Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Leave the room commies - I don't want to breathe your air either

The government's answer to the 'drug problem' in Canada is to secure a monopoly over the production and sale of marijuana, with the justification that this will 'improve the moral and physical health of the country' or some other such nonsense, which only a confused mind will fail to recognize as a crooked and illegitimate attempt to gain control over the sale of something that people want. Of course, this won't prevent the black market and many enterprising individuals will make money despite and indeed because of the existence of unjust laws and regulations governing the consumption habits of peaceful individuals, provided they don't do business with Americans that are interested in freely purchasing their product nor interfere too much with the profits of the Party in Canada.

Today I learn that the statists are attempting to justify total control over the sale of tobacco, and if companies don't wish to sell out, they might soon be forced out of business if these recommendations are adopted:

Canada's governments should buy out the country's tobacco companies and hand them over to a new "public interest" agency that manufactures and sells cigarettes so they are less addictive and appealing, says a new book.

Under the proposal, the new agency's fundamental purpose would be to gradually sell fewer cigarettes -- thereby providing the country untold savings in reduced costs to the health care system, according to Cynthia Callard, Neil Collishaw and Dave Thompson, authors of Curing the Addiction to Profits.
The government would only reduce the supply with the aim of increasing profits for themselves: that is what they mean when they say "public interest". It is more likely that they will keep up with the demand, although the price would go up of course, so more money is available to fund public awareness campaigns and jobs for bureaucrats that are not worthy of my spare change.
A variety of models -- from Crown corporations, to non-profit companies, to public utilities -- could be considered as the best way to take over the tobacco industry, says the book.

The tobacco companies would be given the chance to voluntarily sell their firms as part of a negotiation, or they could be forced to comply and be paid fair market value as part of the expropriation.

The book says implementing its plan could cost practically nothing to as much as $15 billion.

The price tag could be virtually nil, the book claims, if the companies -- already faced with lawsuits from governments seeking money from alleged tax evasion and the health costs of treating smokers -- decide they're better off to get out of the business now. Otherwise, the value of the Canadian tobacco market could be $15 billion.
Two dollars compared to a few billion - what's the difference, as we'll have to pay for it whether we like it or not. It's in your best interest after all:
"If buying tobacco companies seems expensive, the cost of allowing them to continue to serve private interests is no less costly," say the authors. "Since society pays the health costs associated with smoking, the cost to Canadians of buying tobacco companies is much lower than the cost of leaving them in place to keep smoking rates high."

[..] "The corporation has no moral responsibilities, and is incapable of feeling guilty about this selfish tendency. It does, however, have a legal responsibility to act in the best interests of its shareholders. Tobacco corporations, like all business corporations, are not evil, and they are not good; they are incapable of any moral judgment or culpability. Like other rule-driven systems, their behaviour is programmed and predictable. In striving to sell more cigarettes and recruit new smokers, they are doing exactly what they were created to do and what they are required to do (i.e. make money)."
The above paragraph, with a few slight revisions, is more accurately applied to the state.
Thus, says the book, as long as the profit-driven companies control the market, they will continue to weaken, bypass and violate tobacco control measures put in place by governments.

After the purchase, workers and retailers would not stop manufacturing and selling cigarettes, but they would be directed to "focus their energies" on new ways to get people to stop smoking. Under the new system, the companies would: work with public health agencies to devise and implement smoking cessation initiatives; cease all advertising and promotion aimed at increasing demand; adjust the design of cigarettes to make them less addictive and less attractive; and change the retail system so that store owners are not paid for promotional counter-top displays.
Such reasoning could potentially lead to a requirement that all persons employed in stores selling cigarettes will be required by law to undergo a government sponsored training program in order to provide more effective counselling to their customers.

Frito-lay is going down next folks, no matter how much they attempt to gear their marketing towards the environmentally friendly crowd. They too seek to promote their products in an appealing way although what they offer is bad for you. We cannot allow mothers to transmit "anti-social behaviour" genes to their children.

Cross posted at Dust My Broom


DrDiSaia said...

Fascinating. At least if your government gets into the cigarette business, they can demonstrate their true colors by profiting from a substance that kills people.


P.S. Are you putting me on? If this were a movie, people wouldn't believe it.

skinpopper said...

They've been testing the idea of providing heroin to junkies too.

Meaghan Champion said...



/train whistle sounds in the distance..

Woooo Wooooooo


/cue crackling overhead drive-thru restaurant quality overhead speakers...

"Attention Citizens: "The Hammer&Sickle Line's "ATLAS SHRUGGED EXPRESS" will be leaving the station...

Please have your papers ready for inspection to present to the ticket-officers.

All Aboard!!!!!

We remind you that while aboard the Atlas Shrugged Express there will be no smoking, eating, drinking, defecating, laughing, smiling, farting, reading, speaking, or even thinking of un-social thoughts.

Passengers caught engaged in any of these activities face fines and imprisonment.

"Remember Citizens, The "Atlas Shrugged Express Train Belongs To Everybody. It's Out Duty To Keep it Clean For the Next People who need it"



/Sounds of train wheels slowly squealing forward....

Anonymous said...

The price tag could be virtually nil, the book claims, if the companies ... decide they're better off to get out of the business now.

Does that mean that buying the tobacco industry could be cheaper than buying a pack of smokes?

Pietr said...

A rule-based system is also known as an Expert System,and is one of the older forms of AI software.
This book is obviously written by political wannabes who took a course in computing, but really wanted to write!
There is something sad about people who misapply software as philosophy and then try to claim exceptional wisdom because they have been programming a couple of years.
You can't fake good sense.