News Scoop: Tobacco persecution continues

The federal government will announce a 35 percent increase in tobacco excise and also plain packaging legislation. Both of these policies are irresponsible and short-sighted. Unfortunately smokers are such a despised minority that the government will be able to get away with some of it. Putting aside the creation of black markets and the implicit subsidy to criminals, tobacco tax is regressive. In a paper published in Policy I collected up data from a NATSEM study and showed the difference in the tax system with and without sin taxes like tobacco excise.

More importantly, however, the plain packaging legislation constitutes an expropriation of intellectual property rights. My IPA colleague Tim Wilson has done some work in this area.

By introducing plain packaging, the intellectual property of films and tobacco products – their trademarks – will be stripped from packaging. The effect will be:
• As required under Section 51 (xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution, Australian taxpayers may be required to gift to film and tobacco companies billions of dollars to compensate for the loss of their trademarks. In the case of films an indicative calculated range (depending on the formula for calculations) could be $108m to $357m per year, and in the case of tobacco products the gift from taxpayers to tobacco companies could range from $378m to $3,027m per year.
• Australia will breach its international obligations under the Paris Convention for the protection of intellectual property, the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and its free trade agreement obligations to not discriminate against the registration and use of trademarks. Doing so may allow for retaliatory measures to be taken against Australia’s exports.
• Under Australia’s free trade agreements, equivalent compensation may be required as under Section 51 (xxxi) of the Constitution for the expropriation of an investor’s property.

Update: ABC now reporting.

Update II: From the Canberra Times

… the Government will dictate the standard colour, font style and position on the packets. The packets will still feature the graphic health warnings. The change billed by the Government as a ”world first” is designed to reduce the attractiveness and potential of packaging to mislead the public, particularly young people.

Government dictating packaging requirements is not a world first – the Soviet Union did this for decades.
Update III: Excise increase is 25 percent not 35 percent from midnight tonight. The government is using the same disgraceful mechanism to increase tobacco excise as the alcopops excise increase.

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107 Responses to News Scoop: Tobacco persecution continues

  1. Infidel Tiger

    Another tax on the working man. They’ll take his beer money next.

  2. daddy dave

    I don’t know how popular this will be, really. Cigarettes have already gone up in price a lot under teh guise of discouraging smoking. Further rises are just ripping people off and look like a money grab.
    .
    As for the IP issues with cigarettes, I’m not surprised. I buy cigarettes occasionally for my wife, and it’s really weird. It’s just a weird experience now. The packages are hidden out of sight, it feels like you’re doing something wrong.
    “Good” the government might reply. “That’s the point.”
    But hang on, either the product is legal or illegal. This is about the government legislating morality; if we’re allowed to buy them and people are allowed to sell them, then it should be buy the laws of commerce. If not, then arrest me.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    It does give me a sterling idea for a smoking related tourism venture. “Come to Asia and smoke like you’re a free man” – “Enjoy cold beer and a smoke without the worry of fascist reprisals”. Needs fine tuning, but I’m certain I’ on a winner. Bound to be more successful than whale watching/harpooning tourism anyway.

  4. jc

    As for the tax, they’re just going after anything they can to cover the budget shortfall as they’re seriously short of budget money to hit their target.

    This is a soft touch.

    The property rights damage will eventually be negotiated away as these trogs are the last people to want to see tax receipts drop off.

    The prime objective is to collect money and we should never lose sight of their prime motivation.

    For all those smokers out there. If you want to avoid the tax buy your cigs from American Indian reservations.

    American cigs are a little different tasting, however the one I liked the Merit brand.

    Order them from those websites and avoid the tax. I got a carton through customs few months ago without much problem.

    Here’s a site or just google around as some send overseas.

    http://www.cheap-cig.com/index.php?cPath=77&osCsid=d8c44f4657d7f985612787cd86a7a4f8

    Beat the tax and just order from the reservations.

  5. THR

    The Government has started taxing the bejesus out of shisha tobacco also, which has simply led to folks purchasing unofficial stuff under the table from Arab grocers and the like.

  6. jc

    Dad’s Trust me , it’s not about them trying to legalistic morality. The the money draw is empty and they’re trying like crazy to get their paws on cash.

    They know exactly what is the story about the breach of property rights and how it triggers problems with international conventions. This advise would be automatic with any change in law such as this one.

