There seems to be a never-ending attack on any company that is classified as being ‘big”. Big in the monetary attack refers to the big pockets these companies are perceived to have. Therefore attacking “big” can usually turn into “big” payouts. Take the tobacco industry for example; on top of the $246 billion they have already agreed to pay the states, the government is now trying to pick another $280 billion out of “Big Tobacco’s” pockets. A recent article on the website Economist.com addresses the issue.
For those that don’t smoke this type of action doesn’t mean much and the consensus runs against those that do. Why shouldn’t tobacco companies pay higher amounts to states that have to offset medical costs paid out for smoker health care? The truth unfortunately is that more than just smokers are paying these costs. As the number of smokers in this country dwindles due to all the pressure and regulation, tax revenues that were assumed guaranteed to the states are dwindling. Programs that have been initiated with this money now are trying to have these funds guaranteed by the rest of the tax paying public. The other side of the coin doesn’t look any brighter. For the most part those that smoke are usually in the lower wage earning bracket and raising the price to cover the government suits takes more of their disposable income. The government might think that they are doing the ethical thing by trying to reform smokers, but one is led to question if this attack is working? According to the article, Big Tobacco’s new strategy: to spend less time trying to flog cigarettes in rich countries and instead seek consumers in the developing world, and especially in the young and fast growing markets of Asia.
There seems to be no winners here (except trial lawyers), only losers.