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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Smokers Subsidize Non-Smokers

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota shows that smokers pay over $1 more than their costs to society in taxes on each pack of cigarettes they purchase. The AMA claims smoking's societal costs amount to between 27-43 cents a pack in 2005 dollars. Adding up taxes charged for the tobacco settlements with the feds and states plus sales taxes, they are subsidizing non-smokers over $1 per pack. Considering that people with lower-income in America are a high percentage of smokers, this is a very regressive tax.

No doubt the busy-bodies have their sights on the flabby bellies next. Then they'll chase down the dummies. Except by then, the busy-bodies will be suing and taxing themselves.

16 Comments:

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At 8:35 AM, Blogger Marmelade said...

I am on a rant. America’s economy has always been able to sustain political storms, but I am not sure it can weather the current hurricanes and tornadoes ripping through the balance sheets of so many states, counties, cities, towns and villages. Of course, housing prices have been pushed up in the wake of all the devastation. However (there’s always a “however”) my Boca Raton real estate site deals with what is starting to look like a slowdown in the velocity of home sales. End of the rant. I’m currently in the mood to hit the "next url" link at the top of the page, which brought me to your site, and this rant. I did enjoy your blog. Off I cyberskip to the next site :o)

 
At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't know if you have your own website as well as a blog, but if you do, perhaps you'd like to swap links with my site ... Although my own interest is finding information on BocaCC Brokers, I have some pages at BocaSite.com which are dedicated to link swapping (but with websites, and not with blogs). If this is at all interesting to you, please contact me through my Boca Raton real estate site and we'll try to work something out. Anyway, glad I stumbled across your blog ... interesting read.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger NotApp said...

Hi. After suffering through the tree-busting, home-wreaking destruction of Hurricane Wilma, and being away from the Internet for well over a week because Adelphia broadband blew away in the wind, it’s nice to read things like your blog. Even though I really am searching for information on the Boca Raton Country Club, which I might be able to use on my Boca Raton real estate site ... thanks for the read.

 
At 1:02 AM, Blogger killtheblogspam said...

Hello, I started suffering from a blogging deficit disorder because Hurricane Wilma came crashing through our lives in Florida and stopped me from surfing a few hours a day. I spend most of my time looking for Boca Raton Realtor information that I can use in my Boca Raton real estate site ... but I like to take a break every now and then and hit the "next url" link at the top of the page. Which brought me to your blog ... and I just wanted to thank you for the look at something other than hurricane damage and my own business. Thanks.

 
At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Boca Raton Realtor said...

Rant # 37: They are starting to call Florida “Hurricane Alley” … and homes are getting mowed down like bowling pins. Now we’re facing yet another storm threat from potential-hurricane Gamma. We’re worn out down here, and on my Boca Raton real estate site shows just how badly the buyers and sellers have been bruised. This wind-damaged market has seen home sellers double and home buyers all but disappear in the past few weeks. Can bargains be far behind?

 
At 4:50 AM, Blogger NoSpec said...

Suicide Spammers Alert

Most of us agree that “spamming” is a growing problem on the internet. But now it looks as if the spammers are shooting themselves in the foot. They seem to be committing mass suicide. Because, by using spamming software to “automate” their competitive efforts, they are raising their hand in the cyber classroom and identifying themselves as … well … spammers worthy of internet contempt.

Many of these “spammers” are small-time entrepreneurs searching for a spotlight in a medium (the internet) which is being bought and paid for by Big Guys with oversized ad budgets. In other words, the small-time entrepreneurs see the “spamming software” as a way of competing with the swollen internet expenditures of Fortune 500 companies.

Now comes news that it may not be working for the little guys. They may be making themselves even smaller by identifying themselves to the large search engines such as Google, AltaVista, AllTheWeb, Teoma and Yahoo!

Let me share with you my own experience with Blog Submitter Pro V.Search. It’s a popular, heavily-marketed “spam machine” which posts comments to blogs, either automatically or semi-automatically, depending on a user’s settings. And, yes, I bought it because I am one of those small-time entrepreneurs looking for attention in a cyberspace bought and paid for by Big Guys with oversized ad budgets.

On Nov 8th 2005, I began pointing Blog Submitter software to one of my real estate sites. At the time, my site “ranking” on major search engines was reasonable, but not great.

