I expect everyone has a dash of libertarianism inside themselves somewhere, buried deep in there, just waiting to be tickled by some do-gooder, nanny-state "Policy Director" somewhere. A fierce and ugly fire of libertarianism ignites within my loose body every time I hear about another increase in the price of cigarettes. Another one kicks in today; thanks a lot, Cook County.
For a pack of squares in this cute and hard scrabble town of Chicago, Illinois, it will now cost a freedom-lover over $11, of which $6.67 will be tax. It aggrieves me seriously that cigarette smokers are the new minority that government uses to prop up their budget mishandlings. I moved here in 2007, from a country way-more advanced at the smoker persecution game than these United States. But, at least that horrible little socially-immobile country has government health care, so the whole health consideration bit is more sellable.
In 2007 cigarettes were around $5 a pack. There was a lovely little corner store, just near my place in Humboldt Park, where I went every morning to get my little tube-like friends. The sun often shined and much was right with the earth. Now, all this joy has left me. Buying cigarettes feels like a monetary punch to the gut... This feeling of worthlessness and persecution increases today to more than $11.
Don't misunderestimate me. I know that cigs are the root of many social ills; divorce, abortion, blah blah. I get that they smell bad (if you don't partake) and their poopy stench gets stuck in your pretty Urban Outfitter sweater... The thing is, and apologies for my bluntness, I don't really give a shit about your opinion on this matter.
Taxing cigarettes is plainly a poor-person tax. Please go to Lakeview and find me an individual enjoying a smoky delight, with a similar sense of reckless abandon as someone in Austin. You can't. Government hurts those who provide the least resistance. Smokers are the new minority. We are the outcasts. The persecuted ones. We are social-rejects, who can be openly scorned and economically punished by their fellow man.
I smoke because I like it (especially while wearing a leather jacket) and last time I checked this was a free country, damn it. If the malevolent forces of Health-Fascism continue to persecute us, we will rise up one day. If they want to keep hitting us, it would be much preferred for them to stop pretending they're trying to "help" us.
Smokers are your brothers, your sisters, your mothers and your lovers... Don't hate us, because we are different. We are you. And our habit pays for tons of shit you want/expect from government.