Philip Morris USA: American Children Must Smoke American Cigarettes

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"The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act," reports the Asia Times, will ban tobacco companies from marketing Indonesian cloves in the U.S. market. This is necessary for the sake of the children. Specifically, the children of executives at Philip Morris. 

Philip Morris USA, oddly one of the US tobacco bill's main backers, does not manufacture cigarettes in the US with any of the prohibited flavors—although it makes menthol cigarettes. Some tobacco-sector analysts claim regulation by the FDA would in effect help solidify Philip Morris's position as the leading cigarette manufacturer. 

Jacob Sullum has explored the legislation's Big Tobacco-friendly provisions in detail. The Asia Times adds heretofore unexplored benefits, such as offending Indonesians and contravening WTO trade regulations.

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  1. Wow, a large corporation is asking for protection from competition. I’m shocked. Shocked to find that lobbying is going on in here.

  2. But wait! The corporations hate being regulated! We’re punishing them, and it’s for the good of the children!

  3. Does “marketing” mean selling or advertising? I’m a regular clove smoker so this greatly concerns me.

  4. Hmm…so does the libertarian idea that we should let corporations amass a lot of money and power and then hope that they don’t use it to influence government not always work so well?

  5. Hmm…so does the libertarian idea that we should let corporations amass a lot of money and power and then hope that they don’t use it to influence government not always work so well?

    No, the libertarian maxim that “The government that governs best, governs least”. applies here.

  6. I think there’s more to this.Philip’s contributes a ton of money to the tobacco settlement fund.Indonesian companies don’t.Congress is protecting their market share.The federal and state governments make a lot of money off tobacco.Philips is trying to make money and pay the tax.

  7. Yay protectionism for a dying industry

  8. Dan,

    If governments didn’t have the power they have, corporations wouldn’t be soliciting them for favors.

  9. What will all those unkempt sophomore philosophy majors smoke now?!?! Won’t somebody think of the hipsters?

  10. Cloves are the last thing on earth a child would want to smoke!

  11. Some tobacco-sector analysts claim regulation by the FDA would in effect help solidify Philip Morris’s position as the leading cigarette manufacturer.

    It’s a Mad-Lib!

    Some ______1______ claim regulation by _____2_____ would in effect help solidify _____3_____’s position as the leading _____4_____.

    1: people
    2: government entity
    3: corporate entity
    4: economic role

  12. Dan T: …so does the liberal fantasy that once governments can regulate businesses they will only use it to the benefits of the lumpenproletariat not always work so well?

  13. aaaaawwwwww FUCK. I used to love cloves when I was 16 and at summer camp. For some reason they gave me a much bigger buzz than a regular cigarette. If they are banned, there will be a surplus of sulky teenagers without anything to make them look cool!

    Anyone remember beadies? those little herbal cigarettes that were maybe legal maybe not legal for those under 18?

  14. aaaaawwwwww FUCK. I used to love cloves when I was 16 and at summer camp. For some reason they gave me a much bigger buzz than a regular cigarette.

    Theres always Newports!

  15. No, the libertarian maxim that “The government that governs best, governs least”. applies here.

    But it appears that sometimes the government that governs least ends up governing more.

  16. But it appears that sometimes the government that governs least ends up governing more.

    Huh?

  17. Dan T: …so does the liberal fantasy that once governments can regulate businesses they will only use it to the benefits of the lumpenproletariat not always work so well?

    It doesn’t work when the governments are controlled by the businesses that they supposedly regulate, no.

  18. But it appears that sometimes the government that governs least ends up governing more.

    Huh?

    I’m saying that by allowing certain groups to amass power, the government will end up being controlled by those groups who will use it to their ends.

    It’s one of my favorite libertarian delimmas.

  19. But it appears that sometimes the government that governs least ends up governing more.

    Huh?

  20. Dan T,

    And how would you wrest control of government away from businesses? Maybe start by installing only academics with English degrees to congress?

