Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.
On 14 MARCH 2013, I had the pleasure of hosting an impromptu interview with one Troy Murphy from Monroe County, Kentucky, which I recorded on my phone (you can listen to the entire interview via the embedded YouTube video at the bottom of this article).
In this interview, Mr. Murphy describes how the Philip Morris Company bought out the local tobacco farmers in Monroe County, and about how this subsequently destroyed the local economy, leading to an incredibly corrupt police state, riddled with drug use, murder, theft, and the employment of illegal immigrants, even as legitimate employment dramatically dropped.
When I did some research on the subject on my own, I discovered something astounding: this was conducted with state funds. Here we have a case of a private company buying out local farmers with tax dollars, and then bringing in illegal immigrants to run the super plantations. This describes a transition from a free-market economy to a state-sponsored big business model. In other words, this describes a transition from capitalism to fascism. This process took 5 years, and by the end, Monroe County had become a police state.
This case is interesting in that it illustrates the difference between the capitalist and fascist models, and demonstrates the socio-economic consequences of giving up one in favor of the other.
Also, for any would be tobacco farmer, there’s a wealth of used equipment that can be had at rock bottom prices in Kentucky. This might be a good opportunity for someone who wants to create an «all natural tobacco» start-up of some kind (most industrial tobacco is GMO, now).
After I had closed out the interview, Mr. Murphy commented to me: «You know, you never really think about it, but when you just lay it all out like that, it just seems crazy.» Indeed so, Mr. Murphy. Indeed so.
May this sordid piece of history be an indelible mark of shame upon the government of the state Kentucky.
Here is a recording of the interview: