March 30th, 2010

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Pole Tax

OK, this isn't especially a subject near and dear to my heart -- I don't much care if state governments decide to levy extra taxes on strip clubs. I figure it's kind of sleazy, the same way levying extra taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, gasoline, and gambling is kind of sleazy and done mainly because the government knows that these are markets unusually resistant to change based on cost. (Ie, you have to make gasoline or cigarettes really expensive before it starts to deter people from driving or smoking.) In essence: "We're charging them because we can get away with it." Fine, whatever. I'd kind of prefer a nice flat sales tax but I'm never getting it anyway, I give up.

But then I saw this argument: Texas said it isn't levying the fee to discourage pole dancing. Instead, the state says by deterring people from going to clubs, the fee would help reduce rapes that it claimed are linked to drinking alcohol while watching dancers disrobe.

OH PLEASE. You honestly expect me to believe that? Would it kill you to admit "we're taxing them because we need the money and taxes don't much affect their behavior, plus strip club patrons are a minority that's embarrassed by itself so they won't stand up for themselves anyway"? Nooooo, you have to come up with some incredibly lame explanation like "strip clubs cause rapes but we're too nice to outlaw them so we've decided to profit from it instead". 9.9