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New York Strangles Small Business


New York Strangles Small Business
Kamal Saleh runs a small store in New York City. He was recently given a summons to appear in court for violating one of New York’s many rules. His crime was selling cigars… 11 cents too cheaply.

It’s not often people complain about things being too cheap. But New York City says stores may not sell tobacco below a certain price.

“Very cheap products should no longer be available. It deters children from starting smoking,” says Dr. Kurt Ribisl, who studies tobacco policy and testified at the New York hearings in favor of a tobacco price floor. “Cigarettes are the most lethal product ever introduced into interstate commerce.”

John Stossel agrees cigarettes are dangerous. But he asks, “Shouldn’t individuals have the right to decide for themselves if they want to smoke? And what is the cost to New York City businesses in complying with all these regulations?” For tobacco alone, the regulations are 47 pages long.

Kamal faces a ,000 fine, a huge amount of money for a small store owner. “You have to sell a lot of sodas and sandwiches in order to make the ,000,” says Andrew Tilem, Kamal’s lawyer. Andrew represents a lot of small businesses in New York and says the other regulations are hurting small businesses. “It’s the big guy who basically can hire lawyers. It’s the little guy who’s trying to pinch his pennies to make a dollar that has the biggest problem.”

Tilem say small stores are constantly going in and out of business, but “the big business community is thriving. You see Starbucks. You see 7-Eleven. You see Target, opening new stores.”

Has New York become a city of too much regulation where only big businesses can thrive?

Produced by Naomi Brockwell. Edited by Joshua Swain.

  • Show Comments (36)

  • stenbak88

    Democrats hate small businesses and freedoms

  • miller forester

    How about all the sugar in ketchup?  All the junk food in stores, they are full of it?  Yet another example of a police state.I get to decide what I buy, not what Mr/Ms know-it-all says what is best for me.

  • Richard Bright

    Profit is the motive!!
    Cigarettes the most lethal product ever produced? Processed Sugar is a much larger threat to the health of this nation!!
    Alcohol and prescription drugs are next on the list.
    The biggest threat is having one man or small body restrict the freedom of the all!!

  • Gary Zielinski

    He’s not a Bully, he’s a cocksucker!!!!

  • Scott’s Wood

    You can’t pay me enough money to ever step foot in that state or city and I will never order a product that I know it is made there.

    Why would anyone live in that pollute,congested, noisy, crime-ridden place? Not to mention the horribly polluted rivers and terrible cold climate.

  • Glenn Heiselman

    That’s discrimination against poor people. They raised the price against poor people..

  • BRUCE E FERRY

    You know…. it’s beginning to piss me off when I hear that the United States is a free country. It’s not. The government controls or regulates everything. That’s not freedom.

  • leon singleton

    Democrats strangle all business and send jobs to China.

  • Chet

    Stop voting for democrats.

  • James Barnes

    fine = extortion and treason….

    Tobacco prices extortion and harm to the poor……

    Traitors to freedom….. and felons.

  • I’m the father of God, and I’m disappointed in God and you gullible melon farmers

    The tobacco companies should all be sued and the people who put the poisons in them should be executed. They need to be outlawed like pot. You have 0 reason to smoke anything.

  • LaughTooHard

    This entire Liberal stranglehold on certain city’s and states is insane. Check this out. A can of Copenhagen sells for between $5 and $6 in the states. In Canada, that same tiny can sells for between $30 and $35! The same goes for alcohol. In the states a 30 pack of Coors Light at some Wal-Marts sells for $17.99. In Canada. Around $50!

  • David Sekowski

    I would love to punch that jerkoff in the throat..
    What a total Dick

  • jon w

    More tobacco huts than McDonald’s? So, more libraries than McDonald’s too (the big mac is their next target after the sugary drinks – just wait)

  • Billy Holmes

    He said cigerrets are the most deadly thing to humans , funny I thought it was rabid liberalism

  • Liberty Tree

    The cure for a totalitarian, selfish democrat is the guillotine.

