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Moonhowlers, smoking guns & warning labels
by Andrew Barbano
Jan 16, 2013 | 2842 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Big polluters and perverters will support any remedy that doesn’t work.

Herewith, a checklist of industry-blessed positions guaranteed not to hurt fat bottoms or fat bottom lines.

WARNING LABELS. Smoking has gone down in this county but remains epidemic both domestically and internationally. Yesteryear’s bland package warning labels have blended into the wallpaper. Teen smoking is rising in these parts.

Big Tobacco has fought imposition of disgustingly groady new warning labels and has thus far won in court. Apparently, the First Amendment prohibits promulgation at the expense of profits.

You will have proof-positive that tobacco-style labels don’t work the day the National Rifle Association endorses them for gun purchase invoices.

MOVIE, TV and VIDEO GAME RATINGS. Hollywood produced much more interesting work before imposition of a censorship code in the mid-1930’s. Director King Vidor even filmed a legendary underwater ballet which dared to display Dolores del Rio’s redoubtable derriere. (“Bird of Paradise,” 1932)

Fearing critics, Hollywood self-censored. Fast-forward to the present multi-media era and ask yourself how that’s working so far.

In a similar jugular vein, a discredited dogmatist named Alan Greenspan thought Wall Street would regulate itself. Now comes the NRA endorsing a crackdown on video games. Stronger warning labels, anyone?

TV/RADIO SPOTS. Those that work get censored. Those that won’t bore us to death every day.

In 1990, the California Dept. of Health Services produced legendary anti-smoking media. I ran some for free on my radio show and defeated Lush Rambo in the process. Smoking plummeted and the industry soon killed the campaign’s funding.

The TV equivalent of warning labels apparently does no good. Prescription drug commercials come laden with scary statements but people continue to demand drugs promising paradise in pill form. The Lunesta Tinkerbell looks dreamily alluring even though that stuff can be lethal.

TAXOPHOBIA. Reaganaut moonhowlers consider it religious dogma that taxes hurt the economy and kill jobs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When the U.S. had a progressive tax code from 1945 to 1970, we enjoyed the strongest economy the world had ever known and created that now-endangered species called the middle class.

President Clinton pushed a progressive tax increase through Congress in 1993 and lost both the Senate and House of Representatives the following year. The tax hike helped fuel the economic boom of the 1990’s.

Spreading the wealth through progressive tax policy works.

Alas, progressivity has been eliminated over the past four decades, which is why former Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, in last week’s alternative state-of-the-state address, noted that Nevada’s wealthiest pay a 1.5 percent tax rate while poor people pay 10 percent of their incomes.

Even though they may question global warming and evolution, moonhowlers are quick to accept such disparity as God’s plan of survival of the

I disclaim any liability if this column ticks off some corporate PR department.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan and editor of E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.
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