Tag Archives: tobacco

Smoking is Not a Tax on the Poor

There are a ton of really idiotic propositions coming up on the California Ballot, which by the time you read this will probably already be past.  One of them, Prop 56, wants to raise the cost of tobacco again to pay for a whole bunch of liberal causes.  But the major argument that I’ve heard against it is, get this, that tobacco taxes unfairly target the poor.

Um… nobody is forcing them to smoke, are they?

The idea is that a disproportionate percentage of poor people smoke, hence if you raise taxes on tobacco, they will be unfairly harmed by it.

Or they could just stop smoking.  Why in the world would someone who has very little money be throwing it away on things like tobacco and alcohol in the first place?  Of course, that assumes that these people are acting rationally and, if they were, they most likely wouldn’t be in that situation to begin with.

Now personally, I don’t care what the taxes on tobacco are because I think anyone that smokes is a complete idiot to begin with.  If you make a choice to do something that is known, without a doubt, to harm you, how can you point fingers and complain when you get harmed?  In fact, the prevalent use of tobacco and alcohol among the destitute is probably one of the reasons they are that way, but nobody ever bothers to think about that.  Because thinking is hard and sometimes uncomfortable and nobody ought to be required to do anything that doesn’t make them happy 24/7.  Or some kind of liberal bullshit like that.

Nothing changes the fact that smoking and drinking is a choice.  It is not mandatory.  It is not helpful. It costs money.  You make a choice and accept the consequences.  If you make a bad choice, you get bad consequences.  While I reject these kinds of liberal money-grabs out of hand, I still think the argument against the proposition is utterly asinine.  It doesn’t disproportionately target the poor, the poor are disproportionately self-destructive and stupid.  That’s why they’re poor.  Learn the difference between correlation and causation.

But of course, the left will just accuse me of being every kind of “ist” they can think up because they can’t handle reality.  They can’t handle people being required to take responsibility for their lives.  It’s all about excuses and complaints.  These people are idiots.

What is “Adult”?

adults_only_logoSeriously, when I hear people discussing “adult” entertainment and things they do as “adults”, I have no clue what they’re talking about because virtually everything they’re discussion sounds extremely childish to me.  When I hear people saying they’re going to go out and get drunk and get high and watch porn and sleep around and do all of this crap, I think it sounds utterly idiotic.  I grew up, when are they planning on doing so?

See, all of those ideas are things I left in the past a long, long, long time ago.  To me, being adult is about responsibility and maturity and raising a family and being a good citizen and all of that stuff.  Smoking something or drinking something to make yourself lose control is the polar opposite of being an adult as far as I’m concerned.  Sitting around masturbating to midget porn, that’s something an oversexed adolescent does.  By the time you get into your mid-20s, you should have outgrown that stuff and should be serious about life.

Hell, the last time I had a beer was right after I turned 21.  I will freely admit that I used to drink before I was legal, I partied a little, I never used drugs, nor had any interest, but I wasn’t totally out of control either.  The last time I drank, I went to a bar with my friend Tony to celebrate my 21st birthday.  We had a couple of beers.  We oggled a couple of scantily clad dancing girls.  We got in our cars and went home.  We weren’t drunk, we weren’t impaired, we left and that was the last time I ever had the slightest interest in having alcohol.  Why?  Because I realized that the only thing I really cared about was the “thrill” of doing something wrong.  I didn’t want to drink.  I didn’t particularly like the taste of alcohol.  It was the “forbidden fruit” and the second I was legal to walk into any store and buy beer, I no longer wanted beer.  It’s been more than 25 years since then and I haven’t had a drop since.  Why would I?  Most of my friends don’t drink either.  My wife’s parents don’t drink, although granted, a lot of that has to do with her father’s medical condition which makes alcohol restricted.  My mother, sister and her husband drink on rare occasions, they might order a glass of wine with dinner, but that’s it.  They’re not sitting around in their underwear, watching NASCAR and swilling cheap booze out of a box.  I would never surround myself with people like that.

The same goes for smoking.  My parents both smoked when I was growing up, in fact, I suspect it had a lot to do with my father’s cancer that killed him.  They both realized that it was a stupid habit and they both quit pretty early on.  It is dumb.  None of my friends smoke and I don’t surround myself with smokers.  I do know some people who smoke, the co-host of my podcast being one, but since he’s half-way across the country from me, his habits don’t personally affect me and I don’t say anything and he knows that it’s a filthy, unhealthy addiction that he ought to quit and it’s his life.  However, we do know that it is dangerous.  We do know that it is addictive.  We do know that it significantly contributes to cancer.  People who actually have responsibilities in life who are smoking are idiots in my opinion.

The same goes for drugs.  Now I have a huge personal problem with drugs, I fundamentally dislike anyone who uses them and I have zero respect for any of the supposed “reasons” why they think it’s okay.  I think they are harmful to society as a whole.  I’ve written about it before and I’ve yet to receive a credible argument for what  good drugs can do for society.  But let’s look at all three of these things because I think that they all fill the same kind of irresponsible, childish niche.  All of them exist to make people feel good.  They’re artificial mood enhancers.  That’s exactly how people describe them.  That’s stupid.  As I’ve said before, if you have to inject, ingest, smoke or snort any illicit substance, purely for the purpose of making yourself feel good, you’ve got some serious personal issues.  Now I’m not doing this “natural high” bullshit, but seriously, if your life is so awful that you have to pop some pills or gulp some vodka to feel better, you’re doing something wrong and need some professional help.  Adults, real adults, people with mature and intelligent outlooks on the world, realize that every day isn’t the best day of your life.  There are ups and downs.  There are peaks and valleys.  There are good days and bad days and shooting something into your arm isn’t going to make that change, in fact, it’s only going to make things worse.  Illicit substances don’t actually solve problems, they just make you forget that they exist for a little bit.  When you come down, when you sober up, the problems are still there, plus probably new problems that came about because of your inebriated state.  People need to learn to deal with reality as reality stands, period.

And then there’s porn.  Okay, I’ve got no problem with porn per se, but honestly, once you’re an adult, once you’ve found someone to commit your life to, once you’re married and have kids and a life and a career, once you can generally have sex with your partner any time you want, you still have to go look at fetish videos?  Seriously? What’s wrong with you?  This is someone that you found, that you were willing to spend the rest of your life with, someone that you supposedly carefully and rationally considered the future with and now, you want to watch other people screw on the Internet?  Give me a break.  Now okay, to spice up a relationship, that’s fine, but for one side or the other to use as a replacement for a relationship?  Grow up.  And that goes for affairs too.  The marriage vows don’t say “until I’m no longer sexually interested”.  It says death.  Take it seriously.  If you weren’t willing to make that commitment, you never should have done it in the first place.  And yes, as much as I think divorce is way overused in our society, if you just can’t help yourself, if your partner cheated on you or if things have changed to such a degree that you can’t possibly live together, get a divorce. Have some balls and be responsible. But I still think you’re a dick for doing it, except for cause.

I really get sick of idiots who think that they’re an adult so they can do anything they want to do, screw what anyone else thinks.  No, that’s childish.  It’s one thing when you’re a kid and you have no responsibilities, you can go out and play with your friends and have a good time. Once you get to be 25 years of age though, you have to put aside those childish things and be an adult.  That means taking responsibility for yourself and your family.  That means accepting your responsibilities to society, to your employer, to your community and those around you. You are not a mountain, accountable to no one.  As an adult, you are accountable to everyone.  That’s not negotiable.  You have no choice. Stop being an asshole, grow a pair and man (or woman) up.

That’s what an adult actually is.