    So they know it won’t get through and they really have no interest to get it through.

    That’s just a smokescreen suggesting when they’re really concerned with people’s welfare when all they’re really interested in is re-election.

    Think of how a cornered rat would think in these matters and what it would do in terms of not disturbing its re-election chances by the public finding out they don’t have the money any longer because they’ve blown through the entire bank roll.

    From now one it’s the cornered rat test with anything they say and do.

  7. jc

    THR;

    The raw price for a pack of cigs wholesale I reckon is around 2 bucks a pack.

    IF they send premium brand like Marlboro to 14.50 with the new tax a serious black market will start as the differential is far to big to ignore.

    Good.

  8. C.L.

    Did anyone ever seriously doubt that band camp boy and this Fred Nile government would extend the war on drugs from alcopops to cigarettes?

  9. jc

    Wow!

    You can buy Marlboro lights from this site for US$24.50 a carton.

    That’s seriously cheap making it Aussie dollars around 2.70 per pack.

    http://www.online-dutyfree.com/?action=vcart

    I’d buy one carton through pay per pal.

  10. C.L.

    But they’ll just ban importation, JC, and treat buyers like Robert Trimbole.

  11. jc

    CL

    The amount of packages coming though is enormous. They have no possibility of ever checking all the shit that comes in anymore.

    People are supposed to pay GST for junk they buy online from overseas yet the packages come untouched and there’s no demands from the customs schleps.

    They’ve lost control.

    They may test some , but they can’t for all otherwise they’ve have to hire 1000’s to check packages.

    The way I figure it is that it’s a losing proposition for them. They hire all these government turnips checking packages and the supply would dry and they would end up with all these people (used advisedly) on the payroll doing nothing. The large supple if packages is people having more choice, buying cheaper stuff and avoiding GST.

    They’ve got to let them through. We won as the mountain of crap crossing the borders is immense.

    DHL, Fed Ex, Toll… most of these fuckers have planes entirely devoted to package deliveries. This doesn’t count Qantas and the rest of the pack that engage in this stuff.

    I think its literally beaten them. They can’t climb the mountain. hahahhahahahahah

  12. DavidJ

    So Rudd needing to reinforce his tough on health persona now reaches for an emergency lever which is guaranteed not blow up in his face plus create short term chatter. Desperate days. How he must long for 07.

    Even Swan has been wheeled out as Rudd has barked that he get out there and do something. And the best Swan can do is talk up a double dissolution over the private health rebate. Typical Swan- a week late and a topic behind.

  13. jc

    oops

    The large supply of packages is people having more choice, buying cheaper stuff and avoiding GST online.

  14. C.L.

    New moral panic launched:

    Federal Goverment concerned about ‘raunch culture’.

    Minister for the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek says there’s a lot happening in the youth culture that “completely passes adults by”.

    Imagine that.

  15. asf

    From the ABC article:
    “Tough government regulations on tobacco advertising have reduced smoking in Australia from 30.5 per cent of the population aged 14 and over in 1988 to 16.6 per cent in 2007”

    Typical of the ABC: unsupported assertion.

  16. jc

    Then why do we need the tax increase?

    They have a huge hole in the budget that they need to fill. That’s all. The health issue is the furthest thing from their mind.

    The sad thing is that they’re hitting the social group that can least afford it. Smoking is a lower socio class thing. People are NOT going to be giving up cigs because they’re going to 15 bucks a pack. They’ll just fork out the extra cash and get a little poorer.

  17. C.L.

    That’s right.

    As for the packaging, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are now using cigarette cases – a la the 1940s.

    Cool.

  18. Infidel Tiger

    Smoking is without doubt cool. It tells the world you’ve got heaps of cash and you don’t give a fuck. It will soon anyway.

  19. Dandy Warhol

    “They may test some , but they can’t for all otherwise they’ve have to hire 1000’s to check packages.

    The way I figure it is that it’s a losing proposition for them. They hire all these government turnips checking packages and the supply would dry and they would end up with all these people (used advisedly) on the payroll doing nothing.”

    A job creation scheme to take over from the pink batts! Quick – Kev, Wayne – crank ‘er up!

  20. rog

    It’s cool to voluntarily acquire emphysema?

    Not so cool when you puff your toxic fumes over your family, dragging them along with you.

