Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 17, 2002
LAW/POLITICS: Tobacco War Profiteers

Dave Barry is back to one of his favorite targets, the War on Tobacco:

"[L]et's review how the War On Tobacco works. The underlying principle, of course, is: Tobacco Is Bad. It kills many people, and it causes many others to smell like ashtrays in a poorly janitored bus station.

So a while ago, politicians from a bunch of states were scratching their heads, trying to figure out what to do about the tobacco problem. One option, of course, was to say: ''Hey, if people want to be stupid, it's none of our business.'' But of course that was out of the question. Politicians believe EVERYTHING is their business, which is why -- to pick one of many examples -- most states have elaborate regulations governing who may, and who may not, give manicures.

Another option was to simply make selling cigarettes illegal, just like other evil activities, such as selling heroin, or giving unlicensed manicures, or operating lotteries (except, of course, for lotteries operated by states). But the politicians immediately saw a major flaw with this approach: It did not provide any way for money to be funneled to politicians.

And so they went with option three, which was to file lawsuits against the tobacco companies. The underlying moral principle of these lawsuits was: ``You are knowingly selling a product that kills tens of thousands of our citizens each year. We want a piece of that action!''"

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:55 PM | Law 2002-04 • | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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