this commercial on, runs a lot on, among other networks, MSNBC, for some thing called nofoodtaxes.com.  Claims that taxes are going to be raised on juice drinks, soda and the like.  Watch the viddy titled “Give Me a Break” Americans Against Food Taxes TV Ad  below:

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“Feeding a family is difficult enough in today’s economy”

True enough, the next statement is little harder to swallow.

“Now, some politicians want the government telling me how I should do it.”

OK, this is an immediate red flag for me.  When I hear “some politicians” in a commercial today, two words immediately spring to mind.  Attack ad.  Which means I now have to listen intently,  check for the substance of,  and line of attack, and in doing so figure out who is doing the attacking, and why.

“They want to put new taxes on a lot of groceries I buy, like soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, even flavored waters.  Trying to control what we eat and drink with taxes.”

I can see where this is going with the finish of the first instance of the word “drinks”, I can almost see who is paying for this, and why it’s there.  The beverage industry is fighting having taxes placed on their products.  I don’t mind, to be honest, them trying to defend themselves.  It’s a semi-free country after all, they are allowed to, but when they do it in the guise of the average shopper who is just trying to make ends meet, it is at best disingenuous, and at worst abusively manipulative.

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The great problem of having corporate citizens is that they aren’t like the rest of us. As Baron Thurlow in England is supposed to have said, “They have no soul to save, and they have no body to incarcerate.” (and) The corporation is an externalizing machine, in the same way that a shark is a killing machine.

Robert Monks, The corporation (movie)

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The world’s corporations, in an attempt to gain market share, try to control what we eat and drink, where we spend our free time, how we entertain ourselves, and most every other aspect of our waking lives, using far more insidious means than the alleged government control they speak of here.  They use it in this commercial most effectively.  Among other ways using propaganda like the “government is too involved in our lives” line.

The thought I take from that line of thinking, and this commercial is not “Is government really too involved in our lives?” It is “who is really making this statement, and what do they get out of making it in this manner?”

I’ve looked up the people who funded this particular assault upon America’s airwaves.  The “Americans against food taxes”(AAFT) group is really a corporate front group created by the American beverage association, which is headed by the CEO of Dr.Pepper/Snapple, a guy by the name of Larry Young, Hugh Johnson, President of Pepsi-Cola North America, and ABA president Susan Neely, amongst others.

The lobbying  money this group, the AAFT, has spent has skyrocketed over the last few years.  In 2003 they spent a little over $200,000 lobbying congress.  In 2010 they spent over $8,500,000, a 4250% increase in 7 years, on 25 lobbyists from 7 different firms in lobbying your congressmen.

So when they saw that the congress of this nation would, to fund health care reform, add a tax of from between 3 and 10¢ on soda, sugary drinks, and energy drinks, where do you think all their energies have been spent?  Spent on commercials in an attempt to sway public opinion in their favor, so their products would not be taxed, because the resultant price increase might cut into their hefty profits, and they might only make ¢55 net profit a share next quarter instead of ¢60.

They put these commercials out there for themselves, and care only for themselves and their bottom line.  They don’t care for you, average shopper.  That actress is ACTING, it isn’t real.  And regardless of what happens with the ¢3 – 10 tax that may or may not pass,  they will pass all their business expenses to you in the aisle of your local market.  Prices always go up, never down.

You matter not a damn to them.  You never will.

The worst part of this is that it paints a disingenuous picture of Government.  Government might be intrusive in some places (think FISA, NSA warrantless wiretaps, extraordinary rendition, DMCA, etc…) And a stand should really be taken when it does that.  This is NOT one of those instances.  This commercial, these people, from the actress hired to play the victim of harassing government, to the President of Pepsi-Co NA, and the entire “AAFT” is nothing more that corporate America attacking government for the sake of their shareholders profit margins, while doing no real good in attacking the real problems their products create in the form of obesity and other health issues.

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You survive by having your fear compass calibrated correctly. Our compass is off now because we’re being told to be afraid of everything. The things that we’re frightened of, or told to be frightened of, are not necessarily the things that we need to fear.

Michael Moore

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That’s it from here, America.  Have a good night.

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