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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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