Shrieks of outrage are ringing throughout New York state as merchandise carrying the "I Love New York" logo racks up record sales.
It’s a record for public sector sales of "officially licensed novelties" hawked and sold by state outlets. Amongst the kitsch that make up most of the inventory of such government merchandise are a couple of useful items that have proven to be quite popular with the public: ashtrays and cigarette lighters carrying the familiar logo are flying off the shelves. This has brought about a massive emission of angry hot air from the tobacco control goon squad. How, they screech, can the state make money off devices that encourage smoking, especially after funding anti-tobacco "education" to the tune of $87 million?
We feel outrage, too, in reading this story. Unlike that expressed by the Gestapo, our anger is unfeigned, and properly focussed. We are furious that $87 million, stolen from the state’s taxpayers, is being flushed down the toilet. We are angry that these dollars are not being spent on proper health care or genuine research into disease and its treatment. We are irate that New York state, which, like all other states, is whining about the dearth of health care dollars, willfully doles out those scarce funds to con artists and government employees of mediocre intelligence masquerading as "health educators." We are boiling mad that public health policy has been hijacked by a criminal enterprise that buys political support with pharmaceutical dollars then has the nerve to squeal when a tiny offset to anti-tobacco waste is recouped by selling products that the public wants.