Thursday, July 17, 2014

The true cost of a cheeseburger?

Here is an article in the NYT that discusses the "true" cost of a cheeseburger. In includes gems like:

...certainly not a consequence of selling harmful food at addictively low prices.

So now low prices are additive

it certainly isn’t the sum of the costs to the world; those true costs are much greater than the price.

Didn't you know that the dollar menu cheeseburger you just got from McDs affects the WORLD! You hater!

If we acknowledge how much burgers really cost us we might either consume fewer, or force producers to pick up more of the charges or — ideally — both.

The burger "actually" costs me exactly what I paid for it.

The big-ticket externalities are carbon generation and obesity.

There it is! The stable of the left, carbon foot prints! How DARE you engage in something that does not 100% account for the carbon foot print!

The cost of this carbon is hard to nail precisely, but the government’s official monetary valuation of greenhouse gas pollution is roughly $37 per metric ton of CO2 emissions. Many experts, however, double that rate; others multiply it nearly tenfold. So the monetary value of the carbon emissions produced by the average cheeseburger might range from 15 cents (the official government rate), to 24 cents (conservative independent sources) and $1.20 (high independent). The average of these three estimates comes out to 53 cents per burger.

So, when we can't place an exact number on something, we just make shit up! We then include the made up shit in our average so that we can skew the average high! How nice.

There’s some evidence that red meat intake may increase risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, but like many of the speculative externalities discussed below, it’s impossible to assign a cost to this.

Again, there is a cost cause there might be a link cause it seems like there should be, cause some feel it is so cause darn it, may, might, could...

Correlation is not causation, of course, and it seems likely that foods high in sugar and other hyperprocessed carbohydrates are most responsible for high obesity rates, but burgers certainly played a role in rising caloric intake.

Correlation is not causation. Darn, accidentally included an actual fact! Don't worry, we will ignore it with the venerable "but"...

Some other costs are only vaguely calculable, and we have numbers, but the ranges are so great that they’re useless; what matters, though, is that the numbers are above zero.

Seems like most of what is included here falls into the "vaguely calculable" bucket and they were included so why stop? Is it because if you said the "real costs", the "social costs" of a burger were $1000 per instead of $4, you would be laughed at outright instead of in secret?

So what is the answer? He doesn't say but one can guess. If the "true cost" of a burger is more, why lets put a "social costs" surcharge on burgers and give the extra $4 per to the government cause they are just so good at managing the money they get now. What does it matter that this is all fluff, it is working so well for the "carbon credits" scam, why not try it here too? Who cares that the will reduce the food options for millions of low income people, they have proven (by buying these things) that they are not responsible enough to have this choice. The Government will, heck MUST step in and help them make the right choice.

God these people are insufferable! I wish it were possible to give them a taste of the world they want without dragging the rest of us into it.

No comments:

Post a Comment