I purchased Blog Submitter Pro after many months of trying to claw my way up the cyberspace ladder on a peanut-sized budget. Prior to using the software, my site popularity numbers were: Google: 27 links … AltaVista: 589 links … AllTheWeb: 584 links … Teoma: 30 links … Yahoo!: 595 links and MSN: 10 links.

I have run Blog Submitter Pro V.Search quite a bit between then and now. Some glitches appeared, but overall I felt it was an OK piece of software … or at least a clever one. The fact that it would often post repeatedly to the same blog was a serious problem, but I still felt the program was delivering a shot at cyber stardom. My blogger “comments” were well thought out, and they posted accurately. They were innocuous and unobtrusive messages. An example or two of my typical comments:

Hi. After suffering through the tree-busting, home-wreaking destruction of Hurricane Wilma, and being away from the Internet for well over a week because Adelphia broadband blew away in the wind, it’s nice to read things like your blog. Even though I really am searching for information on Boca Raton Real Estate, which I might be able to use on my Boca Raton real estate site ... thanks for the read.

Or this:

Blog-skipping is the latest cybersport … sort of like skipping stones across the water … see how many blogs you can ripple through before your fingers stiffen up. It’s an amusing break from working on my Boca Raton real estate site . Your blog has slowed me down a little, because I enjoyed the read. Still … off I cyberskip to the next site :o)

I had a minimum of ten such messages whenever I turned on Blog Submitter Pro V.Search, validated by ten different sets of “credentials” (blogs I have at Blogger.com, proving I’m a fellow blogger and kindred internet spirit).

My messages were posted on thousands of blog sites, and the sites were then automatically “pinged” to let the search engines know a post had been made. Then the search engine would come and look at the post and it would be “fooled” into thinking that the site which the post pointed to – my site – was a worthwhile, busy entity in cyberspace.

The first hint of a letdown came when three of my credentials (blogs I have at Blogger.com) were tagged by the Blogger folks as “SPAM BLOGS” … a DIRECT result of using Blog Submitter Pro V.Search software.

Didn’t take them long to figure out I was a dreaded spammer. And that, sadly, turns out to be the GOOD news.

My site popularity ranking on major search engines (the result of many months of hard work prior to using Blog Submitter Pro) was, in my opinion, badly damaged. The exact numbers as of this writing are: Google: 27 links (as before) … AltaVista: 283 links (a drop of 306 links) … AllTheWeb: 71 links (a drop of 513 links) … Teoma: 30 links (as before) … Yahoo!: 286 links (a drop of 309 links) and MSN: 96 links (an increase of 86 links).

I attribute this damage directly to the use of Blog Submitter Pro V.Search software. I expect my rankings on Google and Teoma to slide on the next update from their search engines (which seems to happen about once a month). I am sure the increase in MSN will also seriously reverse.

To say I am disappointed in the software would be a gross understatement. I am only glad that I had the foresight to use it on a single website, and not on all of my websites. I will continue to use it on the damaged site to see if it continues to hurt, rather than help. And I will report back to anyone interested. The site in question is http://www.bocasite.com.

My e-mail is temple@bocasite.com.

Good luck, folks. I think, with this software, we are well on the road to identifying and, ultimately, watching the suicide of a lot of spammers. And I intend to use the software itself to propagate the message. Poetic justice rules. Spread the word.

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger Boca Expert said...

Whether you are buying or selling in Boca Raton, the best deal comes with the help of the best real estate experts. Go to BocaSite.com for expert advice about current Boca Raton Listings or Culture or Golf or Hospitals or Recreation or Worship or Condos and right now Boca Raton sellers can get an appraisal-style analysis FREE when they visit BocaSite.com.

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Boca Expert said...

Whether you are buying or selling in Boca Raton, the best deal comes with the help of the best real estate experts. Go to BocaSite.com for expert advice about current Boca Raton Listings or Culture or Golf or Hospitals or Recreation or Worship or Condos and right now Boca Raton sellers can get an appraisal-style analysis FREE when they visit BocaSite.com.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Boca Expert said...

Click any link fort expert advice about Real Estate Agents in Boca Raton . Click here for current Boca Raton Listings or Boca Raton Culture or Boca Golf or a list of Hospitals in Boca or Recreation Areas in Boca or House of Worship or Boca Condos. And right now Boca Raton sellers can get an appraisal-style analysis FREE when they click thru for expert advice about Real Estate Agents in Boca Raton.

 
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