Politicians often use taxation as a playground to tell people how they should live. In a most recent case, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has proposed a beverage tax for his city and a professor of economics is not falling for the mayor’s “busybully” tactics.
In a recent Huffington Post article, professor of economics Antony Davies and contributor James R. Harrigan are warning people of this type of tax and it’s many predictable consequences.
“This tax and every single one like it is about control,” the two explain. “Imposing a tax gives politicians and bureaucrats the license to use physical force, if necessary, to force people to behave the way they want.”
Davies, who teaches at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and Harrigan, CEO of FreedomTrust, point out that the real consequences of beverage taxes include job losses, sales declines, and the closure of small businesses. They say the poor wind up absorbing most of the tax because they are less likely to drive to the suburbs for untaxed beverages. Those that do make it out will often stay outside to do the rest of their shopping.
Davies and Harrigan warn: “… it will all happen in Seattle.”
“No one, not Mayor Murray or anyone else, should be using the tax code to tell people how they should live,” they conclude.