Tobacco Rant

This is a discussion on Tobacco Rant within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I despise smoking and have never used tobacco in any form, but the Libertarian in me doesn't care for the taxes....

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  1. #61
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    I despise smoking and have never used tobacco in any form, but the Libertarian in me doesn't care for the taxes.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  3. #62
    kpw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Hmmm. Is that an excuse for not participating? Then you think you get to complain because your representative didn't do what you wanted?

    Participate. Using the comment above as an excuse to effectively say that you are helpless doesn't get you or anyone else anywhere.
    Not participating? You wouldn't have a clue as to my participation and you shouldn't assume you do. I do think I have a right to complain if I feel the need, as do we all.
    Your assuming too much about my comment. It was directed at the type of government we have, not your stance on this issue. I made my opinion clear on my first post in this thread. It seems you've taken some issue with my minor correction of your statement. Sorry to hear it, but it stands. Although our government has many democratic principles, we are still a republic, NOT a democracy.

  4. #63
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    Nice rhetoric, but clueless

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    You're joking, right? Ever heard of Pasteur, Curie, Salk? Did they need government handouts to prevent disease and change our society for the better?

    The idea that government needs to throw money around in hopes of something sticking to the wall is ill conceived. Private enterprise will devise more cost effective, innovative,


    Of course!
    That is nice rhetoric, but a very very naive and unrealistic view of how science and progress actually occur. And yes, Salk got government money as has the Salk Institute ever since its establishment.
    Same for the Pasteur Institute, which exists today, though obviously not in his time.

    Real science is exceedingly complex and expensive. It isn't driven by private companies, most of which have about abolished any pretense of basic R&D these days. They buy existing patents, purchase use licenses to patents; many of which are owned by either the state or Federal government and were "invented" by these entities, with tax dollars.

    I'll give you just one example of how Federal monies led to the foundation of almost ALL of modern molecular biology, including the kind of stuff I talked about for tobacco--to get back on thread.

    A guy named Tom Brock did basic exploratory research. I don't know the specifics of his funding but likely he worked with National Science Foundation funding. He took his students to study the organisms which exist at the vents of hot springs, geysers, old faithful. He discovered bacteria which live and thrive at extremely high temperatures--almost boiling temperatures. Now most enzymes (proteins) change, denature, at high temps--think hard boiled eggs, so finding enzymes that worked at high temps was a big deal.

    This discovery that life existed in these extreme conditions eventually led to what you may well have heard of as the polymerase chain reaction, PCR. IT is the basis for much of that wonderful forensic DNA stuff we have these days.

    To get from the discovery of the living organisms to PCR took many additional discoveries, and one stroke of insight by someone --name escapes me--who realized the practical implications that certain enzymes called DNA polymerases will work at high temperatures.

    It is beyond naive to think we could make progress in science and technology if we didn't have seed money for government sponsored research.

    I fully understand that no one likes to pay their taxes, that taxes are high and are burdensome, but the spending has been the engine of our modernity. From interstate highways to global communications.

    And no, I don't think Gore invented the internet. But I do believe it was invented by both the military and university computer scientists funded with tax dollars.

    Do you think for example that we would have GPS as a common household consumer electronic were it not for military spending on R&D?

    And exactly who is funding the "rocket science" you claim you do for a living?

    Who purchases whatever the product or service is? North Korea? Uncle? Grandma down the block? I think you are eating at the trough and complaining about it all at the same time.

  5. #64
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    I dont smoke but my g/f and dad do. My g/f brand she smokes went up to like $6.80 today. Crazy. Wonder how much bending over america can take. Lets just sit and think, there taxing and doing everything they can to hurt gun owners, now the gun owners can't even afford to smoke, hmmm..... getting closer to something that needs to be started.

  6. #65
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    Democracy and Republic---dictionary defs.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    The point is that we do not live in a democracy and the Founders knew that democracy is a failed governmental model. .
    Here below is a dictionary definitions of "republic." Note that citizens are entitled to vote.

    "a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them"

    Now let's look at the dictionary definition of democracy.

    "a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

    What is plain is that we live in a democratic republic; a representative democracy. Attempts to twist plain and obvious truth and meaning to some fantasy viewpoint of how our country is organized are misguided.

    We are not either a "republic" or a "democracy." The terms are not mutually exclusive as SD and some here present them to be.

    Now that we have put that false dichotomy to rest, I urge everyone to stop with the "us v them" attitude about government. It is this goofy mindset that led to the OK City bombings; it isn't realistic, and it doesn't reflect the way the country actually works, or the founder's intent.

  7. #66
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    [QUOTE=Hopyard;1089899]That is nice rhetoric, but a very very naive and unrealistic view of how science and progress actually occur. And yes, Salk got government money as has the Salk Institute ever since its establishment.
    Same for the Pasteur Institute, which exists today, though obviously not in his time.

