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Agree or Disagree? FAT PAX NIX FAT PAX TAX Tubbies Yowl at the Weigh-In

January 16, 2019 3:45 am Published by

Why are people so fat these days? WHO tells us that nearly 30% of the planet’s inhabitants are blimped out. Get this:

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975
  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese
  • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight
  • 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016

What makes boys seven years old blimp out with man-breasts? How can roly-poly girls maintain their self-respect when they’ll never see their toes? To forestall any aggrieved accusation of “fat-shaming” this humble writer answers

Fat people cost the rest of us effort, time, money and comfort. Why should my taxes go to provide exceedingly expensive medical care for someone whose gastrointestinal system is damaged from junk food or alcohol? Why should the government give palliative care to smokers, all the way to their wheezing deathbed? Nobody forced them to pick up the habit.

‘Oh what’s the big deal? it’s no problem’ Fatty Patty will gurgle, between her twin man-size buckets of Crispy-Fried Batter and Mystery Meat, all washed down with a Super-Sugar gallon of chemical sody pop. The euphemistically-named ‘plus size’ may even whine and moan about the fact that aircraft are designed to carry mesomorphs and not baby elephants.

Would it be tactless to dwell on aircraft safety issues? Excess passenger weight is kind of a little problem when it causes aircraft to stall and fall.

Aftermath of Air Midwest Flight 5481 crash

What costs the airlines money? What cuts into their profits? Number One: FUEL. What determines the fuel load necessary to move a jet aircraft from ‘A’ to ‘B’? WEIGHT. Specifically, the weight of the aircraft itself, its load of cargo, passengers, the fuel itself and all that Duty-Free liquor and junk stowed in the overhead bins. More weight = more fuel = lower profits

This has been the case with commercial aviation since Day One,  when extremely brave souls took their lives in their hands and stepped into Ford Trimotors and other rickety, slow, unstable flying machines to hop across the country (NY > LA in two days, with scheduled fuel stops in ??).

By the way, take a look at this passenger load: normal-sized human beings. Not a two-legged rhino to be seen.

Passengers (known in the industry as ‘PAX’) are a major factor in determining weight loads. So how’s about a FAT TAX, where airlines charge hippos more to offset their additional fuel costs?

Proceeding logically from the premise elaborated in detail above, Samoa Air has passengers checking in step onto a scales, together with their bags (but without their hags). Their fare is then calculated based on their weight with baggage (along with data on critical weight distribution in the passenger compartment, a safety factor in maintaining balance of the aircraft itself).

There may be feelings of humiliation and even outrage but in fact it is nothing new, as in the 1930s passengers were routinely weighed to determine their fares.



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