  21. Damn, Cesar, you beat me to the punch. Verbatim, even.

  22. Dan,

    Its not a libertarian dilemma. There will always be those who seek power. If you want to limit how much power people you don’t like have, you have to limit the power available.

  23. Its not a libertarian dilemma. There will always be those who seek power. If you want to limit how much power people you don’t like have, you have to limit the power available.

    Don’t confuse Dan. Government=good, businesses=bad. That’s all you need to know. If government does something bad, it’s not because they have too much power, it’s because business interests made them do it.

  24. Dan T,

    And how would you wrest control of government away from businesses?

    That’s the question, isn’t it?

  25. Dan t,when you include state,federal,sales,corp. tax and the tobacco settlement the government makes most of the money.I’d think you’d be happy.

  26. That’s the question, isn’t it?

    Dan,

    If you have no idea how to do it, what makes you think that that’s the answer?

  27. Lost_in_T:

    Wow. That is the best I have ever heard that idea expressed.
    If it’s ok with you, I’m gonna start using it.
    Um… I don’t have to, er, quote you when I do, do I…?

  28. Dan,

    Its not a libertarian dilemma. There will always be those who seek power. If you want to limit how much power people you don’t like have, you have to limit the power available.

    You can’t limit the power available. You can only distribute it as evenly as possible.

    This case illustrates well the inherent problem with the libertarian philosophy as it relates to government. The liberal philosophy of government is that the government should help balance the interests of the powerful and the powerless. The libertarian philosophy is that the government should stay out of the way and let the chips fall. The problem is that once the chips fall, the holder of the chips will often be inclined to change the government to work in his advantage.

    This is what we’re seeing today in America.

  29. That’s the question, isn’t it?

    Thats an easy one.

    1. Constitutionally limit government to only being able to perform specific acts. (check)

    2. Enforce this (not checked).

    If the feds were limited to their listed powers, corporations wouldnt have much to lobby about.

  30. Isn’t pork spending kinda like politicians bribing themselves?
    Lawmaker 1: Here, have this money
    Lawmaker 1: what’s it for
    Lawmaker 1: I want you to widen this highway
    Lawmaker 1: what do I get out of it, then?
    Lawmaker 1: You’ll get re-elected, and then I’ll give you more money

  31. Dan,

    If you have no idea how to do it, what makes you think that that’s the answer?

    Do you know how to do it? Because I think in this example at least both of us would like to wrest government power away from a business (Phillip Morris).

  32. The liberal philosophy of government is that the government should help balance the interests of the powerful and the powerless.

    Translation – Wah! It’s not fair! It should be! The government will make it fair at the point of a gun! It’s for the collective good!

  33. 2. Enforce this (not checked).

    If the feds were limited to their listed powers, corporations wouldnt have much to lobby about.

    Sure they would – they’d lobby to have enforcement loosened.

  34. Do you know how to do it?

    Dan,

    all we need to do is have the Supremes declare the law unconstitutional. Then, PM is out their money and their is no regulation in place. Everyone wins!

    Except me, because I am a MO shareholder.

  35. Translation – Wah! It’s not fair! It should be! The government will make it fair at the point of a gun! It’s for the collective good!

    LOL. Isn’t the whole complaint here that it’s not fair that the government is working to advance PM’s interests at the point of a gun?

  36. Sure they would – they’d lobby to have enforcement loosened.

    Lobbying the supreme court doesnt work to well. That is were the enforcement has to come from.

    The other possible level of enforcement is citizens with guns. I dont think lobbying works too well then either.

  37. Dan T.

    What about a politically neutral party (judges) declaring that laws that are unconstitutional are actually unconstitutional, instead of issuing rulings based on personal projections of what legislation is good or not good.

  38. It doesn’t work when the governments are controlled by the businesses that they supposedly regulate, no.

    However, this is an intrinsic problem with governmental regulations – the groups being regulated have a much stronger interest in regulations than the general public. How much of the population do you think goes into a voting booth a pulls a lever based on a candidates position on the sugar tariff, cable monopolies, or coal-mine regulation?