    Right. If Pasteur were around doing Pasteurial things, he would more than likely be affiliated with a research institute like Hopkins or Duke. The number one source of revenue for both of these organizations is grants. I know this, both have been my clients. He would be regularly applying for, and receiving funding. Most of this funding would be supplied by the NIH in any number of different grants. As research continues to the point of a plausible, stable result then a financially beneficial relationship with perhaps GSK or Merck would be established. Both the research scientist as well as his supporting institution would benefit from the findings and the funding. Further testing and clinical trials, in this particular case, would continue and federal funding would continue to provide a percentage of the support required. And that is how the majority of research is accomplished today.

    An independent, working in his garage, is far too restricted in resources to really plow the amount of ground required to bring something truly unprecedented to the marketplace. A better mouse trap, a new and improved cotton gin or an affordable fuel cell is probably going to be the result of efforts from a complex research institute supported by federal funds. That's reality.
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  8. #67
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    I think the smoking industry is getting the shaft myself. Let's compare health costs due to smoking with alcohol - is there that much difference? Yet no one seems to be interested in increasing the alcohol tax.

    I wonder how many accidents, auto, etc, fights, and injuries occur due to alcohol. How much kidney, liver, and brain damage?
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    Tangle, you're right. But the lobby for alchohol is much stronger than tobacco. We all know it's not right or wrong in these matters, it's who's got the juice (no pun intended). And as tobacco usage fell in popularity it became an easy mark; Let's kick and rape the unpopular cause nobody will question how right or wrong it is from a legal and civil perspective. I'm surprised they haven't gone after Playboy and Penthouse. There's an easy one. Very few guys are going to stand up and publicly say, hey I really like those pictures while ignoring the reactions from wife, girlfriend, employer, neighbors, etc. Most will quietly slink off to the internet.

    So there you go. From tobacco tax rant to porn. I love this country, anything is possible. Think I'll go back to posts about guns n stuff.
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  10. #69
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    svgheartland; well said

    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    That is nice rhetoric, but a very very naive and unrealistic view of how science and progress actually occur. And yes, Salk got government money as has the Salk Institute ever since its establishment.
    Same for the Pasteur Institute, which exists today, though obviously not in his time.
    Right. If Pasteur were around doing Pasteurial things, he would more than likely be affiliated with a research institute like Hopkins or Duke. The number one source of revenue for both of these organizations is grants. I know this, both have been my clients. He would be regularly applying for, and receiving funding. Most of this funding would be supplied by the NIH in any number of different grants. As research continues to the point of a plausible, stable result then a financially beneficial relationship with perhaps GSK or Merck would be established. Both the research scientist as well as his supporting institution would benefit from the findings and the funding. Further testing and clinical trials, in this particular case, would continue and federal funding would continue to provide a percentage of the support required. And that is how the majority of research is accomplished today.

    An independent, working in his garage, is far too restricted in resources to really plow the amount of ground required to bring something truly unprecedented to the marketplace. A better mouse trap, a new and improved cotton gin or an affordable fuel cell is probably going to be the result of efforts from a complex research institute supported by federal funds. That's reality.
    Very well said.

  11. #70
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    Back to topic--Just saw a news story (and read a different one) about how tobacco taxes are going to harm long successful cigar businesses and cigar bars.

    Since I like my cigars now and again, I don't particularly want to see these businesses disappear. I also am concerned that a black market will develop in tobacco products which though it won't rival what happened in prohibition will not be good. Organized criminals are organized criminals and it doesn't much matter what the contraband.

    My preference on these matters is slightly on the libertarian side. OTOH, Uncle needs to raise money like crazy now, so someone is going to pay. Or not. I have cut back on my cigars exactly as I have cut back on ammo purchases because both are getting priced out of my price range, though the price increases are for different reasons.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard;1090644OTOH
    , Uncle needs to raise money like crazy now, so someone is going to pay. Or not.
    I understand the fact that the government needs revenue. But what I find bad about this, is the government singling out certain groups to foot the bill (tobacco, ammo, guns, etc.). If they can convince me they need legitimate revenue (I know, funny right), I'll be fine to pay taxes, but I want to pay them just as the person next to me.

    This is why a national sales tax like the fair tax is such a great idea. Every person is treated the same, not based on what they make, but what they spend.
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  13. #72
    kpw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Here below is a dictionary definitions of "republic." Note that citizens are entitled to vote.

    "a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them"

    Now let's look at the dictionary definition of democracy.

    "a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

    What is plain is that we live in a democratic republic; a representative democracy. Attempts to twist plain and obvious truth and meaning to some fantasy viewpoint of how our country is organized are misguided.

    We are not either a "republic" or a "democracy." The terms are not mutually exclusive as SD and some here present them to be.

