Free Market Indian Tribe Prospering In High Tax Environment
The nanny statists in charge of the State of New York’s government have instituted high taxes on tobacco products under the assumption that higher taxes would force citizens to stop smoking and live healthier lives (the average price of a pack of Marlboros in New York City is over $11.00). But what has really happened is that New Yorkers have taken to buying their cigarettes in other jurisdictions where taxes are lower. Neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Vermont have seen a surge in tobacco sales after New York’s tax hikes, and Indian reservations (which do not collect the state’s taxes) like the Oneida Nation in western New York are thriving from tobacco sales (among other ventures).
A tribal leader was on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business show to talk about their success:
What we’re seeing is Alan Metzler’s first two rules of regulation at work. 1) Markets circumvent regulations and 2) while regulations static, markets are dynamic.
New York’s higher tobacco taxes haven’t had the prohibitionist impact expected. It has simply moved commerce for tobacco products away from New York’s businesses and to businesses in other areas.
Rather than trying to manipulate choices with the tax code, we should let free people make free choices in a free economic environment.Tags: cigarettes, nanny statism, new york, oneida nation, prohibiton, Taxes