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An Anology: Chickens and Eggs

This analogy of the tobacco problem appeared in the Toronto Sun, Friday, 2/25/00 -- article number 37712

RE THE Tobacco Act and recouping health costs: Perhaps the situation is too complicated for any/all levels of government to figure out that they do have a responsible role to play. So an analogy might help.

You live on a very large farm.

Among other produce, you raise chickens and sell the eggs.

You have done so for years.

The eggs are addictive - not good tasting or anything, just addictive.

The eggs sell like crazy.

You make a fortune.

Years go by and you discover people who eat your eggs get ill and then they die.

Lots of them.

You do some research and discover the eggs you are selling are killing them.

Slowly.

Expensively.

So you raise the price; maybe that will dissuade them.

But the eggs are still addictive and kill people. And besides, you're making a fortune.

So you colour them black and label them "poison eggs" and raise the price again.

But the eggs are still addictive and kill people. And, besides, you're making a fortune.

So you sue the chickens to make them pay for the people who are dying.

After all, it's clearly their fault.

Besides, you're making a fortune.

Otherwise you'd stop selling the eggs.


Karen Munro, Toronto

(We're dealing with politicians here, you know. This little story may be beyond their comprehension)

 
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