Please bear with me: this is about cigars! In her seminal work, The Classic Italian Cookbook, (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1978), Marcella Hazan writes, (p.335):
"I cannot imagine Italy without its vegetable stalls, filling ancient squares and animating dusty side streets with mounds of fabulous forms in purple, green, red, gold, and orange. In a land heavy with man's monuments, these are the soil's own masterworks.
Perhaps one day the vitality of these still flourishing markets will be replaced by the pallor of deep-freeze counters, those cemeteries of food, where produce is sealed up in wax boxes marked, like some tombstones, with photographs of the departed. But I hope it never happens. I would sooner be deprived of all of the marvels of Michelangelo."
What creates the “cemeteries of food” she so eloquently describes? Regulation, the hidden tax on small business, prevents small operators - manufacturers and retailers, from competing (surviving) against well-financed larger corporations who will make up the cost of regulation through increased market share.
Can you imagine the USA without its brick and mortar cigar shops? Can you imagine buying cigars in their plastic tombstones, with a brand label on top and no images whatsoever? I can imagine it, I have seen it! If you doubt this – take a quick trip to Canada.
I would sooner be deprived of the works of Mark Twain, who, through his cigar smoke, I imagine would chuckle and agree! If you also agree, join the CRA!! This, your (consumer) cigar rights organization, leads the defense charge for you in the halls of Congress and among the States, to prevent over-reaching regulation at both the factory and retail level. Their work has already accomplished much – and yet they still need your help. We can win this fight! We can win, if you join today!
Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR, Inc.