  • ANTI HERO

    Lol the less people on this planet the better, so why the hell would you want to try and make it HARDER for people to willingly kill themselves?…..smh that’s ridiculous

  • Rev. Gunn

    New York is the most fucked up state!

  • VS30131968

    You want to save New York ?  get rid of Cuomo and the Liberals and Democrats. This  is what’s called tyranny, when the government dictates every aspect of your life and decides what you will do and won’t do. Stop complaining about it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  If you don’t New York will become the California of the East Coast. And we all know how totally fucked up California is.

  • gramkeel

    That happens when you keep voting democrat

  • Toby Goodguy

    DeBlasio is a communist.

  • macslim187

    Is there a black market for Cigarette’s??!…. Seems like your local weed dealer might want to travel across state grounds to buy and sell cigarettes at a lower price, business would be booming! lol

  • Alt Centrist Lilly

    Charging more is going to help people quit…just make them pay more. Thanks government!!!

  • Dennis Rinker

    And California is going broke broke broke. Selling cigs at a 20cents tax you maybe be saved. Oh by the way, that’s how you got to where we are. Better think about marijuana and the dime bag. It’s come along way boys.

  • John Harbin

    People control ass holes.

  • Fleece Johnson

    They won’t make them illegal because it’s their golden goose. Stop smoking and put the government in the poor house.

  • Farmer Dude357

    They only care because there’s money in it for them. Why don’t they stop the use of these very deadly chemicals that farmers spray. These chemicals are so deadly they forced me out of the honey bee business. This stuff is drop out of airplanes 400 feet in the air. People mowing there grass, driving down the roads, out side. They don’t give a crap. Why, there’s no money in caring.

  • oldedude51

    What would Dr. Ribisl do if the CDC found that “smugness” and “arrogance” were “unhealthy attitudes”? Would HE find a “new product to sell”, because, as far as I can tell, those are his two main commodities. I’m pretty sure that I can find any number of psychiatrists and psychologists and psychometricians and mental health counselors who would be willing to say that those two “products” cause untold misery and social conflict, even death (especially when people finally get tired of someone’s smug, arrogant bullshit).

    In the meantime, we can only hope that he is kidnapped and held in a small, poorly ventilated room by a half dozen chain smokers.

  • Marsha Woods

    That guy is a total idiot.. That is not going to stop young people from starting smoking. All these do-gooders need to back off and quit wasting taxpayers time and money.. They need to be addressing much more serious issues

  • Gary Riggs

    Why don’t they vote for more Retarded Anti-American Liberal Communists (Democrat) Party members. 😟
    Damn the retardation!! 😐

  • CaptainViral84

    Has any seen the cult classic Ghostbusters?

  • rymara1

    Socialism always strangles small business, Cali is the same.

  • Jacob D

    When people hear the alt-right or Libertarians or Trump say we need less regulation, they think the word regulation means stuff like testing food for heavy metals/pathogens, needing restaurants to follow health safety standard, etc. No, what it means is removing bullshit bureaucracy that cripples business growth and takes the money of those creating value to those who actively destroy it (bureaucrats). We need less bureaucracy, we need less ridiculous arbitrary rules, we need a base set of standards that ensure safety, and besides that it’s free game. Paying tithes for every cigarette you sell is fucking stupid.

  • Angel Terrero

    Bullshit! Tobacco causes addiction, a known disease. No one is choosing to smoke, addiction is making them sicker. Try stop fucking producing the lethal fucking things.

  • jake black

    Yah I support this. There are negative externalities that come with tobacco use (aka your lung cancer treatment Im going to have to pay for because you don’t have good health insurance). Regulating these products with price floors makes sense.

  • Andreas Fuchs

    My Opinion ist that addicts will pay any price and with higher taxes, the familys have less money if one or more parent is addicted to tobacco. When because of this the children get a worse education, the tobacco policy makes also their life worse.
    Because of this i am not a big fan of taxing drugs high in order to reduce the consumption, i think it doesn’t work and has other negative effects.

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