A little clarity, earlier today.
I have lifted this en bloc from the comments section of Professor Michael Siegel, possibly the only honest individual left in the tobacco control industry. He can be read here.
Higher taxes "may" have a disproportionate affect on the poor? Have all the abstractions of ideology and academic debate and policy completely isolated you from the reality of human experience?
You could sell cigarettes for $100 per pack, and a wealthy smoker would never even know that anything had changed. Yet raising the price even $1.00 a pack forces poor people to re-arrange their entire lives in response to other peoples' legal violence against them. Where is the autonomy in that? Where's the dignity in that? Where's the justice in that?
You can create abstract lists of benefits using pencil and paper all day long, but how are these forced income reductions benefiting the working poor, exactly? Especially when their effects are imperceptible to the rich?
Why is cancer regarded as such a horror because it "shortens" life, yet a life of poverty becomes more and more acceptable the deeper they are pushed into poverty, and the longer their poverty (life) is prolonged? There's nothing to debate here if you're concerned with real, living human beings at all, rather than "10.73%", "340 kids" and "400,000 dead", "an average reduction of 3 cigarettes per day" and other symbols and statistics written on pieces of paper. These are real human beings who are being devastated by these taxes.
These outrageous tax increases transform smoking into an exclusive privilege of the rich. Any poor smoker who attempts to simply do what they have always done, and nothing more (which is absolutely, positively as much their right as it is for the rich), is utterly devastated by these extortions. Is there any humanity at all in this tobacco debate? My God, I wish I did have cancer, just to escape so much inhumanity. I would bow before God in gratitude for taking me away from so much hate and human stupidity.
Anti-smokers make this world such a miserable place to live in. They portray the world, and life itself, as a dangerous and miserable place, yet they endlessly pursue a longer life. I have never witnessed a movement in my lifetime that is permeated with so much evil, stupidity, and sheer inhumanity, no matter how much rhetoric it spews about trying to prevent suffering.
Just open your door and look outside. Feel the sun on your face. Listen to the birds. Splash around in a stream or lake. We are privileged to live in a truly gorgeous world. And anti-smokers turn all of this beauty and joy into something more sickening than a black lung.
Anti-smokers CREATE misery, and suffering, and conflict, and guilt, and shame, and oppression, and stress, and segregation, and isolation, and so many other horrific things that did not exist before they began devoting their lives to worrying about what other people were doing with theirs. Meanwhile, cancer exists even without tobacco. Who is really creating a preventable problem here?
My God, a poor man works his ass off all day, and doesn't ask for anything more in return than the pleasure of a good smoke as his only "luxury" in a lifetime of hard work. Yet while he's at work, his income is reduced by arbitrary taxes that are sent directly to his persecutors. Meanwhile his children are at school being taught that their father, who loves them dearly, is "killing" them. You call that a movement that benefits society, in any way, shape or form? How can you find benevolence in this? This is human evil at its most obscene, and absurd. Again I ask, what is the matter with you people?
And I say this giving you, Dr. Siegel, full credit for being one of the good guys, as far as anyone who devotes their life to the concept of "control" can be regarded as a decent human being at all. For my part, I'd prefer a world where nobody was concerned with "control". Just live your life the best you can and be grateful for it every day, rather than wasting your life mourning the fact that it will one day end.
The lack of gratitude for life I witness among anti-smokers is just astounding. They always want more, more, more, and then still more. More control over other people. More laws. More regulations. More taxes. More studies. More grants. More publicity. More time on television. One more day added to their life. More money siphoned off of hard-working smokers. More, more, more. This is the most deranged group of people I have ever seen. Why isn't mental illness at the top of anyone's priority list, rather than tobacco control?
How dare you make a tame suggestion that these taxes "may have a disproportionate effect on the poor". These taxes are utterly devastating to poor people, and the sadistic anti-smokers who imposed those taxes are laughing at their victims' suffering, all the way to the bank. Stop writing academic arguments in your sleep, and wake up to the obvious reality of what the anti-smoking movement is really all about. These people are sociopaths.
Paul | 04.21.09 - 1:32 am | #
I have nothing to add, even if I enjoyed this level of eloquence, which I do not.