Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fake Compassion and the Sin Tax Bill


Philippines - Well, a monkey catcher knows well how to catch a monkey. One of his clever ways to catch a monkey is to put a banana inside a coconut shell with a hole just enough for the hand of the monkey. The shell is tied to a fixed anchor. When the monkey puts its hand inside the shell and grabs the banana, the catcher will show up in surprise. Holding on to the banana on its hands inside the shell that was tied to a post, the terrified monkey can't pull its hands out. The job is now too easy for the monkey catcher. 

Now, when it comes to bureaucrats and society, the easiest way to trick the sheep out of the people is to deceive them there is super bushy green pasture ahead awaiting them. Or better yet feed them what they really like along the way. 

The Philippine Sin tax bill is about to change to landscape of cigarette and liquor the country. Both farmers and puffers; both brewers and tomadors. Sin tax will raise prices on tobacco and liquor products by charging more taxes on these products. The higher pricing is claimed by sin tax proponents will effectively reduce people indulgence on tobaccos and liquor thus could bring positive health effects into the society overall. Also with so much emphasis on the potential huge collection of taxes to fund government health services, proponents says the sin tax is good for the public health. The agenda is glaringly noble (it seems): FOR THE GOOD OF THE PUBLIC. Who doesn't want public good by the way?

So, the typically dole-out minded Filipinos is once again subjected under a socialistic propaganda of Papa Government taking care of its children. Sin tax will collect more funds to take care the poor. Health services for the poor; hospital rooms with air conditioners for the poor; free MRI for the poor; free healthcare for the poor.  Indeed. Without these typical sweetcoats do you think poor people and their representative wouldn't ram for the sin tax bill? Heck. Everybody wants a sugar-coated lollipop even it was a pepper lollipop.

But what is wrong with Papa Government taking care of the people?  What is wrong with taking care of the people by the way? None. Taking care of poor people is a sign of compassion and love. What is wrong is that we already developed this mentality that it is only through government that we can express our compassion to poor people. No longer it becomes people taking care of people. So we let bureaucrats and politicians legislate ways to enforce compassion while assuming poor people have every right to be taken care of. But to be taken care of is not a right. Bullshit. It is a privilege. We afford privilege to interest groups, the poor sector, through government laws which can only be enforced at the expense of the actual rights of the the ones taxes are taken from. 

So no. Though Sin tax is being taught as a way to take care for the poor, it is only a step closer to a socialistic mentality of parasitism and dole-out mindedness. Compassion must naturally grow from within each person. Not by government force of laws but by mere understanding what true love is. Not while bureaucrats, lobby groups and interest groups parasitically benefit on the taxes forcefully take from the productive sector of the society.
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