Category Archives: Socioeconomic

A combination of social and economic issues

Tobacco: Unrealistic Taxation nurturing the Black Market

The best way for a politician to make you pay, is to shame you first.

I am not going to dwell on the harms of smoking for that I firmly believe of human maturity, and above all, freedom. [for the record, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life]

One can argue that Lottery should be taxed; after all, I’ve seen people –through working in multiple stores, spending huge sums of money on lottery with a return, less than 12%! Isn’t that harming people?? Hush, lottery is government monopoly… selling dreams is government business after all, and people are mature enough ‘obviously’ to make that decision.

To understand how it worked for both, governments and big tobacco companies, we must look at each group separately:

  1. Tobacco Industry: with many players in the market, the taxation, along with other limitations has forced most of the small operators to sell-out, allowing the big ones to grow even bigger and the small ones to vanish! The outcome was the world-market with 3-5 major players.
  2. Governments: by playing the mind game, governments actually convinced their people that smoking is slowly and steadily killing them, their loved ones and even their unborn yet, allowing them to commit this act of murder for a fee (tax)!

Bottom-line: the end user is an end loser; for tobacco companies’ are still selling their products –demand, no doubt increasing every year [note the lack of statistics when it comes to measuring the actual increasing number of smokers despite all policies]. Governments have subdued their people to pay whatever they’re told to pay in return for “killing themselves”!!

What about the Black Market then? No better example to understanding black market’s volume and the absurd taxation like the one observed on Shisha (Hookah) flavored tobacco, known as Mu’assel.

To elaborate…

Product: Mu’assel.

Description: a syrupy tobacco mixture (usually honey or molasses) smoked in a Hookah/ Shisha. Typical flavors of Mu‘assel include apple, grape, menthol, lemon, chocolate, melon and watermelon. More traditional blends are unflavored such as Saloum and Zaghloul. Some brands of Mu’assel are tobacco-free, using other leafy foliage instead but they are not that pleasant to smoke.

MajorBrands– North America:

  1. Nakhla; Egyptian make. Two distributors in the USA and Three in Canada.
  2. Al Fakher; United Arab Emirates make. No known distributors in North America.

Nakhla Mu’assel is 40% cheaper than Al Fakher; however, Al Fakher is more desired in North America for its extra-sweet taste.

In Canada, with the tax on tobacco is one of the highest in the world; consumers and suppliers have found a common ground in the black market, supplying
Mu’assel for double the price it sells in the USA ((legally)) yet, saving their customers almost 35% of the price they would pay if buying taxed Mu’assel when/if to be found
!

Taxation is not the only cash-cow; penalties and fines, set at unimaginable figures –bankrupting small shops at times, are turning the market into a rather hostile place were either you embrace black-market or pay an absurd tax to kill yourself- if that was the case.

Radicalism is the outcome of oppression; just like, black-market is the result of absurd taxation.

Thus, I think 🙂

Firas

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What is Canadian Experience?!!

Canadian Experience is a Mystical Creature; a mirage of some sort. You could spend years trying to catch it but never succeed for that it does not exist! At least, not in the form claimed to be.

To become Canadian(lly) Experienced has more to do with: How you Appear rather than What you can offer! Sadly True… Some might reach there after few years, few might have luck (or destiny) by their side and get there faster, but most, would eventually give up and become –less than what they wanted to become.

What you Should Know and What you Should Do has to do with You.

In Presenting Yourself:

On Paper/ Online

–         North American Terminology: your Resume, Yes, it’s called resume here, not a Curriculum Vitae (CV). Say: Resume.

–         Stick to short, to the point statements when conveying a point, writing a resume or even a cover letter. Do not list your ‘Job Duties’; list ‘Your
Achievements’
instead.

–         Customize your profile to fit the job you seek. Borrow Key Words from the job ad and place them in your resume so you won’t be disqualified –by the system, before someone gets the chance to review your application.

–         Seek any job that has to do with your previous experience –sacrifice finance if you could; it surly pays back. That will help you grow constantly, and peacefully.

–         Humble yourself, and your previous titles. Let’s be honest: No one is going to hire some ex-CEO/ Boss of Bosses whom has done it all to work
at the bottom of the scale. Start small, and then grow big ((again)).

In Person

While most of the people you might encounter are less educated than you are; they are way far sophisticated and this is because they read a lot plus, the advanced media which keeps them up-to-date with all areas of life. Scary Stuff! Ha? No Worries

–         Stop all that you’re reading and start on some inspiring stuff. Start building your sophistication.

–         Check if there is any course you could take to upgrade your professional capabilities. Something that ends with a useful certificate of course; we’re
not talking Basic English/ or Computer courses here.

–         Follow the News, locally and internationally; be aware of what is happening socially, economically and politically. Become truly and sincerely involved
in your new environment. Localize your sophistication.

–         Don’t feel offended; it’s a different culture and people over here are “practical”, to the point of sounding rude sometimes.

–         Widen your contact base. If the people you’re associated with now are still where they were one year ago, move on.

–         Go out; observe and associate.

Connecting with the Opportunity

Having that said, and done; opportunities will start to come your way, do not let it pass by; evaluate each opportunity as if its you’re only one, then move to the next one.

Catch the 1st Chance Study the 1st Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons

Choose / or Combine

Catch the 2nd Chance Study the 2nd Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons
Catch the 3rd Chance Study the 3rd Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons
Catch as Many Study More Chances Chance’s Pros vs. Cons

Responding to the Opportunity

Mr./ Ms. Sophisticated: Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

–         Visualize: Rehearse for every interview/ or meeting like an actor. A great chance to practice the right terminology.

–         Repeat: Repeat the information you have gathered, the notes/or comments you have generated. Repeat like a believer.

–         Control: You’re in it, to win it. Extinguish your fears like a firefighter.

–        Confidence: Smile, in your way in and out.

–       Respect: Listen, Take notes, wait, wait, Answer. Be nice, not ridicules.

–       Excite: Have something impressive yet, helpful to say by the end.

Follow-up: don’t just pick-up the phone and ask: “what the hell is taking so long??” No, prepare something to offer, an advice or a gesture; something you have captured in your previous meeting. Show that you can add value, simply by showing that you care.

Wow, that was a lot…

SO, Becoming Sophisticated (reading, dressing, thinking, and responding) → Helps you fit → Fitting, exposes you to opportunities → Opportunities are evaluated with your new skills and attitude → Nurtured with continuous learning and development → Results in Acquiring the Opportunity.

Building for your Canadian Experience means building your Canadian-Self, the rest is by-product 😉

I hope, by sharing my own experience, some might benefit.

Thanks,

Firas

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