In 1997, within a few days after the tobacco companies offered
their $300 billion settlement, I realized what a brilliant move it was
for them. I am surprised that no one else has seemed to refer to this
aspect in dozens of newspaper articles and TV segments about it.
I'm somewhat disappointed.|
It represents an absolute guarantee that the government will not pass any law in the next 25 years to hurt their business! And it even assures them of being allowed to prosper during that time, because implicit in the ability to PAY such payments is the consistent profitability to be able to do it!
A news talk show guest, Cliff Douglas, made the comment during the Nightline show of 5/28/97, that the "industry is digging its own grave" by suggesting the settlement. Many people seem to believe that. They don't consider the situation described above. In fact, if the tobacco companies ever ran into financial difficulties during the next 25 years, our government would feel itself responsible to help them out! All to make sure they could pay their agreed settlement. The various agencies that will receive funds from this source will quickly become dependent on those funds. Any threat to the continuation of those funds will be unwelcome.
C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago