The current talk about sugar sodas and other junk foods typically turns to high-fructose corn syrup and thence to the evils of the free market, which has supposedly cursed us with that syrup. A closer examination, however, shows another invisible hand at work, namely, the unintended consequences of government interference in the market.
HFCS has become less expensive than sucrose, and therefore more widely used, because of subsidies for corn plus a combination of price supports, production quotas, and import tariffs for sucrose. Thus, the government subsidizes HFCS while pushing the price of sucrose in the United States to levels far above the world price. Yet some people clamor for government intervention. The government gave, and people want the government to take away; blessed be the name of the government.