  21. rog

    Its all over the place, catallaxy that is

    How do these people sleep at night? What a monumentally evil bunch these right-wing lunatics are championing.

  22. Looks like I will have to only buy my Cohiba while travelling in the future. More overseas trips needed.
    This will change the economics of flying to Bali.

  23. jc

    Gee rog that’s a real mountain of deep thinking there old gal. Some if not most people smoke outside, you goose.

  24. Infidel Tiger

    Rog’s family wished he smoked. Outside. Heavily.

  25. rog

    So why would you smoke outside jc – is it because the fumes are toxic?

  26. rog

    You have to wonder as to the mental state of someone who voluntarily ingests a known lethal poison

  27. jc

    Andrew:

    You can that stuff on line and they seem to get through. One time I ordered some on line and I think they came from Cuba but that was a few years ago. I haven’t bought any for a while, but online are pretty competitive and the appear authentic.

    I go for the Cohiba Siglo or the espledidos?. Robusto’s are pretty good too.

  28. jc

    So why would you smoke outside jc – is it because the fumes are toxic?

    I smoke outside, Roggie, because I’m asked to as the smell of a cig or a cigar is offensive to my better 1/2 and she hates the habit/smell. Always have done. Even in NYC in the bitter cold

  29. jc

    You have to wonder as to the mental state of someone who voluntarily ingests a known lethal poison.

    Oh get off your throne, Mr. Goodie-two-shoes. No one really needs your sermons.

  30. jc

    Roggie

    Have you ever tried a nice desert wine with a great cigar? The taste combination is better than sex (male version in your terms).

  31. rog

    You trivialise the issue to one of taste and good manners – tobacco smoke is a toxic substance and a harmful habit.

  32. rog

    Wot, so standing outside in the snow and ice glugging plonk whilst sucking on a gasper is better than sex?

    No wonder your missus wants you outside.

  33. Infidel Tiger

    Better a smoker than a toxic bore.

  34. jc

    So’s drinking. So’s eating crappy food.

    How exactly am i trivializing the issue to taste and manners?

    People smoke, they smoke and most like it like I do. I don’t smoke many cigs per day and try to keep it to two or three.

    Smoking cigars is another form of smoking entirely.

  35. C.L.

    So Rog’s source – hysterical cow fart tax advocate, Harry Clarke – has embraced the Fred Nile worldview of Christianist straightener, Kevin Rudd.

    Big surprise.

  36. jc

    Wot, so standing outside in the snow and ice glugging plonk whilst sucking on a gasper is better than sex?

    No roggie. I used to once smoke about 15 to20 per day and I used to smoke outside.

    Sucking plonk, as you put it, combined with a cigar is one of life’s pleasures. Pleasure of course isn’t something you’d know or even care about these days so it’s no point discussing it .

  37. rog

    Speaking of religious nuts, the Catholic church just keep on shooting their feet

  38. jc

    oops and I used to smoke ALL THOSE outside.

  39. C.L.

    Once you limit activity to risk life becomes a tad dull; studies into sports for kids have shown mental and physical benefit goes with an increased risk of injury. Mothers are keen that sons take up soccer in the belief that it poses less risk than rugby – yet some of the soccer injuries are shocking.

    I wouldnt go bungee jumping if you paid me but I dont get too anxious about driving down the road – yet analysis shows that bungee jumping is much safer.

    Balancing risk against activity is a tricky business particularly when beating the odds is a popular activity in many cultures, and women like a winner.

    By any analysis smoking is a high risk activity yet it remains popular – the facts are out there and people make choices according to their situation…

    And smokers are always having a chat, it’s a break from the daily grind.

    So you cant deny the validity that some have for smoking.

    – Rog, May 30th, 2008, baiting tobacco conspiracy theorist, John Kwiggin.*

    * Google it – Sinclair’s Kwigginometer will spam the link if I include it.

  40. jc

    Poor old Harry Clarke is going nuts over this post.

    Man he’s angrified today. Between calling Rudd a twerp and this thread… I’m worried for him.

    Peter Martin the erstwhile Fairfax anti-economist seems have also posted about this thread.

    From what I can gather Martin seems to think that the most important initiative of the Rudd government for the past two odd years is going to be the discoloration of cigarette packaging, thereby tricking smokers into not buying them.
    Regressive taxes?… no probs for Martin they don’t hit him.

