Don’t they just love telling us how much things cost?
Here they spout about smoking costing Ireland several billion a year. Obesity is up there as well, probably with another few billion. The WHO of course have to be king of the castle so they reckon smoking costs the world economy a trillion dollars a year. This is their latest tactic to try to shock us to the core and give up living altogether in despair.
But what do they mean by “costs”?
I suppose they are trying to give the impression that that money just disappears into a black hole somewhere, and if smoking / obesity / alcoholism didn’t suck it all up that somehow there would be a few trillion dollars doing all sorts of wonderful things like feeding the world and sending people to Mars. But it doesn’t work that way, does it?
So where does this money actually go?
They are somewhat vague about this and presumably hope we all think it goes into the back pockets of Big Tobacco or Big Sugar or even Big Drink. Let’s have a look at an imaginary situation:
Joe Blogs is a worker in a factory and enjoys the odd cigarette and a few spoons of sugar and a dollop of Vodka on his cereal. One day he is hit by a bicycle and his leg is broken. Naturally he is carted off to hospital. On admission he is marked down as a smoker [or sugar eater or alcoholic] and the injury is therefore smoking related [or sugar / alcohol related].
A doctor examines the leg and adds a whopping fee onto the hospital bill. The hospital is in the meantime charging several hundred a night to keep poor Joe in Third World conditions. All this is of course racked up to “smoking related costs”. But where does this money go? Presumably the doctor is going to spend it on food, clothing and a mansion in Marbella. Now if he spends it on food and clothing [and a few bob for the missus] then the money is still in the economy. It is now being used to employ food retailers, clothing manufacturers and plastic surgeons for the wife’s boob job. If however he spends it in Marbella then technically it has left this economy and into the Spanish one. We make up for that by overcharging Spanish tourists so there is no net loss. Similarly the hospital is employing nurses and tons of foreigners and they also are spending their money on food clothing and possibly drugs [who knows, these days?] all of which keeps others in employment [even drug dealers have to live, don’tcha know?].
So none of the money is ultimately leaving the economy: it just circulates around the place. The only time it stops circulating is when some cunt sticks it under his mattress for a rainy day.
So when you look at things in this light, smoking, drinking and eating contribute massive amounts to the economy [probably somewhere in the region of a trillion a year?] and should therefore be thanked for their valliant efforts to keep trade and industry alive and running. Apart from pubs and shops, look at the factories pumping out cigarettes, sugar, confectionery and booze. Look at the people who service those enterprises. Look at the farmers growing tobacco, sugar cane or hops. Even look at the number of doctors, nurses and surgeons who’d be out of a job if there were no “smoking related” illnesses. The list is endless.
I definitely think smokers, drinkers and fatties are the heroes of society.
Without them, the economy would be fucked.