Diminishing Returns

There comes a point in any enterprise where ‘diminishing returns’ are a danger. For example, companies which produced black and white TVs, and only black and white TVs, went out of business once colour TVs became possible and the norm. Diminishing returns can also be caused by competition. The classic ‘get very rich quick’ situation arises where a person invents something which costs pennies to make, but is so desirable that people are prepared to pay pounds to possess such an object. Generally speaking, despite patents, others will invent something very similar and increase the supply and spread the demand and the cost will fall. That is the way that free markets work. Thus, it is clearly fallacious for  Tobacco Control to claim that making innovation more difficult and expensive will have economic advantages for the internal market. In fact, it is hard to imagine anything worse for the market than prohibitionist actions (masquerading as ‘standardisation’).  It is even worse when the prohibitions and standardisations are promoted for ‘external’ reasons, such as “promotion of health”.

‘Public Health’ is a monopoly, which is the very antithesis of ‘free markets’. Even so, it must eventually suffer from diminishing returns. Thus, we see that the EU Tobacco Directive is expected to reduce smoking by a paltry 2% over five years. It seems odd to think back to the time when Zealots were claiming that smoking would be history by the year 2000.

I think that it is quite comical that the Zealots have turned against the one thing which might possibly have realised their dream – the e-cigarette. Had the Zealots embraced ecigs, then their dream might have been achievable (apart from a rump of old farts like us).

It seems to me that the Zealots have committed themselves to eventual obscurity since they have, collectively, committed themselves to more and more cost along with less and less achievement.

They can only get away with it for so long.


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