Money from sin
WITH MODESTO P. SA-ONOY
Of course there’s a lot of money in and from sin, so large is the money that people will defy and deny God, violate the law and kill for the money.
If one looks at the governments of the world, each one of them makes a lot of money from sinful activities. If there is no money to be made from committing sin, or just the pleasure of it, there would be no need for government.
We can cite the sources of money from sins of prostitution, drugs, bank robberies or plunder of the national treasury, kidnapping and human trafficking. You can make you own list, as corrupt public officials and protectors of crime syndicates.
Even the controversial loss of Manny Pacquiao to Timothy Bradley is blamed on the “sin dikit” in Las Vegas, the sin capital of the world committing its gravest sin against the Filipinos with a “split decision.” Who split how much is clear in the minds of Filipinos.
Some sins are such only because society says so; contrariwise, some sins are not so, depending on whose or what rules one follows.
There are acts that are sinful per se; nature has mandated it to be so and not dependent on what believers and propagators of the doctrine of relativism says. This doctrine rejects that certain acts violate the law of nature, like abortion, contraception, gay marriages and vulgarism. It preaches, like the hedonists, that what is pleasurable and pleasing to a person is good and cannot be wrong.
Pleasure and money that bring about pleasure define what is right and what is wrong.
At certain periods of human history, alcoholic drinking was wrong and sinful and in fact, many governments considered it a crime. But then they realized that they cannot stop people from getting intoxicated so they allowed it and to “dissuade” people from imbibing alcohol, governments imposed heavy taxes on them and made a lot of money.
Legalizing sinful acts has thus become a multi-billion business of the Philippine government. This is the reason why some sectors want the legalization of gambling.
The idea is that what you cannot stop, you can tax. So the government makes a lot of money in the process and justifies it as a means of helping the poor.
But often allowing or legalizing what is intrinsically sinful, like prostitution and abortion, is counterproductive. Somewhere along the way, somebody pays.
I remember the debate in Europe about legalizing prostitution. The justification is that since the government cannot stop people from their sexual urges then, legalize it and make money on the side. In fact, legalized prostitution in some countries in Europe has become a major tourist incentive.
Similarly, in another European country, drugs have been legalized in some bars as a tourist come-on. When a new government came to power and wanted to put a lid on it, there were protests because without the legalized drugs, there would be fewer tourists and fewer tourists means lesser money.
It just happens that even if government imposed high taxes, the sin, advocated by the hedonists, secularists and relativists, the more the sin becomes desirable and profitable.
A vicious cycle is created thereby. Higher taxes mean more money for government and the “sin dikit” because the vice is no longer stoppable.
Experience tells us that despite the high taxes on alcohol and tobacco, drinking and smoking remain high and even hitting young people.
As I said, somewhere the sin is paid for and in this case, the youth of the world is paying for these sins, from the rising incidence of HIV-AIDS, young male and female prostitution, abortion, tobacco and drug abuse and smoking children as young as nine years old.
The Philippines is going to impose a higher tax on tobacco and alcohol, called “sin taxes” because their combination especially, is costing this country about P100 billions in health care.
Let us not be deceived as to who pays the price of these sins. The cost of health and medical are not shouldered by the families of the victims alone but by all of us because these translate to higher premiums for insurance, Philhealth, SSS and GSIS. They lower pensions and other benefits.
Add the cost of labor lost and home care for those who have chosen to become victims of these sins and the price will be exceedingly high.
The government might gain more taxes but in fact the billions of pesos gained are less than the actual cost of keeping people alive, healthy and productive.
There is belief that taxes will make people stop their vices. This has been proven wrong but the sad part is that government and society think of the money to be gained and not the cost of human suffering that money can never recompense.*
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