    No wonder he works for Fairfax and no wonder it’s going bust in a slow drip way.

  41. C.L.

    $58-million class action lawsuit launched against Anglican priest and school in Canada.

    They’re just lurching from crisis to crisis.

  42. C.L.

    Yeah, I saw that. Like Harry, Martin is totally on board with the Rudd government’s Christianist agenda.

  43. jc

    It’s so retro 70’s economics too.

    Don’t like something: tax it.

    It’s almost cute to read again.

    That’s the crap we were taught in the old days and the profs thought they sounded positively “Einsteinic”.

    The thing that seems to escape Harry and Martin (sounds a bit like that old TV comedy routine) is that cigs are not illegal products and raising the price to 15 bucks a pack will do almost nothing to change demand. So the fact is that the regular smokers will simply become poorer, which is what I said earlier.

    If these two jokers were serious about their mental affliction towards smoking they would be against the higher tax and actually agitate to prohibit smoking in the same way the old Turkish sultans used to prohibit it…Perhaps they could also introduce the death penalty (or agitate for it) like what happened in old Ottoman empire.

  44. Infidel Tiger

    Bolt has skewered the Nark from Nambour perfectly:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/look_a_unicorn_rudd_picks_on_different_emissions_hoping_to_distract/

    Can’t wait until these wowsers get hold of the internet.

  45. jc,
    Siglo III for me, please – or the Montecristo equivalent as a next best. The Robustas are a little too heavy after a full meal, but are very good in the afternoon on the verandah.

  46. jc

    From Harold’s blog.

    Taxes paid by the wealthy who are happy to continue inhaling carcinogens can be used to subsidise the extended life styles of the poor who quit.

    That’s just patent nonsense and also quite surprising for him to be making such a silly comment.

    The overwhelming socio-group that smoke are the poorer, not the rich, so the idea that the rich will be subsidize the extended lives of the poor is rubbish. It’s an upside down pyramid with the wealthy and middle class not smoking while the poor do.

    It’s a regressive tax hitting the poor and simply making them less well off than they were before. There are no rich people to “subsidize” them.

  47. C.L.

    Against alcohol.
    Against smoking.
    Against youngsters being raunchy.
    Pro internet censorship.
    Press conferences from the churchyard.

    Rudd is indistinguishable from Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

    Pumpkin scones will soon be mandatory at all tuckshops.

  48. Infidel Tiger

    Shit. The only thing left is gambling.

  49. If anyone’s interested, I wrote a submission on this for the Property Rights Alliance (specifically how it breaches international law, and violates fundamental concepts of property rights) which you can find at http://bit.ly/b3GAv9

  50. daddy dave

    “raising the price to 15 bucks a pack will do almost nothing to change demand.”
    .
    all the evidence suggests that whenever there’s a major price hike, some people quit. So that’s the only strong point of the policy; it will probably reduce the number of smokers.
    However it does this by throwing up barriers to the smokers being able to get what they want (higher cost, hidden from sight); by stripping the sellers of the right to sell products according to normal commercial laws; and stealing the IP of the tobacco companies. In other words it stops people smoking using unethical means.

  51. rog

    But of course CL is right, smokers get to experience the great outdoors whilst building up their social networks.

    Lets face it, smoking tobacco is an exercise in basic human rights

  52. If they ban gambling I’ll have to start smoking and drinking heavily.

    Gambling is quite a lot of fun if it presents no addiction problems for you.

    “Lets face it, smoking tobacco is an exercise in basic human rights”

    You’re actually right rog. There is nothing wrong with an adult lighting up on property they control or have permission to smoke upon.

  53. “all the evidence suggests that whenever there’s a major price hike, some people quit.”

    Of course, the demand uis highly inelastic, not perfectly inelastic. Elasticities also soften over time. However, the monopoly profits to organised crime in the black market will really open up.

    What’s better: discouraging a risk to self harm or encouraging a black market where disputes are solved by murders?

    A murder victim doesn’t ask for it. Smokers do.

    If anyone thinks I am being hyserical – google chop chop, myrtleford murder, tobacco, etc.

  54. dover_beach

    Interesting, rog ‘thinks’ a person having a cigarette on their veranda is a fit subject for policing.

