EU Crisis / Tobacco Plants

The EU crisis seems to only get deeper and deeper. Last week Greece debts doubled. The situation in Portugal is gradually heading further and further downhill.

The Portuguese people have put up with one draconian package after another – with longer working hours, 7pc pay cuts, tax rises, an erosion of pensions, etc – all amounting to a net fiscal squeeze of 10.4 of GDP so far in cyclically-adjusted terms. (It will ultimately be 15pc).

They have protested peacefully, in marked contrast to the Greeks, even though the latest poll by the Catholic University shows that 87pc are losing faith in Portugal’s democracy.

Same goes for Spain, where there’s talk of independence for Catalonia, which has brought a sharp response from the Spanish military:

First we have the robust comments of Colonel Francisco Alaman comparing the crisis to 1936 and vowing to crush Catalan nationalists, described as “vultures”.

“Independence for Catalonia? Over my dead body. Spain is not Yugoslavia or Belgium. Even if the lion is sleeping, don’t provoke the lion, because he will show the ferocity proven over centuries,” he said.

At the heart of the EU, however, optimism reigns.

…the fundamental doubts about the preservation of the euro have been removed. This change in mood is due to ECB chief Mario Draghi. With his announcement on “unlimited” bond purchases, he has made it clear that the euro will survive.

And according to ZeroHedge:

It is no surprise in this context that Europe, which is increasingly becoming wary of Germany, has fully backed Obama, and his particular approach to “wealth redistribution” by promising, as was noted previously, that it would not make waves until he is reelected.

There seems to be accord among EU leaders. They’re standing together to preserve the euro and the EU (and Obama). To this end, the peoples of Greece, Spain, Portugal (and probably a few other countries as well) are having ever-deepening austerity measures imposed on them by their europhile leaders (and supposedly representatives). How long can it go on? How long can people endure being made poorer and poorer simply to sustain the euro and the EU?

It’s not that the leaders themselves suffer in the least bit. I read a report somewhere a few days back that Spain’s Rajoy and accompanying officials, off on a jaunt to see a football match somewhere, consumed seven bottles of wine and a few beers on the flight back.

I’m beginning to think that it will all be decided on the streets of Greece and Spain and Portugal, with governments being overthrown. Everywhere across Europe, little by little, it’s becoming the people versus their EU governments.

On a more humdrum note, my tobacco plants have reached the window soffit.


They can’t grow any higher, so I’m wondering whether to harvest them (and hang them up upside down like Harley suggests), and let some of the smaller plants get a month or two in which to grow in their place. Or to trim the tops off them, and leave them to carry on growing. They still haven’t flowered – unlike my pepper plants, which flowered a month or so back, and are now sporting a few small green peppers. Suggestions welcomed.


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19 Responses to EU Crisis / Tobacco Plants

  1. harleyrider1978 says:


    Taxes Without Borders
    World Health Organization mulling global cigarette tax
    Taxes Without Borders
    World Health Organization mulling global cigarette tax

    BY: CJ Ciaramella
    September 27, 2012 5:00 am
    The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a global excise tax of up to 70 percent on cigarettes at an upcoming November conference, raising concerns among free market tax policy analysts about fiscal sovereignty and bureaucratic mission creep.

    In draft guidelines published this September, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control indicated it may put a cigarette tax on the table at its November conference in Seoul, Korea.

    “First we had doctors without borders,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. “Now you could have taxes without borders. … This is a new frontier in taxes. If they’re successful with this, consumers and taxpayers should be concerned about what’s coming down the pipe.”

    Although WHO does not have any power to mandate taxes on sovereign nations, it is considering two proposals on cigarette taxes to present to member countries. The first would be an excise tax of up to 70 percent.

    “The concept was initially proposed by a working group set up by World Bank to explore innovative sources of financing health care and envisions a voluntary action by interested governments to adopt an additional tax levy as part of their regular tobacco excise on each pack of cigarettes consumed,” the WHO said in a January statement. “This would increase the effective excise tax rate on cigarettes towards the WHO recommended level of 70 percent of the retail price and, by generating substantial revenues, could ensure a sustainable revenue stream for financing international health.”

    The second proposal is a tiered earmark on packs of cigarettes: 5 cents for high-income countries, 3 cents for middle-income countries, and 1 cent for low-income countries.

    WHO has estimated that such a tax in 43 selected high-/middle-/low-income countries would generate $5.46 billion in tax revenue.

