Andrew Sabl has a good post about the silliness of the “broccoli question,” since the government could obviously make a law forcing us to buy more broccoli or pay a penalty. The government can similarly make a law rationing broccoli as a wartime resource that must go to our troops overseas. The idea that the government cannot induce you to buy health insurance is ludicrous (as I’ve noted).
I would like to point out, though, that the government already makes us eat more food, but not the good kind:
In case that’s hard for you to see, the price of soda, meats, and cheese has gone way down since 1980. The price of produce has gone way up. This is in no small part due to America’s awful farm subsidy network, which induces agribusiness to grow lots of corn and soybeans, which drives down the cost of feed and sweeteners, which means cheaper meat and cheaper soda.
A soda tax, then, would be good, constitutional public policy. So would ending farm subsidies for corn and soybeans. So would subsidizing produce. And yet, none of that will happen.
The government could make us eat more broccoli, but instead, our policy induces us to eat processed sugar.
The results are predictable, depressing and wholly preventable: