Why? An explanation
"The German woman does not smoke!"
Smoking in general has been demonized for awhile. Well intention citizens have taken the pulpit of public opinion. They renounce tobacco money as "blood money". Companies were sued and taxes are raised as punishment for the collectors of "blood money". What happened or happened to the money raise? And what about the victim of these dastardly companies. Is the money used on prevention, or treating people who fall victim to the ill effects of tobacco. The victims only see a small percentage of the monies raised. It seems that the main concern over blood money was the cut governmental agencies got.
The tobacco suits brought 206 billion in 26 states coffers with little to no restrictions on how this money was to be spent. Some of the money went for good causes. Much of it however was spent in other ways (17 ).
One method is called securitization, they issue bonds backed by future tobacco settlement payments. Washington State Attorney General Christine Gregoire said "Never in my wildest nightmares did I think we would give up this settlement for cents on the dollar," she also noted "It's selling our children's future.". examples are in New Jersey it was promised that ever penny would be put in a public trust in reality it is now used to raise billions for the states operating budget. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine said nationwide only 6 percent was tobacco settlement was spent on smoking prevention , instead of the 20% to 25% minimum recommended by the CDC (18 ).
President and CEO of the American Lung Association John L. Kirkwood said. "States are breaking promises they made to the public to reduce youth smoking and promote health when they signed a 1998 agreement with the tobacco industry,". Kirkwood also noted that it made bad fiscal sense because states get only 30 cents on the dollar(19 ).
Are taxes effective as a policy to decrease tobacco use? Though it may persuade a few to quit. Its not the most effect route. As cited in my Obama section much of as decrease in smoking was already a trend before the taxes had been implemented.
In 2009 after the biggest tax increase in history a small and statistically insignificant increase in smoking has health officials concerned. They hoped the 2007 dip below 20 percent was a new declining trend of adult smokers. Its believed that the efforts to get people to stop smoking has stalled (20 ).
an increase in tobacco tax causes smokers to smoke intensively ie like inhaling more deeply, thus increasing the exposure to the possibly dangerous substances (21 ).
A side note researchers noted "While bans in public transportation or in schools decrease the exposure of non smokers, bans in recreational public places perversely increase their exposure by displacing smokers to private places where they contaminate nonsmokers, and in particular young children. Bans affect socio-economic groups differently: wefind that smoking bans increase the exposure of poorer individuals, while it decreases the exposure of richer individuals."(22 ).
A blast from the past
This quote is as relevant now as it was when it was said and it could cover much of contemporary America.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies"
In the end I don't think we can grasp or not many of us can grasp the notion that as Americans, our leaders can't save us, they never could. A truly free people don't have leaders, we have ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES who only act on our true behalf and our best interest.
GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOD.