If there's one thing I'm surprised about, it's the giant presence of soft drink makers in society - especially Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is a multi-billion dollar company that is seemingly everywhere. They have their signs at football games, commercials on tv, and now they even fund scholarships. I pass a Coca-Cola distribution plant on the way to work, so they are even providing employment in the local area.
My question is: why has all this wealth and power gone to a corporation whose main product is unhealthy? Coca-Cola is just sugar water mixed with caffeine. No matter what the "secret formula" is, it's a high-glycemic drink that can lead to a variety of health problems, such as tooth decay, diabetes, the metabolic syndrome in general, etc.
I feel this is one of the myths of capitalism, that profits flow to companies that produce better products. The only thing Coca-Cola is "better" at, is making its product more addictive than its rivals. Either that, or they have better advertising to increase demand for their product.
Here's my thinking on the subject: Coca-Cola and the whole soft drink industry is not important. If soft drinks didn't exist, the world would be a better place. People and especially children might be healthier (if they chose to drink water instead of a different unhealthy drink).
Though the soft drink industry employs many people, that doesn't justify that the industry is important. This would be like saying the police shouldn't crack down on drug dealers, because it may put them out of a job.
There are so many industries today that are based on human weakness, such as payday lenders, junk food makers, etc. I wish our economic system better rewarded those who actually want to benefit customers instead of those that want to prey on them.