Missing the target seems to be the favourite sport in the world, today. We don’t seem to be able to focus on the real root of problems. Could it be because of the lesser use of nicotine?
Take, for example, the problem of cigarette smuggling and related crimes and tragedies (stored copy). There are even those who say that cigarette smuggling is connected with terrorism. The most common reaction of the public ignoramus is to invoke “tougher” enforcement, laws, repression. A police state would do just fine as, for those linear minds, the end justifies the means.
In reality once again, we are dealing with the symptoms while we think that we are dealing with the problem. The problem is not cigarette smuggling. The problem is criminal taxation by governments that use fraudulent junk science on smoking to justify looting (stored copy). That is what creates contraband – nothing else.
If there is a crackdown to be done, then, it’s not that on smokers and not even on the smugglers: it is on criminal governments. This rare letter to the editor by a certain Kristina Tellier in Canada (stored copy) says it in a few well-written lines.
“If the government didn’t tax us to death there would be no need to smuggle tobacco. If the government can rob us legally, why not allow a smuggler to make money from us to better their standard of living? That’s where I would choose to give my money.”
Amen. A state that behaves like a criminal cannot take a moral stand against criminals and expect its laws to be respected. Smokers do the right thing by purchasing contraband cigarettes. Smugglers, ironically, perform the social function of price and market control. That leaves the state in the double function of being a liar and a robber at the same time – and expecting respect as a result!
As we said many times, we live in morally inverted, schizophrenic times.