Saturday, August 30, 2008

Earning from the evil

Should you earn by selling poison while telling people not to use it? Never; that’s plain, impeccable logic. But the government’s business sense says sell it, earn huge taxes and at the same time spend a tenth of it on “educating’ people about its harmful effects. Like in case of tobacco, for instance. It is highly addictive and has diabolically dangerous effects. Long back, a well known columnist wrote in a national daily that our future generations will wonder that tobacco was once legally allowed. Perhaps the same way as we look with awe some bizarre things and practices of past.

Similarly, government cries hoarse against the environmental havoc from polythene bags but tells people to shun their use instead of stopping their production altogether। Or, it encourages consumption of alcohol through various measures but simultaneously launches campaigns against alcohol। It seems campaigns against profitable evils are but a formality with the covert agenda of maintaining the revenues। But then, why not legalize the narcotics: that may fetch still bigger revenues?
But plain truth logics get lost in the maze of government rules, policies, statistics and jargon, and succumb to the lobbying power of industry. Government dishes out bulky figures on the jobs and revenues generated by these trades, political fallouts of bans, etc. As for public health or environment, the government fulfills its duty by putting the onus of the perils on the public itself through advices and warnings. Who is bothered of them anyway as long as taxes from such industries are pouring in? Government runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds.
People had better take care of themselves before it is too late, by voluntarily abstaining from these evils. And nothing can help one quit them unless he wants to quit.

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