  39. If the feds were limited to their listed powers, corporations wouldnt have much to lobby about.

    Or maybe they would just spend more time and money lobbying state governments rather than the feds.

    Really, this whole talk about limiting the power of the government, while a wonderful idea in theory, is impossible to implement (or at least it has been so far, no?).

    So what are the practical/realistic options?

    So maybe a practical alternative would be to try and limit the amount of influence entities (people and corporations) can have on the government. Or to try and create a system where everyone has equal ability to lobby and not let those with more resources have extra access/clout?

  40. oh, I see this comment has already been made. My appologies.

  41. The liberal philosophy of government is that the government should help balance the interests of the powerful and the powerless.

    This misconception is the root of much of your confusion.

    the tobacco settlement

    I just call it the “profit sharing agreement.” The government has an interest in protecting Big Cig from competition.

  42. I think in this example at least both of us would like to wrest government power away from a business (Phillip Morris).

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Yep, we need to fix that pesky amendment.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Or enforce this one.

  43. Dan T.

    What about a politically neutral party (judges) declaring that laws that are unconstitutional are actually unconstitutional, instead of issuing rulings based on personal projections of what legislation is good or not good.

    Sounds good in theory, but who polices the police?

  44. The liberal philosophy of government is that the government should help balance the interests of the powerful and the powerless.

    That seems pretty naive. Since when has any government, including our own, cared about the powerless? You don’t exactly see Joe Homeless hob-nobbing with the president at a $5,000/plate dinner.


  45. Really, this whole talk about limiting the power of the government, while a wonderful idea in theory, is impossible to implement (or at least it has been so far, no?).

    So what are the practical/realistic options?

    It has been implemented at least once. I dont think the founding fathers thought it would last forever, it would take eternal vigilence. TJ suggested a revolution every 20 years or so?

    the practical/realistic option is to implement it by force once again. It might be the only way.

  46. Dan,

    I think we are arguing two different inevitabilities.

    I believe that government having power isn’t inevitable, while government abuse of power is.

    You’re arguing that government having power is inevitable, while government abuse of power isn’t.

    We’re not going to come to an agreement.

  47. What about a politically neutral party (judges) declaring that laws that are unconstitutional are actually unconstitutional, instead of issuing rulings based on personal projections of what legislation is good or not good.

    Are we to believe that the Supreme Court is politically neutral and merely decides all cases based on an objective reading of the law?

    Where are we going to find these politically neutral judges?

    You see I grew up learning about a branch of government that was supposed to be a check on the power of the legislative and executive branch. But that turned out to be a fairy tale. What I have seen in practice is a judicial branch at all levels that tends to favor increasing the power of the state in general and isn’t very keen on striking down laws or holding agents of the state accountable for their misdeeds. They also have a tendency to do things like condone the weakening down of Bill of Rights protections.

    Is that who we are supposed to pin our hopes on?

  48. I’m considering buying a franchise from a Hong Kong based Chinese company that makes chocolate flavored cigarettes packaged in boxes that look like Crayolas. Americans who cynically complain that this company markets to children are obviously in the pocket of Hershey and Big Crayon.

  49. Are most of the flavored/specialty cigarettes on the market today put out by Phillip Morris and ohers, or are they imported from other countries? Will Nat Shermans be outlawed? I’m just trying to figure out if this will actually have any effect other than to prevent the major US players from selling flavored smokes.

    But Camel already does the “signature series” thing, and those are flavored, right?

  50. And how would you wrest control of government away from businesses? Maybe start by installing only academics with English degrees to congress?

    Gentlemen, our golden hour is upon us. Let our leadership be a shining beacon for all to admire.

  51. ChicagoTom,

    If government accumulation of power is inevitable, I see two solutions to limit the potential abuse.

