One of my nerdy enjoyments about studying the capital markets and reading the annual reports of individual stocks is this: the data actually reflects the world as it is, not how it should be.
The US government spends a lot of money advertising against tobacco usage, and yet, when you review the financial performance of firms like Altria, Lorillard, and Reynolds American, you can see that they have a client base that is barely declining at 3% per year, and they are able to offset this dilution with price increases in their products.
To use a less emotionally loaded example, we see the same thing with McDonalds. Watch the movie “Super Size Me.” Listen to any health professional speak on national television. Consumption at McDonalds is universally ridiculed. Read any forum about weight loss, and you will find a snarky commenter say “Put down the Big Mac and get on … Read the rest of this article!