    Now that we have put that false dichotomy to rest, I urge everyone to stop with the "us v them" attitude about government. It is this goofy mindset that led to the OK City bombings; it isn't realistic, and it doesn't reflect the way the country actually works, or the founder's intent.
    Your term "democratic republic" implies a republic that has democratic priciples. That does not make us wholly a representative democracy. Our "supreme power" derives not from the whole of the people but the Constitution itself. That is the difference. Democracy, even by your definition, places the power at the whim of the majority. Our Constitution was put in place to protect the individual from that, when appropriate. Are we a democracy? In loose terminology, yes. Our government was devised as a republic in definition and intent. As to how it work's today, that is the arguement.
    Your last paragraph is a bit outlandish. In our entire history as a nation, most people have had a mistrust of government. Our founders most of all. That "goofy mindset" as you call it is what precipitated the beginning of our country. To try to link those of us that feel our government is becoming over-burdensome and too intrusive to those types that would bomb innocent people, would be a disgraceful insult. Though I really doubt you meant it that way.

  14. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Back to topic--Just saw a news story (and read a different one) about how tobacco taxes are going to harm long successful cigar businesses and cigar bars.

    Since I like my cigars now and again, I don't particularly want to see these businesses disappear. I also am concerned that a black market will develop in tobacco products which though it won't rival what happened in prohibition will not be good. Organized criminals are organized criminals and it doesn't much matter what the contraband.

    My preference on these matters is slightly on the libertarian side. OTOH, Uncle needs to raise money like crazy now, so someone is going to pay. Or not. I have cut back on my cigars exactly as I have cut back on ammo purchases because both are getting priced out of my price range, though the price increases are for different reasons.
    Heh...I don't smoke and all this nonsense lately already has me contemplating starting a cash crop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaSteve View Post
    I understand the fact that the government needs revenue. But what I find bad about this, is the government singling out certain groups to foot the bill (tobacco, ammo, guns, etc.). If they can convince me they need legitimate revenue (I know, funny right), I'll be fine to pay taxes, but I want to pay them just as the person next to me.

    This is why a national sales tax like the fair tax is such a great idea. Every person is treated the same, not based on what they make, but what they spend.
    That's the point here. They can't generate the support from the masses, so they use a form of class warfare to get what the want. It's easy to tax the smokers when they are the minority because the majority says "I don't smoke so tax 'em till they quit". In addition to the buck or so the feds added, Arkansas added another 50 some cents a pack for a trauma center.

    Now when the smokers quit and that revenue stream disappears, who do you think will pay for it now? After all childrens healthcare and the new trauma center is now an entitlement and those will never go away.

    SCHIP was vetoed by the previous president twice because you cannot fund a growing need with a diminshing return.

  16. #75
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    One country

    Quote Originally Posted by kpw View Post
    That "goofy mindset" as you call it is what precipitated the beginning of our country. To try to link those of us that feel our government is becoming over-burdensome and too intrusive to those types that would bomb innocent people, would be a disgraceful insult. Though I really doubt you meant it that way.
    Hmm. But it is OK to link those two to the revolutionary war figures?

    We have one country, one government, and we can't afford an us versus them mentality when the "they" is "us." Somehow too many miss that point, or actually decry the reality of democracy.

    There is no doubt that over the top rhetoric was a factor in the OK City calamity. Anti-government rhetoric was coming from of all people Congress Critters themselves and candidates themselves; and there was widespread news coverage of how that rhetoric appeared to contribute a motivation to the affair.

    Instead of imagining that you are living in 1776 and will "revolt," (not saying you specifically have that thought as an individual but many seem to hold that thought dear), work constructively to get others to accept the smaller government viewpoint. (I think it is a misguided vision, but I don't begrudge anyone a right to attempt to promote their ideas.)

    I don't think bashing our own government, comprised of our neighbors, is the right path. And, I happen to think that though much of our government not only appears dysfunctional, but is dysfunctional, it still somehow manages to do a great deal that needs doing and which NO private company or organization can tackle.

    I'm not interested in living in an 18th or 19th century world, and I don't want to go back to the kind of "sterile" ineffective government we had from Grant through after McKinley.

    Oh, as an important after thought, people thought that the Louisiana Purchase and the Alaska purchase were big government expenditures which were stupid, unconstitutional, wasteful, and "folly." So there is nothing new at all about folks complaining that their tax dollars are being wasted on stuff they don't approve of.

    Sometimes a government has to exhibit some vision and do the necessary things and not the popular things. There were plenty of folks who opposed every dime spent on the interstate highway system and begrudged every dime of tax dollars that went to the space program. Similarly there were folks who no doubt objected to grand projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and rural electrification, or to construction of The Hoover Dam.

    These folks were shortsighted.

    A land with 310 million very diverse people needs an effective central government, and that requires taxation. There is no way around it.

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