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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » Policies from toro-world; by slightly popular request. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Policies from toro-world; by slightly popular request.
The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
No-one's forcing people to smoke fags or drink booze, so they can't complain if we make it really expensive for them.
SR meant this in jest, but I'm not sure I can see a problem with taxing the fuck out of the so-called "old reliables". They're a basically inelastic source of government revenue, have high associated costs to the public, and aren't things that - on the whole - we want to encourage the public to do a whole lot of.

Who disagrees, and why?

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lyra
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I'm not sure taxing them encourages people to stop doing them/do less of them.
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Fuzzy Dunlop
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I don't disagree with that and I'm a smoker.

However, isn't there a problem that the more expensive you make them, particularly fags, the more people will be drawn towards the black market?

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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lyra - agreed, which is why I describe it as "inelastic". But it certainly doesn't encourage people to do more of them.
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Super Sharp Shooter
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quote:
However, isn't there a problem that the more expensive you make them, particularly fags, the more people will be drawn towards the black market?
Speaking as a smoker, I've always felt that nicotine is such a mediocre drug, nobody would actually go to the lengths you have to go to to score weed, for example, to get it. If I had to walk further than the spar round the corner to get fags, I'd quit by sheer lazy default.
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ursus arctos
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The two immediate issues for me is what one does about treatment for people who are addicted to either substance and (as Fuzzy notes) what one does about the black market.

Demand for the products may be relatively inelastic to price, but I think willingness to participate in black markets is actually highly elastic in that respect.

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Nil a fhios agam
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I wouldn't strongly disagree but I think that policy creates a number of problems. I'm not convinced that the benefits outweigh the problems.

- It doesn't affect all smokers or drinkers equally. Poorer people suffer more.
- I have a problem with authority telling the public what not to do when it doesn't directly hurt others.
- Increased counterfeit goods causing more harm.
- Not proven to decrease use

I think if the increased tax revenue was used to directly fund anti-smoking and sensible drinking initiatives it would be better.

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Ginger Yellow
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As a smoker myself, I'm all in favour of taxing the fuck out of them. Drink less so, because there's nothing wrong with drinking in moderation. Maybe in the techno-future we'll have a scalable tax so that your second pint costs more than your first and so on. While the demand inelasticity is a bummer from a policy perspective, if people are going to be killing themselves or endangering others through choice (see caveats about addiction above), at least the money can be used for treatment, prevention and police and so on.

[ 12.03.2008, 15:11: Message edited by: Ginger Yellow ]

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Spearmint Rhino
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It's regressive taxation on the pleasures of the poor. End of.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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There is no gray.
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ooh aah
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The money gained from indirect tax revenue is either used to cut corporation tax, or increase PFI initiatives. Now as my alcohol consumption isn't a drain on the public purse (I don't have a liver disorder, and I don't trash town centre's) I'm not sure why each year more of my money ends up in the hands of Crapita and Virgin Trains.

[ 12.03.2008, 15:16: Message edited by: ooh aah ]

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Isn't that an argument against poor spending, rather than against the tax, ooh aah? I might as well say that income tax is a bad idea because I don't like the war.
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The_Liquidator
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quote:
It's regressive taxation on the pleasures of the poor. End of.
Since when was smoking a pleasure of the poor?
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
Since when was smoking a pleasure of the poor?

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ooh aah
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well yes Toro that's right. But poor spending doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. In my view we should first of all change what money is actually spent on, and then if we need more money, then by all means increase indirect taxes on things like alcohol. But when there's already plenty of money to go around, then I don't see the need to increase tax.

[ 12.03.2008, 15:20: Message edited by: ooh aah ]

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