    1. A giant computer that governs by alogorythms alone and those alogorithyms were created by a computer who was programmed from alogorithyms who was programmed from alogorithyms….so that there is no bias.
    2. A “Brazil” like bureaucracy that is so complicated, nobody knows how to game the system or take it over, but then it becomes a beast of its own and rules are created for no particular reason.

    If limiting government power is possible, however, things don’t look so bleak.


  52. I believe that government having power isn’t inevitable, while government abuse of power is.

    A government without power is not a government.

  53. Dan,

    limited power

  54. Dan T.

    A government only has the power that the people have granted to it, if we only give it very, very little power, then it can only abuse it very, very little.

    If you dont want the government listening to MO, then dont grant governments the power to regulate MO.

  55. Re: where will we find these judges.

    I’m just saying that they are the ones who are SUPPOSED to serve this function. They most certainly do not.

  56. robc-

    In that case, can we conclude that the government is powerful now because the people want it that way?

    And if so, what’s the problem?

  57. And if so, what’s the problem?

    Because it is against the rules.

    Because “some” people want it that way, maybe even a majority, but not “all” people.

  58. Re: where will we find these judges.

    I’m just saying that they are the ones who are SUPPOSED to serve this function. They most certainly do not.

    I agree. I guess that’ll always be a problem – why can’t we find people to serve in government that do not posses the universal human desire to look out at least in part for their own self-interest?

    Of course, that would require voters to also not posses that trait.

    What can you do? Democracy is messy.

  59. What can you do? Democracy is messy.

    Start over every 2 generations.

  60. Dan T, others:
    Clearly, we all care enough to check up on what our respresentatives do, what the effects of certain policy decisions are, etc. Even if we don’t all agree and some of us are wrong, at least we all care and know to check. Then you have most people, who get so wound up in shit like “he cheated on his wife” and “he can’t match his own clothes,” or worse, “the brown-skinned people will make us all speak spanish,” that politicians need not cater to the real desires of the people, just the emotions.

  61. No thanks. When I read about the Civil War, I’m not inclined to wish I had been a part of it.

  62. (oh, the above comment was supposed to be in response to the argument:
    “In that case, can we conclude that the government is powerful now because the people want it that way?
    And if so, what’s the problem?”)

  63. Dan T, others:
    Clearly, we all care enough to check up on what our respresentatives do, what the effects of certain policy decisions are, etc. Even if we don’t all agree and some of us are wrong, at least we all care and know to check. Then you have most people, who get so wound up in shit like “he cheated on his wife” and “he can’t match his own clothes,” or worse, “the brown-skinned people will make us all speak spanish,” that politicians need not cater to the real desires of the people, just the emotions.

    I agree. I enjoy discussions with people who put thought into political issues like many here, and I respect any view that is rationally thought out even if I disagree with it.

  64. I agree. I enjoy discussions with people who put thought into political issues like many here, and I respect any view that is rationally thought out even if I disagree with it.

    I give you Dan T. The bastard child of the enlightment. 🙂

  65. Wait, is this an attempt to ban kretek in the states?

  66. When I read about the Civil War, I’m not inclined to wish I had been a part of it.

    We could just go our separate ways. If anyone didn’t like it, they could move.

  67. If anyone didn’t like it, they could move.

    Well, everyobody except the slaves, that is. 🙂

  68. I find it strange that the concept of an underlying philosophy of governance is appreciated by so few people these days. We have one right now, and it’s called “Look at all the ants squirm as we burn their feelers off with a magnifying glass”. The constitution is meant to present a guiding line of political philosophy designed to preserve freedom, while limiting the scope of government power – when people elect representatives that either have no comprehension of why those two goals are important, or simply don’t care, then problems will undoubtedly arise. This is not about ignoring the problems that self-interest unmistakably causes, because that will be an ever-present problem in all men, in all times, but it does have to do with minimizing the impact that particular inclination may have on the execution of political activity. There really are no absolute solutions to the problems faced within society, but as a general rule, minimizing the potential for abuse is a good starting point, and you can only do that through education and a consolidation of civil devotion to the concept of individual freedom.

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