  55. daddy dave

    Of course, the demand uis highly inelastic, not perfectly inelastic.
    .
    exactly. The empirical evidence is that price hikes do reduce smoking. But no, it won’t reduce consumption for all smokers; in fact the ones that keep doing it will be worse off. They still get the health problems plus they’re poorer.
    “too bad”? “it’s their own fault?”
    But wait… the whole point is to help the smokers themselves right, by giving them an incentive to quit? But if your policy helps some smokers and harms other smokers, what’s the net outcome – good or bad?

  56. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    There is no fiscal black hole and this proposed measure isn’t a great revenue raiser.

    There is also a large difference between smoking cigarettes and cigars.

    no-one with any taste would smoke a cigar ( Churchill by far the superior) and a desert wine.

    Smoking costs a lot to the taxpayer via health costs.
    Prices on nicotine products are allied with other measures as well.

    Very amusing to see such sympathy for low income types.
    Didn’t hear about regressivity on the support for a GST.
    They actually poo-pooed both Neil Warren and Ann Harding’s proposal

    Not surprising to see Catallaxian crackpots supporting ciggy producers.

  57. C.L.

    Interesting, rog ‘thinks’ a person having a cigarette on their veranda is a fit subject for policing.

    Which would be true, on health and safety grounds, if Rog built the verandah.

  58. Sinclair Davidson

    no-one with any taste would smoke a cigar ( Churchill by far the superior) and a desert wine.

    Have to agree with Homer – desert wines are drunk, not smoked. 🙂

  59. daddy dave

    Smoking costs a lot to the taxpayer via health costs.
    .
    wrong! Smokers already cover more than the health costs via existing taxes on cigarette packets. Therefore, non-smokers are making a profit off smokers.

  60. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    oh the the demand curve has changed markedly over the years. way back in the 70s in was very inelastic tending to the vertical.

    This has slowly changed over time and now it would appear it is the inelasicity is much less.

    Treasury has told us previously this in regards to revenue.

    ah back in the 60s when cigarette companies gave its employees free cigarettes to have a break throughout the day.

    desert wines are drunk with desert funny enough and are part of the dinner.
    Cigars are smoked on a full stomach after the meal and cognac is the best accompaniment.

    Churchill smoked the things from early in the morning til dusk with a few bottles of champagne.

  61. jtfsoon

    It’s *dessert* wines Homes unless you’re referring to some concoction made of fermented camel urine

  62. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    they should only be drunk in deserts

  63. Infidel Tiger

    When do they do the smoke them at eastern suburbs dinner parties?

  64. BirdLab

    Speaking of fermented camel urine, Stone’s Green Ginger just happens to be my preferred drop whenever I go to an ESDP.

  65. Homer you git,

    We acknowledged that elasticity changes over time. You’re also saying we support GST regressivity when there isn’t any in a pure GST (which you putport we also [and actually do] support)?

  66. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    Marky did I say you hadn’t I merely enlarged on the comments.
    do not be so insecure.

    Indirect taxes are regressive. low income people have to pay more out of their incomes.

    I supported the GST with compensation for low income people just like happened in the original fightback. A superb document.

    Ironically indirect taxes rose more but on a more narrow base than in fightback without any compensation.

    That was what the Warren/Harding position was all about.

  67. I’m confused, you’re making sense.

    Except for this:

    “Indirect taxes are regressive. low income people have to pay more out of their incomes.”

    Um no, paticularly on what has been excluded in the GST. Food moves from inferior to normal to luxury status as incomes rise. There is no regressivity, by definition. It is a proportional tax.

  68. tal

    BirdLab you peasant 🙂

  69. C.L.

    …after looking at the seats I will go for 89 seats for the ALP.

    – Homer, August 31, 2004, predicting victory for Mark Latham.

    Seats won: Howard: 87 – Latham: 60.

    I guess it was within the Homer margin of error.

  70. C.L.

    Gotta laugh at bovine flatulence campaigner Harry on this. Here’s a bloke who ostentatiously insisted on the right of Bill Henson to sell his photographs but who now welcomes the banning of a cartoon dromedary on a pack of Camel as a triumph over “evil.”

  71. jc

    Not surprising to see Catallaxian crackpots supporting ciggy producers.

    Site management allows you on here. You’re worse.

  72. jc

    He is quite ostentatious in his opinions isn’t he?

    I reckon the ciggy outburst was feigned anger to keep in the good books with leftie buddies.

