Taxing the VD Away Not Likely

September 30, 2009

Reason debunks the claim that “[a] tax increase of 3 cents per beer would cut youth gonorrhea by 9 percent” because higher taxes means less beer consumption which means less sex and rape:

[David Murray of the Statistical Assessment Service, a non-profit think tank in D.C.] does yeoman’s work pointing out the junk reasoning at the root of so much junk science. This one was a high, hanging curve for Murray, who said the CDC’s thinking was on the level of “the sun goes down because we turn on the street lights.”

The really interesting thing is that the CDC, in effect, agrees with that criticism. It buries its assent, however, in an editorial note that says the findings “do not prove a causal relation between higher taxes and declining STD [sexually transmitted disease] rates.”

I like how one commenter inverting the debunked claim:

Of course, it’s probably safe to say that obese teenagers are less likely to be sexually active and therefore less likely to contract STDs. So really, supporters of ‘obesity’ taxes are really just supporting the infliction of STDs upon America’s youth (which in turn drives up health care costs).

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