Economics of a soda tax / Replacing PA voting machines

What to look for on Smart Talk, Monday, June 3, 2019:

Philadelphia made national headlines when it implemented a tax on sugary-sweetened beverages, known more commonly as the “soda tax.”

In defending the tax, Mayor Jim Kenney argued that it would not only benefit the city’s bottom line, but it would encourage people to reduce soda consumption and create a revenue stream that would support the very neighborhoods in which soda consumption is highest. 

A team of researchers recently studied what would be the optimal soda tax if it were to be implemented nationwide and recommended a levy of 1-2.1 cents per ounce. They say the resulting reduction in soda consumption would reduce the prevalence of a host of diseases such as diabetes, which could help both consumers and the government and funds programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the research findings is Dr. Benjamin Lockwood, Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Also, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration told all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties that they need to have new voting machines in place by the 2020 election.

PA Post reporters Emily Previti and Ed Mahon recently looked at who stands to profit from that requirement. Ed Mahon appears on Smart Talk.