But I thought all taxes were sinful?

Britian is implementing Sin taxes:

Many Britons were resigning themselves to more puritanical lifestyles
Thursday as they faced the prospect of "sin taxes" that will increase
the cost of alcohol, cigarettes, gas-guzzling cars and, potentially,
plastic bags.

Basically all of life's little pleasures that may give your sorry existence a chance to have a reprieve from your shitty every daily life. Oh yeah, and Plastic bags. Hmm… Yeah, I can see where they are coming from..wait, no..I don't. Plastic bags are sinful? When did that happen? Did I miss a day in school or something?

The Labour Party government is hoping that hiking taxes on booze will help curb Britain's binge-drinking culture.

Ahh, so they are doing this for the good of their citizens, even if they disagree? Ahh, those great guys at Labor, they know what's best for you , to the degree that you won;t even be given a choice in the matter. And here I thought it was just a ploy to collect obscene new amounts in tax money to waste and plunder! Silly me!

0 comment on But I thought all taxes were sinful?

  1. Nomad
    March 14, 2008 at 12:37 am

    yeah, it’s incredible how our governements are interested in the restriction of our “liberties” but not in our protection

  2. Craig
    March 14, 2008 at 1:12 am

    We’ve had those “sin taxes” (we call them vice taxes) in the US since before I was born 🙁

    The government always likes to tax stuff that they think nobody will complain about too much (publicly at least).

  3. Patrick
    March 14, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I’d rather have vice taxes than higher income taxes. Vice taxes serve numerous purposes, bringing money into the government, and dissuading dangerous habits.

  4. brooklynjon
    March 14, 2008 at 4:20 am

    It’s interesting…you can only tax legal activities. Illegal activities are inherently tax-free. So sin taxes drive you from the moderately bad to the very bad. From beer to cocaine. From tobacco to marijuana. Strange.

  5. Patrick
    March 14, 2008 at 6:36 am

    I never thought about it that way, that is a good point. Is there any data to back this up? Marijuana and cocaine are still a lot more expensive than beer and tobacco, no matter what the taxes are.

  6. Throbert McGee
    March 14, 2008 at 6:55 am

    As I understand it, the “tax” on plastic bags would take the form of a law requiring stores to charge shoppers a few pence per plastic bag, in hopes of encouraging more people to supply their own bags.

  7. Don Cox
    March 14, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Plastic bags are sinful because they are used for glue-sniffing. 😉

  8. Toady
    March 14, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    As I recall, the plastic bag tax stems from a litter problem. Charging or taxing plastic bags has been very successful in controlling plastic bag litter in other countries.

  9. Andrew Brehm
    March 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I remember Ireland in the 1980s, before taxes on plastic bags. Stores gave them out by the dozens and they were EVERYWHERE in the trees and on the streets.

    You couldn’t even drive through Dublin’s suburbs without seeing each tree covered in plastic bags that the wind carried from whereever they were lost or dropped into the tree crowns.

    Now plastic bags cost 22 cents and Dublin is a lot cleaner.

  10. brooklynjon
    March 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Toady and Andrew,

    It looks like the tax on plastic bags would just be correcting an economic externality, which generally results in more rational decision making by consumers. Some of those bags will end up in a tree, and will cost something to remove from the tree. If the consumer bears the cost of that removal, they will rationally take steps to avoid that cost, except in cases in which it makes sense to take on the added expense. It ought to be a win-win, then.

  11. leo
    March 16, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Patrick @ 3,

    It is not exactly hiking taxes but effect is similar.

    Examples like Prohibition and illegalized abortions come to mind.

    Of cause prohibition laws of all sorts can be repealed but tax hikes practically never go away.

    “Vice taxes serve numerous purposes, bringing money into the government (as all taxes do), and dissuading dangerous habits (which, should not be government’s business).”

  12. Simcha
    March 20, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I think the tax on plastic is to reduce waste. Think of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


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