“Logic is the anatomy of thought.” -John Locke
This guy has totally missed the point.
He quit smoking. As a result, the overall cost to society has decreased. Why? Cus less kids will have asthma now that they aren’t exposed to his second hand smoke.
Same (sorta) principle with the soda tax (Which I disagree with but for another reason that Becker and Posner outline here.) Fewer people drinking soda = fewer obese people = fewer health problems = less money required for health care.
I’m not saying that all “sin taxes” do really reduce the negative externalities in any meaningful way, but you can’t have a discussion about them without talking about their positive benefits on society. Dillweed.