Posts tagged with health

The Australian state of Victoria implemented the world’s first … sin-tax … hypothecated for health in 1987. It came in the form of … a 5% levy on tobacco products … whose revenue was then used to fund a newly formed independent health promotion foundation called VicHealth.

Apart from increasing cigarette prices, the legislation banned most tobacco advertising and formed the basis for later rules to create smoke-free workplaces and public venues.

Meanwhile, VicHealth bought-out all tobacco industry sponsorships of the arts and sports. This proved less costly and easier than anticipated, as most preferred non-tobacco sponsors. Among the foundations other activities are more than AUS$ 20 million annually in funding for health research and in support of anti-smoking and other public health campaigns.

Until 1997, all of these activities were funded exclusively from the hypothecated tax on cigarettes. Since then, the hypothecation aspect has been weakened as states are no longer allowed such tobacco levies. However, tax funding from the national level from sin-taxes and others is transferred to states to compensate.

Prior to the Victorian tobacco legislation, a survey found 47% of respondents in favour of an increase in tobacco taxes (including 20% of smokers). If hypothecated for health or other community benefits, this support surged to 84%.

To retain such support and realise the benefits in terms of accountability and public trust the hypothecation must be strict, i.e. no topping-up from general taxation and no siphoning off to other purposes.

Ole Doetinchem

Beyond the government-finance issues of hypothecation I’m just so fascinated that smokers want to raise taxes on (only) themselves. It’s unsurprising from real-life experience but does not fit into the standard microeconomics utility theory.


child mortality and fecundity

  • over the last 50 years
  • over the last 20 years
  • in Ethiopia
  • in Addis Ababa
  • in Somali Ethiopia

The River of Myths by Hans Rosling | #BillsLetter (por GatesFoundation)

Slow and steady.



This video is 13 minutes of traffic accidents in Russia and totally amazing.

  1. Show this to your teenagers before they take the wheel. If it doesn’t scare the p*ss out of them—or even worse, if it excites them—no more Grand Theft Auto and hide the car keys.
  2. Next time you complain about public services, boring orderliness and “safety first”, the desireability of risk, Panglossian everything-optimal economics, or forget how relatively safe you are on your German freeways, …. watch this.

    As someone else remarked (can’t remember the source), the difference between Somalia and the USA is the stuff everybody in the US completely forgets is even possible.
  3. Notice how many of the accidents are caused by people trying to zoom ahead of everyone else—off the side of the road, cutting down a tree without noticing it will land on somebody else, trying to pass on the left or on the right or across the lane. Is your time really that important relative to everyone else’s, people?
  4. Assumptions. You think you can make assumptions, like that someone won’t fell a tree on your head, or a military jet won’t fly over your head, that someone won’t spill military equipment near you, or that people from the other lane (or off the road) won’t drive completely orthogonal and attack your car. Sometimes those assumptions are wrong.
  5. How many of these people do you think actually accepted the blame on themselves for their reckless actions?

via @Alea_, @felixsalmon

Amazing New Easy Way Puts on Pounds and Inches
Firm, Solid Flesh without overeating

Life Magazine Ad. 1964


Amazing New Easy Way Puts on Pounds and Inches

Firm, Solid Flesh without overeating

Life Magazine Ad. 1964

(Source: httpcolonslashslash)


"They don’t have money for a gym membership. They don’t have money for a 24-hour gym pass. This is a ghetto pass. They work out in the ‘hood. A lot of these guys are creative, because they’ve been incarcerated. They know how to work out with [whatever’s around]. And you know, these guys are just as toned, just as ripped. They look better than some of the cats at any fitness club around the world.”

While the black and white populations of the United States have long differed in various social and economic variables — in income, years of schooling, life expectancy, unemployment rates, crime rates, and scores on a variety of tests — so have other groups differed widely from one another and from the national average in countries and around the world.

It has often been common to compare a given group, such as blacks in the United States, with the national average and regard the differences as showing a special peculiarity of the group being compared, or a special peculiarity of policies or attitudes toward that group. But either conclusion can be misleading when the national average itself is just an amalgamation of wide variations among ethnic, regional, and other groups.

One of the most overlooked, but important, differences among groups are their ages. The median age of black Americans is five years younger than the median age (35) of the American population as a whole, but blacks are by no means unique in having a median age different from the national average or from the ages of other groups.

Among Asian Americans, the median age ranges from 43 for Japanese Americans to 24 for Americans of Cambodian ancestry to 16 for those of Hmong ancestry.

Incomes are highly correlated with age, with young people usually … earning much less than older and more experienced workers.

Thomas Sowell, in Economic Facts and Fallacies