Monday, July 03, 2006

Stinging Up the Wrong Tree

Last week the NY Sun reported on the results of a city investigation into the selling of cigarettes to minors. Nearly 200 bodegas and supermarkets were caught in the investigation. Mayor Bloomberg, commenting on the city's action said, "These businesses are all too willing to put cigarettes in the hands of our kids."

The mayor, with his confiscatory cigarette tax-one that he's looking to increase by 50 cents-is all too willing to put cigarettes in the hands of black marketers who are selling these illegal smokes on the streets of New York. Guess what? No one from the city's DCA is citing these criminals for their illegal behavior.

It's always the legitimate store owners who are targeted. Of course no one examines the ethics of some of these sting operations. As an employee of Space Market, a store that had its license revoked, on University Place told the Sun, "They sent people who looked like they were thirty, at least 28, and they were underage..."

Mayor Bloomberg needs to step up and take a strong stand against the black market activity that is taking over the city's streets. Between the cigarette hawkers and the fruit peddlers the rights of store owners don't appear to concern this administration too much.