Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Potatoes, Tobacco, Petrol And Tax

Centuries ago when potatoes and tobacco were introduced to Europe they were both considered life changing items. That is much the same today, but for different reasons. Originally, the potato was introduced to the diet and remains a staple part of modern diets, even though the chip has wrecked all that. The unchipped potato is an excellent source of carbohydrate to provide energy, but like many things: in moderation.

It is a source of good health. However, add butter/margerine/salt and it becomes fattening and very unhealthy. Interestingly, salt ruins the taste of the potato. Add salt and you cannot taste it anymore! Then you will need butter or something else to provide the taste. The potato is not taxed. Yet. Tobacco has never been a source for anything but misery. Nicotine is a mind altering drug. It must be as those who use the substance delude themselves into believing they enjoy smoking when really it is simply getting the fix of nicotine.

A trace of this very addictive drug, the most addictive natural substance known to man, is taken into the body with a huge quantity of toxic and extremely dangerous impurities. Everything in this smoke is pollution either to the atmosphere, but mostly to the body it infects. Exhalation partially empties the lungs, but fails to destroy the smoke. The volume of the collective global gas cloud created by ALL smokers is dreadful. The impurities in the smoke and the smoke itself remain in the atmosphere. Actually, an impurity is defined as a trace amount so the nicotine is, in fact, only one of the many impurities in tobacco smoke.

Most of the nicotine will be destroyed by the heat of burning, which generates the smoke to be inhaled. Only a minute fraction of the original nicotine will ever reach the receptors in the body to satisfy the cravings of the brain. Smoking is lethal and it is taxed. The cost is nearly all taxation. Tobacco is almost completely destroyed by burning. And before entering the body. What does enter the lungs and is subsequently transported around the bloodstream is the total (carcinogenic) impurities. It is true that buying tobacco and paying huge sums in tax before it is burnt, ends up being 'smoked' after most of the trace active agent (nicotine) has already been destroyed. Buying a product and paying tax then destroying it before it can be 'used' (inhaled). This does demonstrate how potent nicotine really is since nearly all of it is destroyed before the residue can act on the body. Bizarre.

This is a similar scenario to petrol: it is simply a completely waste product from the refinement of crude oil. Totally useless until the petrol engine was developed to use it. A masterful stroke certainly. It has in the last few decades become a useful product. An essential product and is consequently an excellent target for taxation. As any dependence grows the attraction of tax increases. Nearly all tax from a waste product. The petrol engine has changed the world for ever. Forever is really just until, of course, the oil runs out or we all die because of the pollution. Pollution will probably get us all first. And quite soon.

Even though the causes are debatable, Global warming is not a faddish term. It may be a cyclical terrestrial event, but we are accelerating the result. It is here and it is happening now. Consider the many cancers of the last 20 years or so. Is it possible or probable that they have always been around before records were kept? The dreadful health of countless millions worldwide. The living dead? And a source of taxation for governments. The ‘spin’ goes that people are living longer and so the older person is more likely to become unhealthy as a natural part of living! Define spin for yourself.

Tobacco was (and still is) seen as the perfect product: when people use it during their working life they pay tax on it. Then these same people will die before they get ill. Nowadays, living longer means they now exist to suffer the consequences of these lethal habits. So, maximum in from the cash cow and next to nothing to pay out. Cynical? Perhaps. Environmentalist thinking has always been visionary thinking. It has always been right and if we don’t wake up it will be too late, if it isn’t already. Negative thinking? No. It is being...
awake and thinking