Opinions - An unusual argument against tobacco taxes

Discussion in 'Tobacco' started by bcubed, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. bcubed

    bcubed Gold Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    from Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    In my college ECON classes, we looked at the "externalities" (i.e. social costs) of various legal/illegal drugs. Tobbacco, surprisingly, was quite low; our Prof said that was because, by shortening lives, it reduced Social Scurity payouts by the gov't.

    In the U.S. (cheap retirement+expensive healthcare) it's a net loss; apparenty, in countries w/ cheap healthcare+expensive retirement, it can actually be a net plus!

    In Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, Dr. Wheelan cites an example of how Philip Morris (fighting a tax) showed that premature deaths SAVED the Czech gov't $148 million!

    Now, that may be true, but it takes some real stones to argue that.
  2. grandbaby

    grandbaby Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    May 2, 2006
    51 y/o
    A charming argument. You know what would be really cheap? Euthanize everyone who can't or won't work, or who is set to retire. Euthanize everyone whose medical bills will cost more than a set amount. What a benefit such measures would be to the economy! Take those stones to your prof. :)

    There are economists who look at more factors than strictly monetary ones when calculating costs/benefits / cause&effect — but there are plenty who don't. Remember, a dollar's just a dollar but a human is a being.