Friday, June 01, 2012

Smoke And Mirrors

Given a chance, I would take the opportunity to vote against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. Not the guys themselves, since they're not running for anything, but they are campaigning against Proposition 29 here in California. In our play, R.J. and Phil are the bad guys known as "Big Tobacco." They are the ones who oppose this suggestion by our legislature that we raise a bunch of money for cancer research by raising the taxes on buying tobacco products. The cool thing about this one is that you don't have to pay this tax if you don't smoke or chew or snort or ingest any of these products. The products that cause cancer.
Then I hear my wife's voice. The one that reminds me that the industry that is in charge of finding a cure for cancer is capable of just as much waste and corruption as our pals R.J. and Phil. She makes the argument that this cancer-curing industry has nothing to gain from eliminating their source of funding: the disease itself. It's a pretty scary conspiracy theory, but not out of the realm of possibility. If there was a cure for cancer, what would all those folks in white lab coats do? We can't afford to put all of those highly educated people out of work right now, can we?
And what about that idea that only the addicts have to pay for finding this cure? Aren't they the victims in this tragedy? It's pretty easy to sit back, without a pack-a-day habit, and suggest that the ones who are puffing away are the problem, and they somehow deserve to pick up the tab on all this science that will benefit them. Well, them and all the other people who get cancer from any number of other sources aside from tobacco. And what about taking care of them when they do get sick?
It seemed like such an easy question when the conversation started.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tobacco taxes are also regressive - they have the greatest proportional affect on the poorest people.