Thursday, November 8, 2007

I lifted this article from todays New York Times. It is about the defeat of a tax on tobacco meant to help pay for health care for uninsured children. It is worth reading for it makes one recognize the depth of the corporate strength to continue to overpower the People. Corporations are run by people like you and I by and large. They have children and parents and friends like you but they also have Company policy which is to increase the bottom line of profits no matter who suffers. The corporation is a cruel anti-being with no moral code that it adheres to. We no longer live in countries with the power to lead people into better ways if it is not in the corporation's best interest. Our world is being stripped of its overall humanity in this way. It is a shame and the answer to it I do not know except that poverty and sickness will slowly erode profit and the corporation will perhaps lose its grip on mankind for there will not be enough money to support it. The stock market as a gambling den supports the corporation and the game played is like going to the race track and reading the cheat sheet to see who will win today. What a sorry state we find ourselves in when we are slaves to legal gambling that can alter our lives in a heart beat. When I was 21 I worked in a Toronto brokerage house as a cage clerk. I had a great time and there were "penny stocks" that some dealt in. These were stocks that were driven solely by rumor and speculation. There were mostly companies and corporations who were stable mature and caring "corporate citizens". They did not rise and fall on news so much and felt they had real obligations to their workers and the public. This is no longer the case as each company now scrambles for any news that will garner higher stock prices. Read the article below and imagine how the money spent to defeat this sensible tobacco tax could have been spent for the betterment of our condition as citizens.

Big Tobacco Defeats Sick Kids

One of the biggest disappointments in Tuesday’s election was the defeat of an Oregon ballot initiative that would have raised the state’s cigarette tax by 85 cents a pack to help pay for health care for uninsured children.

The outcome is a testament, more than anything else, to the shamelessness of the nation’s big tobacco companies. They spent an obscene amount of money on deceptive television ads designed to protect their profits, even at the expense of poor children. The results should not be allowed to diminish national concern about insuring those youngsters.

Tobacco firms led by Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds poured $12 million into defeating the initiative — about $3.33 for every Oregon resident, or $24 a vote. That’s about a dollar more per capita than the $60 million tobacco companies invested to defeat a similar California measure last year, according to The Associated Press. The health and civic groups fighting for health care for children were able to spend only a quarter of that.

The purveyors of Marlboro and Camel cigarettes did not win by disputing the urgent health care needs the initiative was meant to address, or the benefits higher cigarette taxes would bring by deterring smoking. They sought to hide behind a benign-sounding front group called Oregonians Against the Blank Check and proceeded to barrage voters with unscrupulous TV ads and mailings. Among other things, they stoked doubts that the funds raised would actually be used for children’s health care, and they manufactured an overblown controversy over amending Oregon’s Constitution.

The referendum said a lot about the power of money in any election, and not much about what the public thinks about the issue if given accurate and balanced information. The vote should neither deter Congressional Democrats from continuing to confront President Bush on expanding children’s health care under the S-chip program nor discourage other states from trying to do more to take care of the health of their children.

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