    “Cynically, the earmark tax is a smart move for the WHO because it’s tiered,” Williams said. “It’s a good way of buying votes in support. We see the same thing in the U.S. in the form of donor states and recipient states.”

    Whichever option the WHO ends up backing, “they’re both two big, bad ideas,” said Daniel Mitchell, a senior tax policy fellow at the Cato Institute. Free-market tax policy analysts such as Mitchell and Williams have long argued against such taxes on tobacco, saying they are regressive, ineffective, and counter-productive.

    Cigarette taxes hit low-income people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one third of Americans earning less than $15,000 per year are smokers, compared with only 11 percent of those earning more than $50,000 annually. Since cigarette taxes are fixed and not based on ability to pay, they necessarily consume a higher percentage of low incomes.

    Critics also argue such a tax increase will not generate more revenue, but push more sales to the black market and counterfeit cigarette producers.

    “It’s already huge problem,” Mitchell said. “In many countries, a substantial share of cigarettes are black market or counterfeit. They put it in a Marlboro packet, but it’s not a Marlboro cigarette. Obviously it’s a big thing for organized crime.”

    By some estimates, counterfeit cigarette factories in China churn out 400 billion cigarettes annually.

    The other concern is mission creep. Tobacco, Mitchell says, is easy to vilify, making it an attractive beachhead from which to launch future vice tax initiatives.

    WHO says the “global tobacco epidemic” kills nearly 6 million people each year; 600,000 of these are people exposed to second-hand smoke.”

    Update 10:20 A.M.: “The increase of the price of tobacco by national authorities through higher excise taxes is the single most effective way to encourage tobacco users to quit and prevent children from starting to smoke. In addition, it increases the revenue of governments without increasing illicit trade of tobacco,” said Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesman.

    “During the Conference of the Parties (COP5) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) from 12-17 November in Seoul, the Parties will discuss draft guidelines on Article 6 of the Framework Convention. While the outcome of the discussion cannot be foreseen, Article 6 talks about ‘Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco.’ It links taxation to the curbing of demand, but does not relate to fiscal benefits. Such fiscal benefits from taxation are not being discussed during COP5. Further, implementation of national tax policies remains the full sovereign right of the Parties.”

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank you need some good burley tobacco seeds. They bush out and make way more tobacco than those plants youve got. Perhaps some larger pots would help. But I tell ya those plants look so damn healthy theyve got to be some excellent smoke!

  3. Junican says:

    Is there any reason that the pots should stay on the window ledge? Why not put them on the floor? It is only the leaves that need light. As I understand it, there is nothing to be gained by leaving the bottom leaves on the plant unless you want to wait for them to yellow ‘in situ’.

    Funnily enough, I have just written a post at:
    about this very subject.

    Sometimes I despair………….

    As regards HR’s comment, it seems to me to be another ASH floater – see how it is received. Again, we wonder how this sh*t gets published. But, there again, these floaters must surely be annoying Governments world-wide. Who are these new aristocrats in the WHO to dictate to elected Governments? ….. I know, I know……

  4. legiron says:

    What you need are bigger windows.

    I’d do what Junican suggests. Put the pots on the floor and start harvesting leaves from the bottom up. I’m surprised they haven’t flowered yet but keep them going and they should.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    We always top the plants as soon as flowers show up,it means its going to seed and then simply grows tall. Topping the plant makes the plant bush out and produce broader leaf tobacco hense broad leaf tobacco.

  6. XX The EU crisis seems to only get deeper and deeper. Last week Greece debts doubled. XX

    Did you happen to see the graph yetserday in the Mail, showing how much foriegn “aid” each country gives?

    Greece gives 0,11% of its GDP in “foreign aid”!?!?!


    “Crisis? WHAT fucking crisis?” to badly quote Jim Callaghan.

  7. c777 says:
    Globalism eh?
    Of course the EU will now roll it out unquestioningly.
    The EU is merely an arm of globalism.
    Lets hope it goes soon.
    I am convinced globalism is the root of all the madness ensuing in political quarters.
    Growing your own will soon be the only option.

  8. margo jackson says:

    I sent a post but it seems to have gone missing. One thing it said was Thanks to Jackieco6 and Walt for their messages re the e-cigs scam (still on-going). Can’t quite remember the rest – there was something.

  9. Pingback: A Tobacco Disposal Method | Frank Davis

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