Monday, March 24, 2014

File Under "D" for "DUH"

I honestly cannot believe that: a) This was a study actually commissioned, and b) the findings were considered newsworthy...

As taxes on cigarettes go up, so does smuggling, study finds
More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

According to the non-partisan research group, increased excise taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking have, in fact, created lucrative incentives for black market trafficking between states.
Have we suddenly forgotten, oh, all of recorded human history? Has the lessons wrought by gangsters during Prohibition been entirely forgotten? Did we really need a study to tell us that when governments impose artificially high tariffs on a product that people desire to consume that the market will find ways around it? Really?

And this, this is a surprise?
Smuggling, according to the report, includes counterfeit state tax stamps, hijacked trucks, counterfeit versions of legitimate brands and officials turning a blind eye.
Let's see... Outright strongarm theft (how do you think they hijack the trucks) to white collar crime (counterfeiting the tax stamps) to plain ol' bribery. None of these techniques is anything new or unusual.The mafia's only been hijacking trucks to sell the goods at a profit since, oh, wait, when did they first start shipping goods in trucks? And it makes sense that they'd sell in the states with the highest taxes, because that's the best return - where do you make more money, selling in NYC for $10 a pack (to undercut $12 a pack) or in NH for $4 a pack?

Of course, if the mob really wanted to make money, they'd run for Congress...


That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Asking liberals where wages and prices come from is like asking six-year-olds where babies come from." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dave H said...

if the mob really wanted to make money, they'd run for Congress...

I think they know better. Mobsters don't want that kind of attention. It interferes with business.

Ted said...

This the same group that is always stunned when thier revenue predictions are consistantly overstated when they raise sales taxes and expect sales volumes to remain the same.

...... And assume that everyone who buys things in neighboring states will voluntarily pay thier home states sales tax anyway.

They live in an alternate universe

Murphy's Law said...

Yeah, but if we legalize marijuana and tax it, the drug cartels will just shrug their shoulders and go out of business, or so say the potheads.

.45ACP+P said...

Gambling in Casablanca? Shocked!

Chris said...

This study is done about every 10 years. I remember reading about a similar one long before the Internet. I was, even back then, Shocked! Shocked!

Ed said...

Massachusetts government continues to complain that their residents buy their tobacco, alcohol and other highly taxed goods in lower tax and no sales tax New Hampshire for consumption and use in Massachusetts. Damned smugglers and tax evaders!

Cargosquid said...

If the politicians don't provide opportunities for the mob to make money...the mob will stop sending them kickbacks.