Monday, February 9, 2009

Dumb Report of the Day

The Heart and Stroke foundation advocates national regulation of prices on healthy food. Hopefully you have some instincts as to why this would not be a good idea. The actual report and survey cited are not presented on the web page. I want to quote one particular excerpt:
"Many provincial governments regulate the price of alcohol across provinces, but healthy food is subject to significant price variations from one community to the next," said foundation spokesman Stephen Samis.

"You have to wonder why we control the price of alcohol but allow such price inconsistencies for healthy food -- and not just in remote regions of the country -- but even between larger metropolitan areas."

We control the price of alcohol so the government can establish a price floor and extract rent from the marketplace and to deter consumption. Somehow I don't think Heart and Stroke is hoping for less consumption. It should be blatantly obvious that the cost of supplying fresh produce to St. John's in February is not the same as that of Vancouver. Kind of a waste to type more, except that the Heart and Stroke people probably imagine themselves the national arbiters of what constitutes healthy - they already get paid by anyone who wants to earn the Heart and Stroke seal of approval to place on their product.

2 comments:

jtptan said...

You have to admit though that transporting potatoes from PEI shouldn't add quite as much cost as it apparently does.

Well, judging from what they quoted on the news last night, anyway which was a difference between 7$ here and 3$ elsewhere if I remember correctly.

Curtis said...

Quick question...

Not trying to endorse price controls by any means, but with socialized health care in Canada would healthy endeavors such as "healthy food" not create a positive externality to society?

Should people who undertake healthy endeavours therefor be subsidized in order to create incentives for optimal "health investment"?