Update on the War Against Soda

Yesterday, the Washington, D.C. city council rejected the passing of a "soda tax," but instead approved a 6 percent sales tax on soft drinks sold within the district. The difference?
The beverage industry mounted an all-out assault on the penny-per-ounce excise tax, with radio and newspaper ads plus automated telephone calls to city voters, because it would have raised the shelf price that consumers see when they purchase soft drinks. (The excise tax had a cap of 30 cents per container.) The sales tax of 6 percent, by contrast, appears only on the sales receipt after beverages have been purchased.
Although it is admirable that some progress is being made with regard to improving consumer habits, particularly in schools (the council also approved a "Healthy Schools" initiative yesterday), a traditional sales tax will probably be less effective in deterring people than an all-out "soda tax." But if people are paying more either way, why conceal the fact? Raising the shelf price of soft drinks through an excise tax would make a stronger statement and potentially get more people to think twice before making their purchases.

Head to Grist for the full post.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user poolie
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading