Saturday, July 07, 2012

Follow The Money

I always wind up back at the concept of limited government. It was core to the discussions in Independence Hall in Philadelphia when the Founding Fathers were debating the format and powers of our new national government. There were certain functions that a national government needed to do and while they were important, they also were limited in range. The obvious included defending the nation from attack, coining a standardized currency, operating a postal system and adjudicating disputes which bridged state boundaries.

Now we find the oppressive hand of the federal government everywhere. For fifteen years now I have asked my government classes to name any aspect of society which the federal government is not involved in. To date I haven't found one.

Here is a great example:

Transportation Bill Harbors Micro-Business Poison Pill

What does that little business have to do with transportation? Really a tough linkage to find.

No, I'm not about to encourage cigarette smoking. Never did it myself although I find it amazing that I avoided it considering that I grew up in the time when absolutely everyone smoked from Bogey and Bacall to  mom, dad and all of my peers. I'm amazed today that people still fall into the addiction with all that is known about it. Treated like a pariah, taxed at a ludicrous level, creating a pathetic dependence, saturating the individual in a noxious stench and topping it all off with a miserable death. Yet, they still do it. None of my business though.

What's going on with roll-your-own shops? Who do they hurt? Follow the money.

Government purportedly discourages smoking, yet they subsidize tobacco growing. They levy huge "sin" taxes to stifle the practice, comfortable in the knowledge that an addiction can't be corrected with a few bucks worth of penalty. Most importantly, the controllers of the subsidies, the legislation, the taxation, the distribution, are all in the funding thrall of the major cigarette producers.

ROY shops are a canary in the coal-mine. They side-step a tax, offer a possibly less-toxic and more tailored product for the user, and do so at half the cost of the big boys. That is a free enterprise option that cannot be allowed to stand. If people were to see the advantages of such a lower-cost option for their addiction it would really jostle some well-established apple-carts.


The Donald said...

The taxers go nuts when they think someone is trying to sidestep them - even when the sidestepping is totally legal.

Moreover, they believe that business owners' top priority should be fealty to the taxing authority.

Hayek was right - we're heading toward servitude (Friedrich - although I find nothing inherently wrong with Salma).

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

Just FYI: As a long-time resident of (what used to be) the number two tobacco-growing state in the country, I cannot imagine any federal subsidy to the tobacco industry, other than perhaps the federal costs of operating the agricultural licensing "allotment" system.

The tobacco-growing allotments appeared to be a hereditary family legacy; when a few small-acreage allotments were sold to others, prices ranged upwards of $300,000 per acre. Usually, the allotment owners did not grow the tobacco at all; they instead used low-bidder share-croppers to grow it on land perhaps neither of them owned.

Of course, all of that was a decade or more in the past. The American tobacco-growing industry simply does not exist anymore - though I have no doubt illegal hidden plots are probably still grown for personal use.
You couldn't/can't buy tobacco seed; the commercial varieties have been sterile since the 1930s.
(Like an 'annual' flowering plant.)

The only way to grow it is to clone a leaf stem, a difficult process - especially so, en masse.