Oh Yeah, A New Black Market!

(05/02/2004)

Got your business plan ready for large scale cigarette smuggling?

While I agree with Tony Richards that some degree of regulation of ATV use might be wise and beneficial, his belief that banning tobacco would have an overall positive effect on society is total malarkey.

Unless, of course, he might personally stand to benefit from the resulting black market.

The alcohol prohibition created a new market and a whole class of criminals that hardly existed previously unless one counts the small contribution of backwoods moonshiners.

The drug prohibition, also a relatively new phenomenon, created by other, earlier panic mongers, has made a lot of fairly stupid people filthy rich because of the illegal nature of the business.

Now, Mr. Richards would add to the criminal element by banning another currently legal substance.

In case no one has noticed, passing laws does not control personal behavior.

Education can.

Creating still more criminal members of an already broad-based black market business by banning tobacco, or even piling still more taxes on top of the current ~70% of the price from the factory, is a really stupid idea.

Our neighbors to the north were smart enough to crank back the sin tax on cigarettes because it had produced a huge smuggling operation across the US-Canadian border and severely reduced their governments 'take' on legal sales to tobacco addicts.

Although banning tobacco would surely create additional new jobs in the prison construction and operation "industry" and let us incarcerate a few more million people who aren't behaving themselves as nicely as some want.

I wish more people would use some common sense before asking for government to intervene in our lives to an even greater extent.

Freedom is inversely proportional to the size of government.

Steve Allison

Creek Road, Grantsville, WV