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In the US alcohol consumption has long been celebrated in paid, feel-good lifestyle adverts.  To that recently has been added all sorts of adverts for prescription drugs from ED drugs to dry eye drugs.  Both types of ads are important to cultivating and maintaining product sales.  Tobacco ads have been significantly curtailed but still exist in some forms.  To me the prescription drug ads are at least as pernicious as the alcohol and tobacco ads as they are a significant part of the means whereby Pharma extract money from the population, a large part of it funded out of Medicare.

I would suggest a tax on all such advertisements and disallowing them as business expenses.  It should be at least a tax of 100% of the cost of creating and running the ad, but some multiple if required so as to generate sufficient revenue to cover the cost of the consequences of the use of the product.  These are probably the greatest for alcohol, as lives are lost and/or mangled as a routine, collateral consequence of excessive use of alcohol.  Another benefit is that it might help sober up Joe Sixpack.  Unanesthesized, he or some of his cohort might find more to contemplate and correct and less to celebrate about their condition.  

Perhaps this is farfetched, but it is a dream of mine, and it is certainly more benign than raising revenue by legalizing lotteries and gambling.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 05:45:59 PM EST
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Oho - you just disturbed a nest of bees ;-) Run for your life!

Our whole W*estern society is devoted, in one form or another, to the alteration of the mind by the narrowness of behaviour caused by the intake or provocation of biochemicals. There is only one way, in the long run, to counteract becoming predictable, and that is to consistently seek the unpredictable - even, paradoxically, biochemically.

It is very hard to run any society as a leader, without using or misusing some of this biochemical know-how. Joe Five-Brains might be a better icon of the future than Joe Six-Pack.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 05:57:40 PM EST
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No! No!  I have no desire to suppress the sale of alcohol or other intoxicants, quite the contrary.  I would like to see the war on drugs called off for the very bad idea that it is, to see cannabis, in all its forms legalized and to see other psycho-active drugs made available under appropriate, (to me,) circumstances.  I only make the modest proposal that each drug should pay its way in terms of its negative effects on others.  That would likely make cannabis cheaper than beer, with correspondingly beneficial effects on Tom Two Toke.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 08:58:38 PM EST
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Perhaps this is farfetched

Temperance campaigns are certainly odd expressions of normative expectations (not continent behavior), and resulting legislation by state in the US exercises doctrinal legal realism (don't stop reading at wiki) to the limit of public safety.

Personal point of reference: Some twenty-years ago a few of my clients were a number of beer, distillery, or wine importers. Advertising media was statutorily limited to print and event (promo) media. I've been out of the loop for ten years or so (I am not in the life and not regular teevee audience). Have you notice as have I over the last five years or so increasing frequency of broadcast commercials (00:30) of beer, spirits, and liqueurs, sanctioned by a "mice type" disclaimer to "drink responsibly"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 21st, 2008 at 03:54:50 PM EST
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