Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cigarettes, CBC and stupid ideas

Evidently the Akwesasne smuggling operation is alive and well. I'm not just taking CBC's word for this, having long since learned to take with a generous helping of salt any so-called facts that those spin doctors present. But they aroused my curiosity this morning with a "news" report that suggested the solution to the ongoing smuggling problem is for the feds to lower tobacco taxes. Evidently the smuggling is just a case of the Indians running a business that is enabled by our federal taxation system. If Canadian tobacco taxes were lower then it wouldn't be so lucrative to illegally import cigarettes and illegally sell them once they are smuggled into the country.

Apparently its very difficult for the police to enforce the law which says that Indians can't sell tobacco to white men unless they charge the appropriate Canadian taxes. We won't even get into the logic that allows Indian to Indian tax exempt sales. The argument then says that we should help our police by changing the tax structure so that there would be less incentive for Indians to break the law.

It occurs to me that this model could be extended to other areas of society. Why stop at tobacco? For example - some of us like to drive faster than the posted speed limit. A lot of the time the speed limit is an arbitrary number - like a tax level. If we raised that arbitrary level then there would be less incentive to speed. This would save the police a lot of effort spent writing tickets and appearing in court. And what about drugs? Maybe we should legalize crack and meth. If you couuld buy crack in the 7-11 there would be little incentive to purchase it from some low life behind the neighbourhood bar. This would certainly lower the incidence of drug related crime.

There are days when I truly think that humankind is too stupid to survive evolution.

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