Cigarettes The Next Bit-Coin
When governments attempt to mould human behaviour so as to make citizens become more righteous, the state has taken on messianic pretensions. Such idolatrous rebellion against the Lord of glory goes neither unnoticed, nor unpunished.
When the prohibition of alcohol became the law of the land in the United States–it was a prodigious overreach with pseudo-messianic overtones. Many Christians were sucked into this spurious social cause. Prohibition resulted in a “nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933” [Wikipedia]. It also provided a huge boost to the power and influence of crime and criminal gangs.
What the government banned was driven underground into the darkness where the mobsters lurk.
Overnight the illicit production, transportation, and sale of alcohol became a booming business. The resulting scourge of powerful organised criminal gangs was the divine punishment upon a society which had arrogated to itself the role of the Messiah.
We are seeing a similar pattern play out in New Zealand–this time over tobacco. In its pseudo-messianic crusading zeal, the government had embarked on a grand war to make people righteous and legislate the Millennium into existence. Who needs the Holy One when a few laws will do?
The messianic goal is to eradicate tobacco from New Zealand by 2025–the year thus religiously equivalent to the appearance of the Shia Messiah, the twelfth imam, the hidden Mahdi. The real cost of a pack of cigarettes is around $4.00 per pack. In New Zealand it now costs $20; according to recent Budget announcements it’s on its way to $30 over a few short years. The difference is tax–an excise to force people to stop smoking. It’s going to go much higher still, as 2025, the year of the NZ Mahdi, approaches.
But, just as happened in the United States with the prohibition of alcohol, we are experiencing a crime wave. A pack of cigarettes is now equivalent to a $20 bill. We conversed recently with a security guard at a gas station. Marauding gangs are preying upon gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets–wherever cigarettes are sold. They are ignoring the cash registers, he said. They are smashing into the cigarette cabinets and walking out with the equivalent of hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The ciggies can be turned rapidly into cash or they can be used as a cash equivalent. A pack of 20 is now the new currency–but with this significant difference to the old currency: its value is inevitably going to rise. Smart investors will hoard the stuff, knowing that a $20 pack will be worth $30 in a short time, as the tax rises. This crime wave is caused solely by government overreach.
But it gets worse: the marauding gangs are predominantly youths. It’s an easy gig. A few hulking thugs–both male and female–smash up a few shop keepers and cabinets and, hey presto, they walk out with the criminal’s version of bit coins. Doubtless they sashay down to the local Headhunters gang pad and fence them instantly. The gangs are able to pre-vet their next wave of young recruits. It’s happening at a convenience store near you.
Well, say the zealots, let’s short circuit that and ban all tobacco products overnight. Of course, and that’s where the entrenched criminal gangs get seriously involved–as they will eventually as the tobacco taxes rise. Marijuana is a vast industry operating underground in New Zealand. The weed is grown, harvested, processed, and sold by criminal gangs throughout the country. It’s lucrative business. The cash flow and the wealth have made the criminals much, much more powerful. Tobacco is heading into that category of profitable business for criminals. The old saw has it, “when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns”. The same applies here. When cigarettes are eventually outlawed, only the outlaws will have them. Crime pays–big time.
As a condign punishment for the do-gooders and messianic pretenders who have facilitated this crime wave, we recommend they all be lined up and forced to smoke three packs a day. It would be an apt consequence for their arrogant overreach.
The end never justifies the means. Never. Let all Messianic Pretenders be on notice.
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