Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Interesting Article on Black Markets

and drugs. This time the drug is nicotine, and this article discusses how lucrative black market cigarettes are, especially in states with high tobacco taxes. In this article, which discusses Texas's new cigarette tax hike, you can see just how lucrative cigarettes are . . . for the black marketeers and the Government.

On another note, cigarette taxes have always bothered me for this reason:

The government, by suing the tobacco companies for billions, claimed that tobacco companies hoodwinked people into getting addicted to nicotine through outright lies and shady advertising to minors. The theory is that because nicotine is addictive, people cannot help but by cigarettes.

However, the government then turns around and profits from smokers by charging ridiculous taxes. These taxes never actually go towards anti-smoking programs or other treatment programs. Instead they line the coffers of the state treasuries and may contribute to roads or some legislator's pet project. How does the government then defend its abuse of the poor addicted smokers? They suggest that the smoker has the ability to quit anytime. Doesn't that sound just like the tobacco companies?

Maybe we should sue the government for a share of the proceeds.

It also sounds a lot like the drug war. Only instead of taxes, we seize property left and right under laws modified to prevent piracy.

Kid H

Link via the Agitator


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