Monday, May 19, 2008

I love Big Tobacco

Something that I will never understand is how the government decides to punish one industry to such a degree and then turns a blind eye to one that can be just as bad. The issue I speak of is the massive settlement that big tobacco had to pay to the states and the people that it "tricked," and the fact the big alcohol hasn't paid a dime in that kind of a class-action suit.

First off, if you smoke, and you got cancer, you did it to yourself. There have been surgeon general's warnings on cigarettes since the 60s. It's like blaming Little Debbie for being overweight. You have to take some responsibility. But, given the precedent that occurred, with Phillip Morris doling out hundreds of billions to smokers and states to fund ads against themselves and create anti-smoking clubs and clinics, it seems only fitting that we should also scrutinize alcohol (and any other industry that may be harmful to your health).

Alcoholism is a prevalent and destructive disease that destroys families and individual lives, yet, alcohol companies only have to put the words "drink responsibly" at the end of their commercial instead of "may cause fetal alcohol sydrome, dependency, alcoholism or severe complications for those who take heart medicine." And why is that? Because the alcohol lobby has been lining the pockets of congress for years. The Busch family has many good friends in Washington, and most likely has better litigators, so Budweiser gets the stamp of approval just like Coors, Mike's Hard Lemonade, or any other brand. It's not fair. People need to know the truth. Just as there are truth ads about tobacco, there need to be truth ads about alcohol. We want a more educated populace right? Then let's stop allowing them to be mislead by big alcohol. They do a great job with commercials. I openly admit that beer and rum commercials are some of the best on TV. But, it's very misleading. Captain Morgan isn't going to turn you into Jack Sparrow, or the Captain, or any other pirate super hero. The Coors Light vent is only going to allow you to drink more and faster and when you think of budweiser they want you to think hops and clydesdales, not red necks in wife beaters. But you know better.

And this isn't just about alcohol either, you can poke yourself in the eye with a pen. Let's sue BIC! You can get fat off of twinkies. Let's sue hostess! You can hurt yourself wearing some lingerie. Let's sue Victoria's Secret! You can get shocked putting a fork in a toaster. Let's sue GE! You can get into a car accident. Let's sue all the car companies! I think you get my point. We live in a sue-happy society. Frivolous lawsuits started with the lady and her hot coffee spilling on her from McDonalds. So what? Deal with it. You bought the coffee, read the label that the contents were hot and spilled it on yourself. But of course it was McDonald's fault. But, seeing as we can't take back the lawsuit against big tobacco or McDonalds, we might as well just balance it by suing everyone else to make it fair. Makes perfect sense. The hops did it.


Anonymous said...

Some of your reductio ad absurdum arguments aside, the alcohol industry really _should_ be the subject of more government action; or, if they're going to do nothing, they can at least legalize soft drugs so that consenting adults can choose to do what they please with their own bodies.

Michael Powers said...

Agreed on all counts.