    Calling to right-wingers here lunatics or whatever after referring to Charlie Rudd as a twerp gives him, he thinks, a certain, “je ne sais quoi”… perhaps a air of authority in the honest Abe mode.

    It’s only in the past few years he’s been like that. I honestly don’t know what’s come over him.

  73. C.L.

    Why doesn’t Rudd double the price of a carton of stubbies? Alcohol causes far more damage in our society than cigarettes. His own father, Bert, drove into a power pole after a day on the beer and whiskey. (Rudd blamed the doctors).

  74. Infidel Tiger

    No more ideas for the Nambour Nark please, C.L. I fear that living in Rudd’s Australia without alcohol wouldn’t be wort my while.

  75. jc

    It’s Thursday. Charlie Rudd has been getting really bad press this week focusing on the fact that he’s a shocking leader and has no attributes at all in the space.

    What’s the guess that there will be a press release before the weekend making up some shit about a crisis our wonderful PM is there to solve.

    If I were aboriginal (ooops sorry I am 🙂 ) I’d be really fucking worried by now that this clown is going propose some stupid policy before the end of the weekend.

    The Smokers copped it mid week. My guess is poor old aboriginals cop the “policy” stick by the end of it.

  76. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    err Marky the present GST is not a pure GST.

    Warren and Harding showed a pure GST with compensation was far better to low income earners than not taxing food.

    Cl showing again he doesn’t understand politics.

    89 seats is a LANSDSLIDE.

    try and cogitate on that and the sentence. take some bex when you get the headache

  77. “err Marky the present GST is not a pure GST.”

    No shit. Didn’t I just say that?

    “Australia without alcohol wouldn’t be wort my while.”

    LOL. I assume you’re a home brewing beer baron now.

  78. rog

    Best if smokers light up with a bag (airtight) over their heads, that way they could ensure that their property rights are not being violated

  79. They may feel the same towards you and the air you’re competing with them to consume.

  80. jc

    Rog

    Do you notice that even non-smokers circle around you too?

  81. rog

    You want me to give you hand with that gaffer tape jc?

  82. rog

    BTW it’s spelled je ne c’est quoi, but of course you wouldn’t know

  83. jc

    Rog

    They taught French at Carpentry college?

  84. jc

    BTW it’s spelled je ne c’est quoi, but of course you wouldn’t know

    Rog, if you’re going to be correcting people’s spelling in public, can I suggest you do it without standing in a pile of dog-shit too as that’s not a really good look.

    Etymology

    From French je ne sais quoi, literally ‘I don’t know what’.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/je_ne_sais_quoi

    You goose… sais is verb “to know”

    C’est means it is or it’s (note the apostrophe)

    Go away.

  85. jc

    Rog:

    CL usually has a comment or two about your verbal skills and your over-inflated optimism about yourself in that area. Perhaps he ought to chime in.

  86. Infidel Tiger

    Nicotine has been shown to improve short term memory. If Rog smoked, he wouldn’t have temporarily forgotten that he is pig shit thick and beclowned himself.

  87. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    Marky says this’
    “Indirect taxes are regressive. low income people have to pay more out of their incomes.”

    Um no, particularly on what has been excluded in the GST. Food moves from inferior to normal to luxury status as incomes rise. There is no regressivity, by definition. It is a proportional tax.
    but then says this
    “err Marky the present GST is not a pure GST.”

    No shit. Didn’t I just say that?

    a touch of the Snoopy’s I think.

    Mark a proportional tax is where each person pays the same proportion of their income like in a flat tax.
    It is impossible to apply to indirect tax even taking out food

  88. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    perhaps if you understood the difference between average and marginal effect it would assist.

  89. jc

    Homer giving people lectures on micro-economics just before he returns his degree to his Alma mater (rog: note the spelling), publicly apologizes to the taxpayers and cuts a cheque equal to the money that was wasted on his degree plus a hefty amount in back interest at a compound rate.

    Thanks homes. You’re doing good.

  90. “Mark a proportional tax is where each person pays the same proportion of their income like in a flat tax.
    It is impossible to apply to indirect tax even taking out food”

    ESL Homer,

    A pure VAT is a proportional tax. All goods increase by the same proportion and then so relative prices remain the same as does the proportion of consumption that is taxed. You meant to say an exception to the proportionality is when a VAT tax has zero rated items.

