About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Crony Capitalism: A Real Life Example -- How Big Government And Big Tobacco Are Teaming Up To Kill Teenage Vapers

I write about crony capitalism here all the time. It all seems pretty abstract until you read something like this: Today's Teens Say No to Drugs and Tobacco, Yes to Vaping.

Apparently, the electronic cigarette craze is tremendously popular with young people. Teens today are smoking less and "vaping" more. Great news, right?

Not if you're a billion dollar cigarette company or a big-time tobacco grower. Not if teens are one of your most profitable demographics. So what does big tobacco do? It runs to government to put the vaping industry out of business, thus killing the competition and potentially millions of teenagers who will be deprived of their preferred, non-tobacco alternative to cigarettes:
Though this is the first YRBSS report that includes any data on teens and their use of vaping devices, 44.9 percent of the teenagers surveyed said they have used a vaping device.

The release of this report comes at an interesting time for the vape industry. Recently, the FDA has passed new regulations that classify e-liquid, the substance used in vape devices, as a tobacco product. Though the rise of vaping is largely attributed to the fact that the e-liquid contains no tobacco and is, therefore, a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, the FDA’s new rules will require vape product manufacturers to go through the same regulatory process as big tobacco companies.

These new regulations require that each vaping device be put through a “Pre-Market Tobacco Applications” (PMTA) process before it can be sold on the market. However, this is not something that can be done by simply filling out some paperwork. For each separate device needing approval, it will take the FDA upwards of 1,700 hours and cost the manufacturer millions of dollars.

Since the vaping industry is relatively new and comprised of mostly small business owners, many of whom are Millennials, the new regulations will put many of these companies out of business. The only players in the vape industry who will not be subject to these new regulations are the big tobacco companies, who have seen a major decline in sales since vaping has become more widespread.
Of course big tobacco is spinning these new regulations as "safety measures" to protect naive and vulnerable consumers. And politicians are happy to concur because the cigarette lobby is a huge source of campaign income.

Oh, did I forget to mention that cigarettes are punitively taxed as a tobacco product and e-cigarettes are not? Do you think the politicians might also be worried about lost government revenue if cigarette sales decline?

Nah, everyone knows that politicians look at tax revenue as property that rightfully belongs to the taxpayer and NOT to the tax collector. LOL

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