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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Friday, March 24, 2006

China Imposes Tax On Wooden Chopsticks...

Huh?

Yes, China's new emerging conservation movement has hit a home run by imposing a 5% excise tax on wooden chopsticks...
The Finance Ministry said chopstick production used up China's forests at a rate of 70 million cubic feet a year, a waste that it wanted to discourage.
So, here is a market based solution to lowering demand for wooden disposable chopsticks. Capitalism with a Chinese face. Of course, this will mean that the chances of catching a disease through the 'recycling' of chopsticks and the fake wooden chopstick industry increases. People will collect these things, painstakingly glue them back together and package them so that they look like new. Yuck.
Chopsticks were not the only targets of the regulations, an early fruit of the government's new five-year plan, which stresses energy conservation, efficient use of resources and an end to the environmental despoliation that has accompanied its rapid growth.

A 10 percent tax on golf balls and clubs, part of a wider assault on luxury items, might seem to be unconnected, but there is growing concern in Beijing that many municipal drives to attract business by building golf courses are sacrificing land, trees and water supplies for what remains a relatively tiny market.
Yes, taxing golfballs and clubs will theorectically increase the cost of the game. But these items are only a small part of the cost of play where greens fees account for the lion's share of the expenses. Just how far will that go towards discouraging the building of golf courses though? Of course, golf course designers could put less water hazards to reduce the number of lost balls, or it may just increase the demand for golfing schools since better play will reduce the lost ball charges.

It seems a silly tax that will only encourage illegal golfball production and a black market developing. In fact, how difficult will it be to tax the illegal copy golfclubs that can easily be purchased cheaply almost anywhere?

It all seems somewhat silly to me. It seems as if there may be easier and more productive solutions to the conservation problems facing China today.

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