    To call a GST regressive because it doesn’t tax savings is perverse, the deferred consumption is eventually taxed in a Ricardian equivalent way.

    A 20% income tax is “the same” as a 25% GST. A fillip of the GST is that it is more efficient and allows savings (some of this efficiency gain occurs due to increased savings). The less well off are not taxed regressively in an absolute sense. The more well off are rewarded for saving.

    Do you think a higher savings rate increases the capital base more quickly and increases the general real wage rate and technological spillovers or not?

  91. “perhaps if you understood the difference between average and marginal effect it would assist.”

    You have some nerve, you twit.

  92. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    Marky a person on $1million buys a widget for $110 with a pure GST on it.

    A person on 10,000 buys a widget for $110 with a pure GST on it.

    They ain’t paying the same proportion of income on it.
    Did you miss the class on tax?

    no-one is debating how efficient the GST is as an indirect tax.

    for an expert on the difference between average and marginal to make such a blunder is striking

  93. “Marky a person on $1million buys a widget for $110 with a pure GST on it.

    A person on 10,000 buys a widget for $110 with a pure GST on it.

    They ain’t paying the same proportion of income on it.
    Did you miss the class on tax?”

    No you moron, but all prices and thus their total of present and deferred consumption are relatively repriced by the same proportion.

    With that spurious logic, all taxes are “regressive”, even more so as society becomes more upwardly mobile. This amounts to *economic analysis* on your part does it?

    This possibly the dumbest argument I’ve ever come across.

    “Did you miss the class on tax?”

    Which mafia outfit gave you a counterfeit testamur?

  94. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    Marky we are talking about what happens when people buy a product at that point in time not over their lifetime.

    Indeed this is what most people in tax talk, write, read about.

    of course not Catallaxy.
    this is a ‘special’ brand of economics.

  95. “Marky we are talking about what happens when people buy a product at that point in time not over their lifetime.”

    Yes Homer, economics doesn’t involve intertemporal decisions.

    “Indeed this is what most people in tax talk, write, read about.”

    They are not, and have no training in economics.

    “of course not Catallaxy.
    this is a ’special’ brand of economics.”

    Yes, degree qualified. We attended classes and graduated. You bought your fake testamur from some mafia associates.

  96. Homer,

    I actually think you know this topic, but your shilling is blinding you.

  97. rog

    Exactly, je ne sais quoi

  98. rog

    “Nicotine has been shown to improve short term memory”

    Oh yeah?

    More nicotine induced psychosis

  99. ken n

    No rog. Nicotine seems to be harmless – other than its addictive effects – and there is some evidence that it slows dementia.

  100. Infidel Tiger

    Here you rog:

    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20031012195753data_trunc_sys.shtml

    For your next lesson, I’ll teach you how to suck eggs.

  101. http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20031012195753data_trunc_sys.shtml

    *The remarkable protective effects of nicotine — the addictive chemical in tobacco — on the brain are continuing to surprise scientists. One recent study has found that one of nicotine’s metabolites, cotinine, may improve memory and protect brain cells from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Another new study shows that nicotine can help improve some of the learning and memory problems associated with hypothyroidism. Such studies suggest that nicotine — or drugs that mimic nicotine — may one day prove beneficial in the treatment of neurological disorders.*

    http://schizophrenia.about.com/od/complications/f/schiz_smoke.htm

    *Question: Why Do People With Schizophrenia Smoke?
    Answer:

    Approximately 85% of people with schizophrenia smoke, as opposed to approximately 23% of the general adult population of the United States. They also smoke two to three times more cigarettes than the average smoker and inhale more deeply. Studies and personal reports show that smoking often reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia, and can also reduce some of the side effects of medication.*

    So most things in moderation and some things rarely. An odd cigar or cherry pipe tobacco won’t hurt. Even a small amount of passive smoke won’t hurt.

  102. Dead Kennedy

    I grow my own tobacco and I brew my own beer.

    I learned long ago that this was the only responsible course of action when it came to ensuring my supply of these substances free of state interference.

  103. Pingback: The Tobacco Tax Hike « The musings of an Australian classical liberal in Washington DC

  104. Tom W

    I grow my own tobacco and I brew my own beer.

    I’m interested in growing and harvesting a few plants. Are there any sites you could recommend? (There seems to be plenty for pot, but fewer for tobacco).

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