30
Apr
08

The Smuggler as Hero.

Walter Williams explains that high taxes sometimes lead to smuggling, and that this sometimes is a noble pursuit:

While it’s politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America’s 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, but let’s start out with a quiz. If a carton of cigarettes sells for $160 in New York City, and $35 in North Carolina, what do you predict will happen? If you answered tons of cigarettes will be going up I-95 from North Carolina to New York City, go to the head of the class. …Some smugglers are good people who differ little from the founders of our nation such as John Hancock, whose flamboyant signature graces our Declaration of Independence. The British had levied confiscatory taxes on molasses, and John Hancock smuggled an estimated 1.5 million gallons a year. …Like Hancock, some of today’s cigarette smugglers are providing a service to their fellow man caught in the grip of confiscatory taxation. …People in government or those in pursuit of a do-good agenda think they know better and think they have a right to use government’s brute force to hinder peaceable voluntary exchange. In comes my hero the smuggler to the rescue. …The easy solution to cigarette smuggling, and its attendant activities, is to eliminate the confiscatory taxes.

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