Saturday, June 21, 2008

The NY Post is a Fucking Hypocrite!

Yeah, I know. The NY Post isn't a single person, so that headline has more than a little wrong with it. Would you prefer, The NY Post are Fucking Hypocrites? The NY Post Editorial Board is populated with Hypocrites? The Folks Who Write, Edit, Print, & Distribute the NY Post are Fucking Hypocrites? The NY Post is a collection of Hypocritical Hypocrites who are Hypocrites?

Yeah, all those choices suck, so I just went with being declarative.

So what's got me all hot and bothered about the Post this morning. Here, take a look at a story they ran earlier this month when cigarette taxes soared in NY. The headline acknowledges that smokers are taking a hit, but the general tone is "Yeah, I feel your pain. There's an ad for Head-On headeache remedy on the next page. See ya later, dude." Overall, the story gives both sides their say and doesn't really come down on one side of the issue or the other...because smokers are pariahs and God Forbid, the paper actually come down as saying anything along the lines of "We're the supposed paper of the common guy and we don't think Government ought to be legislating your behavior when you're only hurting yourself." (Yeah Ilya, I know your response to that, so why don't you go over to Stonekettle Station and tell Jim why he should toss his PC and get a Mac. You'll get just as far. [I kid!])

Anyway, take a look at look at one of this morning's headlines (found in the Post's Top Three Stories of the day). Any question at all about how the Post feels about this? Please note that since Bloomberg took office on January 1st 2002, he's been nothing but consistent. If a tax might reduce usage of something he thinks should be reduced, he's for it. EVERY TIME! The Post, on the other hand doesn't have anything like a consistent stance on wasting fuel. This article (from yesterday's paper) thinks it might be OK to make drivers pay a little more if it will force them to drive a little less. Or maybe this article which takes a little jab at Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno for driving a big rig without a license, overall, it makes him look pretty heroic.

The Post just goes back and forth on the issue of fuel costs and what the answer might be (subsidizing the stuff or reducing use by keeping costs high). Fuck you NY Post! Make up your mind. Either fuel should be cheap and no one ought to have to find ways to reduce usage or you think it's OK to let costs force people to alter their behavior.

And whichever way you decide to go with fuel, you damned well ought to take a similar position on tobacco.

Oh, and Happy Saturday!

6 comments:

John the Scientist said...

Sorry to get all libertarian on you, but this is why I oppose the tax. Overtaxing or making something illegal that adults are going to do anyway is just a government subsidy for organized crime.

Butt-leggers, indeed.

And by the way, you oughtta quit.

Nathan said...

John,

I'm not coming down on either side of the argument here. I'm just asking for a little consistency. I hated some of the stuff Giuliani did and I hate some of the stuff Bloomberg continues to do. But I've got to admit that they are both unique among politicians in their consistency.

The NY Post just panders to whatever will make a good headline. That's one hell of an editorial policy.

(And yes, I know I should quit, but in addition to that being hard there's also that perverse little part of me that doesn't want to let the "tax me into quitting" bunch win.

vince said...

Overtaxing or making something illegal that adults are going to do anyway is just a government subsidy for organized crime.

I agree. Prohibition didn't work and helped fund the war chest of organized crime. The war on drugs is a joke, keeping prices high while making so real impact on drug use and adding to the coffers of gangs and organized crime across the world.

However, for those things that carry a price for society as a whole, there needs to be a way to assure that those who wish to participate in risky behaviors will shoulder the expense of the consequences. For example, if you chose to ride a motorcycle and not wear a helmet, that should be legal. But your insurance premiums should reflect the greater injuries and likelihood of death in an accident if you don't wear a helmet. And most drugs should be legalized and taxed.

I do, however, support increased taxes on cigarettes if the money goes towards paying for the increased health costs that the smoking population as a whole incur.

In other words, I believe big people should be free to make their own lifestyle choices, as long as those same people shoulder any consequences of their choices, rather than society as a whole being required to shoulder them.

With lifestyle choices such as smoking and weight, some companies are now using the "stick and carrot" method of trying to get employees to change their habits to reduce health care costs. The stick: you pay more for your share of your health care costs if you choose to smoke or be overweight. The carrot: they pay for stop-smoking clinics, subsidize gym memberships, etc.

Nathan, for most people it's very hard to quit. And I understand that part that rebels against trying to be forced into doing something, even when that something is good. I share a similar rebellious streak myself, although I quit smoking years ago.

And yeah, the NY Post needs to pick a consistence stance, rather than be wishy-washy.

Michelle K said...

Actually, I agree with Vince.

There is very little that should be illegal for adults (children and teens are another story).

Taxing dangerous items should serve two purposes. First it should make the item undesirable through price. But more importantly, those tax monies should go directly to programs to pay for the consequence of those items.

Drugs that are currently illegal should be legalized and have the crap taxed out of them, and the taxes should be used to fund treatment centers, health care for the children affected by those substances, and facilities to help adults affected get back into homes and back on their feet. (And the money saved when we stop putting users in jail can find national health care)

Cigarette taxes should pay for health care and cessation programs for individuals who want to quit. (i.e. if you want to try and of the drugs, cigarette taxes should pay for any drugs you need to use.)

Gas taxes should pay for programs to clean the air and for alternate energy programs.

And Nathan, if you do ever consider quitting, a friend and co-worker of mine is using a new drug regime that helps suppress the cravings, and he's found it to work very well (he's tried to quit before). It takes the physical pain out of quitting.

But it's really up to you. If you don't want to quit, then nothing you try is going to work.

Another friend of mine was able to go cold turkey and quit with no problems--after he and his wife decided to have a baby.

I'd encourage you to quit, but it's not going to happen until you decide you want to do it for yourself, not because everyone else is pushing you to do it.

Ilya said...

I agree with John that the taxes and prohibitions have a huge dark underbelly. I agree with Vince (and Michelle) in that the consideration of cost to the society for certain choices that indvidual make should be passed on to those individuals. I agree with Nathan in that NY Post is a bunch of idiots.

What I will not agree to is to ask anyone to give up their PC for a Mac. The supposed gains for an average person are terribly overrated... :)

Nathan said...

I agree with Ilya that agreeing with everyone is good. :D

I can't, however, agree about not bugging Jim about switching to mac. It's too much fun watching the veins in his neck start to throb!