Aug
27
2013
1

Minnesota cigarette taxes have a predictable effect: increased sales in North Dakota.

This would be less interesting

If you’re a smoker living in Minnesota near the North Dakota border, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that you can save a lot by driving a little. Since Minnesota’s cigarette tax jumped by around $1.50 a pack on July 1st, tobacco wholesalers have noticed a dramatic drop in sales.

…if it didn’t illustrate the fact that tax enthusiasts simply do not seem to understand that the linked American traits of casual physical mobility and nigh-genetic tendency to go look for loopholes reliably act as a potent counter to busybodies.  I mean, I could have easily told you that a buck-fifty per pack price difference would be enough to encourage people to hop across the state border and buy their smokes there: this sort of thing happens everywhere that’s within half an hour of a state border. Cigarettes, booze, fireworks, gambling… I assume that if another state ever formally legalizes brothels the establishment will end up setting up shop as close to the state line (while being accessible via the interstate) as is humanly possible. (more…)

Jan
19
2013
2

The Smugglers of Old New York.

So I hear (as did our own Dan McLaughlin, last week) that New York is the place to go for an exciting and remunerative career in the cigarette-smuggling trade:

Last week, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy released a report chronicling the rate of cigarette smuggling in the United States, revealing what retailers in New York have long known: state-to-state smuggling has become a big problem. This especially true for higher taxed states like New York, which boasts both the highest state excise taxes in the country ($4.35 per pack) and the highest rate of smuggling (with 60.9% of all New York’s cigarettes entering the state illegally).

Do you know what the real problem is, with our modern Left? It’s not their anti-science crazies*, or their general blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism, or even the way that some of them tend to project the voices in their heads into our mouths.  No, the real problem is that most of ‘em don’t seem to recognize that history started prior to the mid-Nineties.  Because anybody could have told New York what happens when you combine high excise taxes and unsecured borders.  Take it away, Rudyard Kipling and Michael Longcor: (more…)

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