Wednesday, July 29

Some Consequences
May Not Be Unintended -

On Sunday, a local News Pundit . . .

finally got around to addressing the issue of the recent sharp rise in the cigarette taxes here. The price of cigarettes has nearly doubled since I moved down here a few years ago.

Kingsley Guy, the aforementioned pundit, expects the consequences to be: more truck hijackings, cigarette smuggling, and "an even greater strain on the criminal justice system."

But he covered only half the story.

When they jacked up the price of cigarettes up North, people continued to buy cigarettes, but they no longer bought newspapers.

The circulation of the local metro-regional newspaper plummeted, and, in due course, they lost their newspaper. There are now entire communities up there which have gone dark - they get no news coverage whatsoever, as if they don't even exit.

Who benefits from this? Corrupt politicians benefit from the reduced or eliminated scrutiny. And the pharmaceutical companies hope to benefit by selling their patented versions of nicotine substitutes.

The Domino or Cascade Effect: All that money that used to circulate throughout society, no longer will. Gradually, many of the elective goods and services you've casually taken for granted will disappear because an entire sector of the public no longer has that discretionary income to spread around; it's all going just for cigarettes. Your quality of life will become considerably more austere and you will have to do without many things you used to enjoy.

:: Sun Sentinel ::