Sunday, October 23, 2016

Prop 56: Proof Libertarianism Doesn't Work?

I was over at Kym Kemp's news site this morning scolding some commentators for their support of Prop 56. That's the once again increase in tobacco taxes on the ballot next month. I went on to ask them why they feel ok attacking the country's smallest minority and those least able to defend themselves. 

I suggested it's no different than walking up to those folks, hitting them over the head and taking money from their wallet, as are all tax increases people vote for that apply to someone other than themselves. The thing here being they feel it's ok because it's done from the safety of the ballot box.

Then I got to thinking about something our very own Johnny Maniac (of Lost Coast Outpost fame) told me once while discussing electoral stuff. He said, in so many words, if we didn't have rules and laws for everything people would go around killing each other every day, to which I disagreed, but this Prop 56 issue makes me wonder if there's something to that?

Most of you wouldn't beat someone over the head and take their money. The reason it's ok to do with Prop 56 is because it's deemed legal, plus your protected by the ballot box, thus no harm likely to come to you.

That goes to show people will aggress against other people if they feel they can get away with it. Not much different from us attacking other countries because we can do it with little to no harm to ourselves. Or levy a tax on something a minority likes. What are they going to do...try and defend themselves against a majority?

Maybe Johnny Maniac has a point, but I'm not so sure. Under the libertarian system the minority should be allowed to defend themselves to the extent that they can. And under a libertarian system, minorities would hopefully be protected from the majoriy.

If a smoker went into that Cancer Society crowd mentioned in Kym's article and started throwing punches, he or she would be arrested under current laws. That's despite that being pretty much what that crowd is proposing be done to the smoker. But, maybe those in that crowd would think twice about attacking that smoker in a libertarian future?

That's a pretty long, convoluted explanation. Perhaps I can summarize it this way: Prop 56 proves many people have no problem attacking others when they feel they can do so at no risk to themselves. Putting myself out on a limb, that would be contrary to libertarian beliefs and the way libertarians see people and society.


At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, the counter to your argument is that smokers seem to have no problem attacking others for their own selfish pursuits by subjecting them to second-hand smoke, butts, and subsidizing increased health care costs. I continually run into people who smoke who don't seem to care about how their habits affect anyone else. The tax is an economic disincentive to continue to smoke and can be viewed as a way to pay for the externalities of smoking I listed above.

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me re-phrase my argument against smokers in Libertarian terms -- I don't care if people smoke as long as I do not have to deal with the consequences of their choices. Meaning I shouldn't have to deal with their butts, the second-hand smoke in public spaces, or the costs of their health care that results from their decision to smoke. If they would fully buy into that responsibility, we wouldn't have propositions like 56 which uses economic forces to try and reduce antisocial behaviors.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I"m not sure that matters in the bigger scheme of things. We can always find womethign someone else does that annoys us. I don't think " we wouldn't have propositions like 56 which uses economic forces to try and reduce antisocial behaviors." is the case. It seems to me more the case that some see it as a way to gain from others with no threat to themselves by doing so.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly right Fred. You nailed it.
As far as butts on the ground, they're soft, not sharp, not slick, but soft & spongey. Birds use them in their nests to ward off the mites, & for insulation. Second hand smoke is not allergenic (no proteins), is mostly water vapors from the mouth & lungs, and is safe in large doses. It would take over 1,000 years of breathing smoke in a bar 8/24 before harm would be noticeable. The harm would consist of having smoked the equivalent of a cigarette or two.
One of the things I've learned while posting online, Fred, is those who want the taxes & bans the most profit financially in some way. They need a better job, a better life.

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butts can take up to 10 years to decompose, have concentrated amounts of toxins that degrade water quality and harm fish and wildlife and can carry whatever diseases the smoker has (herpes anyone?).

Second-hand smoke is simply unpleasant for anyone who isn't a smoker. I feel the same way about heavy perfumes and that appalling patchouli you run into around here.

Personally speaking, I get no financial benefit whatsoever from this tax. At best I might get some very small indirect benefit if the money from the tax actually goes to reduce overall health care costs that I currently subsidize. I'm just tired of smokers trashing out the place I live and making me pay for it.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Significant amounts of toxin? Please, define significant. That's the term used by the zealots like stan glantz when spinning his tales into tax dollars. Significant.
Another problem with your significant observations, is the lack of testing for benefits. Suppose just for one second that the germ killing wonders of nicotine also kill the mites, worms, some known ravages of fish.
Egg on face. One sided arguments always put egg on face.
Balance is nature's most beautiful resource.
Significant. LOL.
Eveyone dumps all butts into the fish stream, is not a valid Argument. Significant amounts is not valid.
I don't mean to laugh, but... caught ya!

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here you go, an article explaining 'significant' impacts from butts.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such big scary numbers! Whatever you do, don't read about the levels in your everyday vegetables.

That study implies compounded masses. Realistically, butts are not found in massive doses, they are scattered around the entire planet. The study is nothing but fearmongering. Like they say, it's the dose, not the title, that makes the poison.
In other words, like the study said, it's not enough to hurt a flea.

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you must be famous now because it looks like the blog has attracted a paid flunky of the tobacco industry with the defense of cigarette butts. Did you notice the excellent attempt to spin the discussion off to vegetables? It sounded like a Trump or Clinton answer!

There really are only 3 groups of people who don't mind cigarette butts in the environment: the tobacco industry, the completely oblivious, and that subset of smokers who also happen to be assholes.

Other studies have documented the sheer number of butts, the fact that leachate from butts kills key components of aquatic ecosystems, including fish, and the lengthy time it takes for them to decompose. Combined with tendency of butts to accumulate in storm drains where they flush into rivers and oceans, this toxicity forms a pollution problem. Deflection to other problems that also exist doesn't take away from that fact.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taxing gum $5.00 per pack would be nice. Gum in the storm drains, on the bottoms of shoes, sticky gum everywhere. The chemicals are toxic, & kill fish.
Most people use proper disposal systems for their gum, or ciggy butts, but I say we tax them all ridiculously high, for the carelessness of a few.
Fish have been swimming in both for over 100 years. As more and more smokers quit, fewer butts are accidentally added to the streams. This is an act of the devil! We must stop smokers from switching over to vaping by raising taxes %68 and forcing them back to smoking & tossing! Our fish are dependent on us!
Or... we could feed them veggies that have more NICOTINE than compounded butts.

Big pharma pays billions & billions & billions of advertising & lobbying dollars to sell their products. Smoking cessation, by any other joyful means is frowned upon.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prohibition of both vapor & tobacco via over taxing & over regulating, increases the chemicals in the urine. For instance, chantix pollution will increase as smokers desperatly try to avoid penalties brought about through unfair bills.
All of which is washed away into the storm drains, into the fish habitats.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes over 60mg strength to kill a person. Nicotine is not used pure strength. Most doses are 1.2, which is closer to %1 strength. Butts contain even lesser amounts. Nicotine is not carcenogenic, it is actually beneficial neurologically. It is the benefits that big pharma wants to monopolize.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MAIN thing people complaining about cigarette smoke always FORGET is that the pollutants we suffer from our breathing air is mostly OTHER contaminants not cigarettes. REMEMBER that people closing a garage door and running the gasoline powered car WILL DIE. So WHY BLAME EVERYTHING on cigarettes? If I choose to smoke, walk away, it will not effect you, but the air still will.


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