Why Is There Corn in Your Coke?

Coke is made with corn syrup, not real sugar. Why is this? Part of the reason is because government policies artificially raise the price of sugar.

Although these government policies actually cost Americans approximately $3 billion each year, the laws remain. The law benefits one group of people (farmers) at the expense of another group (consumers). But because the cost to each American is so small, average Americans don’t have an incentive to combat the lobbying groups who fight to keep the laws in place.

This phenomenon is known as “dispersed costs and concentrated benefits,” and it applies in many cases when laws are passed that benefit a small group of citizens. The only way to prevent or end this practice is to limit what government can do.

Learn More:
A defense of farm subsidies, by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Introduction to public choice, including the concept of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs

An article focusing on the health and environmental impacts of American corn/sugar policies

A detailed piece on the allocation of agricultural subsidies to various plants

A timeline of the economic controls put on sugar from 1789 to 2011

(photo via WikiCommons)

Share this article